As we come to the end of the summer season, it is important to ensure that evaporative cooling units are correctly maintained during the cooler months and are ready for use when warmer weather returns.
Australian Standard AS/NZS 3666 provides guidance on air-handling and water systems, and AS/NZS 3000 provides guidance on electric installations. It is important to refer to the specific code requirements to ensure compliance, however, we recommend the following key items are considered:
- Shut off power: The first step in end-of-season maintenance is to shut off power to the unit. This can be achieved by disconnecting the switch that supplies power to the unit, or simply turning off the circuit breaker.
- Check for water leaks: Check for any water leaks from the unit, such as from the drain valve or water supply line. Address any leaks as soon as possible to prevent future water damage to the unit and surrounding areas.
- Check the ductwork: For leaks or damage that can affect system performance. Leaks should be repaired and damaged ductwork replaced.
- Check the belt: Ensure the belt has proper tension and alignment otherwise it can cause the unit to vibrate and make noise.
- Check the water distribution system: Check for potential blockages or damage as this can affect system performance. Clear distribution tubes and nozzles and replace damaged parts.
- Drain the water: All water in the evaporative cooling unit and supply line should be drained. This can be done by opening the drain valve and allowing the water to flow out. It's important to ensure that all water is drained from the unit to prevent any potential damage from cold/freezing weather during the winter months.
- Check float valve: If the valve is not working properly, it could cause the unit to overfill or not fill sufficiency.
- Check for debris: Check the unit's air intake(s) for debris, such as leaves and twigs. If debris is present, clean it out to prevent potential system blockages.
- Remove and clean the pads: The pads in evaporative cooling units should be removed and thoroughly cleaned. This can be done by using a hose to wash away any dirt or debris. If the pads are heavily soiled or damaged, then they should be replaced.
- Lubrication: The unit’s moving parts should be lubricated for proper operation. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the type to use and frequency of use.
- Clean the unit: The interior and exterior of the evaporative cooling unit should be thoroughly cleaned. This includes cleaning the fan blades, housing and other components with a mild detergent and water.
- Check air filters: Filters should be inspected and cleaned or replace as needed. A dirty filter can reduce system efficiency and life.
- Inspect and replace any damaged parts: Any damaged or worn parts, such as belts, bearings, or fan/pump motors, should be replaced.
- Check the unit’s electrical componentry: Ensure there is no damage to wiring and controls and replace damaged parts.
- Check for any signs of rust or corrosion: Any signs of rust or corrosion on the unit should be addressed, as this can cause damage and reduce the lifespan of the unit. Any rusted or corroded parts should be replaced or repaired.
- Cover the unit: Once the unit has been thoroughly cleaned and inspected, it should be covered with a protective cover to prevent dust and debris from accumulating during the winter months.
Always check manufacturer's guidelines for end-of-season maintenance and be sure to keep a maintenance record log of all maintenance tasks performed on the unit, including the date, to help track maintenance history and identify any recurring issues that may need further attention.