A swamp cooler air-conditioner will last several years if you maintain it properly, not only in summer, when it is running regularly, but also in winter, when the cooler is not in use. Maintenance should be done during fall, just after the cooler has been used extensively during the summer months.
Winterizing Your Swamp Cooler
Turn off the water connection, clean the dirt and the minerals and hose out the water pan, so that the metal does not rust.
Regular Change of Cooler Pads
Change the cooler pads in the fall, instead of in spring. The old pads have minerals and dirt on them, so when rain water flows down the cooler, they run down the pads, which are pressed against metal. This can speed up rusting throughout the winter. Most people think that they are saving money by leaving old pads in the unit as long as possible, but ultimately it is costing them more money in the long run by having to change the entire cooler, instead of just the pads.
Protection for Your Cooler
Install a cooler cover, so that it just stops any outside air from coming into the home or building. Sometimes coolers have dampers, but if you do not have it, a cover will help your cooler to last you longer and save you money.