Changing the swamp cooler pads during maintenance is necessary to keep an evaporative cooler running properly.
Since the pads are what makes a unit cool as water passes though and evaporates they can be a big performance factor.
There are two main types of cooling pads called Fiber and Rigid, each of which can be built with different material.
Fiber Swamp Cooler Pads
Aspen pads are very common as the most widely used.
Aspen pads use wood shavings which is all natural and makes them low cost, work great, and when new have a nice clean fresh smell to them.
The only real downside to Aspen pads is they need to be replaced more often than most other types.
If the water has a lot of calcium in it this can make less of a difference as all pads will become clogged quickly and need replacing.
Aspen pads have been used for many years and are good units to use with a swamp cooler as long as they are regularly replaced during maintenance.
Aspen Pads on Amazon
Dial 3005 Mfg. Aspen Cooler Pads
Pads also can have synthetic shavings instead of wood which makes them less prone to break down and last longer.
The local water can have a impact how long they last since calcium build up will block any pad which would need to be replaced.
Often synthetic can be cleaned and reused in many situations, plus they resist mold which can be a big plus.
Synthetic works well enough for cooling and are used a lot by landlords since they usually last longer.
Synthetic Pads on Amazon
Dial Mfg. 3072 Dura-Cool Pads
Rigid Swamp Cooler Pads
Rigid types are less used than Fiber and are often found in units with a single intake for air.
They work very well and last a long time but they are more expensive to use.
They are also very durable and can often be cleaned and reused in some situations.
The type of swamp cooler pad used will have a direct effect on cooling.
Personally I prefer the Aspen wood shaving type which works the best in my opinion but do need more maintenance.
There are many who use the synthetic type with good success.
Which type uses is very much a personal option with most simply replacing what was in the unit previously.
Do you have a preference? Let us know in the comments below.