You’re using the wrong water for your evaporative cooler if:
- You always use hard water
- You don’t know what hard water means
- You don’t take advantage of water softener
Let us explain.
Owners with an evaporative cooler reap the benefits of an energy efficient air cooling device.
- An evaporative cooler works by drawing hot, dry air through wet pads.
- This causes an evaporation process that cools the air.
- The cool air is then blown into the inside of a home using a fan.
The science behind an evaporative cooler is primitive and has been used for hundred
s of years.
- When hot air is pulled through something wet, the hot air causes the water to evaporate. Evaporation pulls heat from the air, causing it to cool.
Although the process of using evaporation to cool the air has been used for hundreds of years, modern technology has improved its process by adding mechanical parts to the process inside of an evaporative cooler.
- An evaporative cooler uses a water pump to continually pump water into the pads, this ensures the pads are always moistened and the evaporation process can continually occur.
- It also uses a fan to blow the cool air inside the home.
With the mechanical parts combined with the science behind evaporation, an evaporative cooler can be an extremely effective air cooling device.
Since the most important aspect of the evaporation process is water, knowing the right type of water to use in the cooler is an essential part of being a good owner.
Evaporative Cooler Hard Water Damage
Although essential to the evaporation process utilized in an evaporative cooler, water is also highly destructive.
There is no mistaking the power of water, it can cause erosion, mold, and extensive damage to many products, and the evaporative cooler is no different.
The most common cause of damage within an evaporative cooler is the use of hard water in the cooler.
- Hard water is water that has a high concentration of minerals and deposits.
- These deposits and minerals, if not filtered properly, can cause numerous problems for the mechanical parts of an evaporative cooler.
- The water pump, if gummed up with calcium buildup will stop working efficiently and can cause the cooler to stop working.
- Owners may find spots on filters that look similar to mold. Although it is possible to get mold in an evaporative filter, these spots can also be scale of calcium buildup left behind by hard water.
- Mold on the filter pads form most commonly when the unit has been turned off in the heat. This causes the water to remain stagnant and heat up, becoming an excellent breeding ground for mold spores.
- Mineral deposits from water will build up on filters and pads because when the water is evaporated the deposits remain.
- Calcium buildup will cause a dramatic reduction of the efficiency of the cooler.
To avoid the danger of hard water, filtered water can be used instead.
Filtered water has been cleaned of excess calcium and mineral deposits that hard water typically has.
By using filtered water instead of hard water, owners can dramatically decrease the likelihood of calcium deposits and mineral scale.
Although, even with filtered water owners should expect to regularly check filters and pads, and to descale, clean or replace as necessary as filtered water does still have deposits that can cause damage to the mechanical parts of the evaporative cooler.
Distilled water is water that has undergone a very precise process to remove deposits.
- Distilled water is boiled into a steam, the steam is collected and cooled down into water.
- This process removes almost all salt, calcium, and other minerals that are found naturally in water.
- Distilled water is treated so that there are virtually no deposits in it at all.
- This process ensures a very clean water source.
Distilled water is more frequently recommended for use, rather than consumption. The use of distilled water in an evaporative cooler is ideal because of its lack of deposits.
A water softener can be added to water used in an evaporative cooler.
- Water softener dissolves the unwanted minerals from the water.
- A water softener, when added to hard water, can help reduce the amount of deposits left behind on the pads and filters.
Troubleshooting Hard Water Damage
- If your evaporative cooler is working less efficiently due to hard water damage, cleaning the filters can be the most effective way to eradicate the problem.
- Calcium buildup and mineral deposits can be dissolved by soaking the pads and filters in vinegar.
- Make sure to clean the pads prior to reinstalling, to avoid the vinegar smell.
- Check and descale the filters frequently
- Check the water pump for buildup, descale if necessary.
- Use a water softener if hard water is the only option available for the evaporative cooler.
- Use filtered or distilled water if possible instead of hard water.