What are the Best Swamp Cooler Pads? (Types of Pads)

By | April 26, 2023

What are the Best Swamp Cooler Pads
Replacing the swamp cooler pads during maintenance is necessary to keep an evaporative cooler running and working properly.

Since the pads are what make a unit cool as water passes through 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 materials.

Below we look at each type, their performance, and which type may be best for you.

3 Main Types of Swamp Cooler Pads

  • Aspen
  • What are the Best Swamp Cooler Pads Rigid Pic 4
    Aspen pads are very common and the most widely used.

    Aspen pads use wood shavings that are all-natural and make them low-cost, work great, and have a nice clean, fresh smell to them when new.
    What are the Best Swamp Cooler Pads Rigid Pic 5
    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 material for a swamp cooler as long as they are regularly replaced during maintenance.

  • Synthetic Fiber
  • What are the Best Swamp Cooler Pads Rigid Pic 7
    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 an impact on how long they last since calcium buildup will block any pad which would need to be replaced.
    What are the Best Swamp Cooler Pads Rigid Pic 8
    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.

  • Rigid Swamp Cooler Pads
  • What are the Best Swamp Cooler Pads Rigid
    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.
    What are the Best Swamp Cooler Pads Rigid Pic 2

    They are also very durable and can often be cleaned and reused in some situations.
    What are the Best Swamp Cooler Pads Rigid Pic 3

The type of swamp cooler pad used will have a direct effect on cooling and air quality.

Personally, I prefer the Aspen wood shaving type, which works the best in my opinion but does need more maintenance.

Most Aspen pads will need to be replaced every year for the best performance.

There are many who use the synthetic type with good success.

Which type of pad is used is 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.

Category: swamp evaporative cooler

About Aaron H. Benetti

Aaron H. Benetti an HVAC technician who has worked in the field since 1991. He began his career as an HVAC installer and later began doing troubleshooting and repairs. Around 2010, he began to write books on HVAC topics, mainly tutorials and how-to information. Currently, Aaron works as an HVAC tech and also writes many articles and posts for websites as well as books and videos on HVAC topics.

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