How to Install Evaporative Coolers

Installing an evaporative cooler is great way to cool off your home without paying for an expensive central air conditioner.

Evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, pull the warm air from the room into a chamber with pads soaked in water. As the water evaporates, it cools the air. The cooled air is then pumped back into the room through the blower. Follow this guide to install a new evaporative cooler in any room of your house. .

Select the window where you will be installing the evaporative cooler. It should not be blocked by anything that will interfere with the airflow. Be sure the wall and windowsill below the window are stable and will hold the evaporative cooler's weight. If you need extra support, cut three cripple studs out of 2x4 lumber and attach these to the wall below the windowsill, running vertically from the bottom of the sill to the floor.

Measure the size of the evaporative cooler to be sure it will fit in your window opening. Cut a piece of one-inch thick wood to fit the bottom of the cooler. Attach this plank to the windowsill with wood screws.

Have an assistant help you lift the evaporative cooler and place it on the wooden plank. Walk around to the outside of the home and attach a chain to each side of the evaporative cooler, toward the top and rear of the unit. Use a level to make sure the cooler sits flat, placing wood shims under the lower side of the unit if it needs to be leveled out. Once the evaporative cooler is level, hold each chain against the exterior of the house so that it is taut. Mark this spot on the home and attach a hook. Slide the chains over the hooks to hold the evaporative cooler in place. Secure the evaporative cooler to the wooden plank with the screws and mounting hardware that were included with the unit.

Go back inside and close the window so that it sits flush against the top of the evaporative cooler. Draw a line on the where the window frame hits the cooler. Raise the window and attach a band of weatherstripping along your marked line. Lower the window again so that it rests on the weatherstripping. Some evaporative coolers have side extensions that can be pulled out to cover any gaps on the side of the unit. If yours does not or the gap is too large to be fully covered by the extensions, measure and cut panels of one-inch thick wood to block the opening. Use nails or wood screws to attach these panels to the home's exterior.

Fill the evaporative cooler's reservoir with water and plug it into the wall outlet.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Electric saw
  • One-inch thick wood panels
  • Wood screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Chains
  • Hooks
  • Weatherstripping


  • Measure your window opening before purchasing an evaporative cooler. Selecting the correct size cooler reduces the amount of space to be covered by the extensions or filled with foam.


  • To prevent injury, always ask for help when lifting or moving an evaporative cooler. Evaporative coolers may not work effectively in humid climates. When the air is already saturated with moisture, the water inside the cooler is not able to evaporate.

About the Author

Denise Sullivan has been writing professionally for more than five years after a long career in business. She has been published on Yahoo! Voices and other publications. Her areas of expertise are business, law, gaming, home renovations, gardening, sports and exercise.