Wagner offers a wide variety of services for evaporative coolers, including startup, shutdown, repair, installation, and much more! If your swamp cooler is in need of work, call the professionals at Wagner and have us cool down your home. We’re your swamp cooler experts here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe!

What causes an air conditioner to freeze up?

Picture this: it’s the hottest day of summer. The sun is beating down on your home. You feel the temperature inside start to rise, but you no longer hear the distinctive sound of your air conditioner at work. After fiddling with the thermostat, you walk outside to a strange sight: despite the hot weather, your air conditioner condenser is iced over. Appropriately, this is known as an air conditioner freezing up, and it’ll leave your home without cooling if not fixed.

So, what causes an air conditioner to ice up? In actuality, there are several different things that could be happening that might cause this issue. In this article, we’ll review the most likely scenarios and review your next steps for defrosting your AC and getting it running again.

Why do air conditioners ice up?

We get plenty of calls from homeowners in Albuquerque asking us the same thing: “Why is my air conditioner freezing up?” While there are some common issues that lead to this phenomenon, it’s not always possible to diagnose the issue over the phone. You’ll need to have one of our AC repair technicians out to take a closer look and help defrost the system.

Here are some potential reasons your air conditioner has iced up:

Common: Low Airflow

First, let’s start by reviewing how air conditioners work. At their most basic level, all AC units do is move heat energy from one place (inside your home) to another (outside your home). They use refrigerant to accomplish this.


While less likely than blocked airflow, low refrigerant pressure could be the root cause of a frozen air conditioner.

Think of the indoor evaporator coil and outdoor condenser coil as separate train stations, with refrigerant serving as the train that runs between them. At the indoor station, the refrigerant absorbs heat energy. It then carries this energy to the outdoor station, where it is released into the air, cooling the refrigerant. This refrigerant is then cycled back inside to repeat the process, again and again, until your home’s indoor temperature cools.

However, there’s an important factor to this process: to properly absorb heat energy from inside and take it outside, the evaporator coil needs a consistent airflow. If the coil does not absorb enough heat energy indoors, it will start a runaway cooling process, with the refrigerant becoming more chilled as it cycles. Ultimately, the refrigerant becomes cold enough to “ice up” the outdoor condenser. If there’s enough humidity in the air, you’ll see this as actual frost or ice on the unit.

In a vast majority of cases, an AC unit keeps freezing because of insufficient airflow. This could be due to a clogged air filter, a malfunctioning blower unit, or a larger issue with your air ducts that is preventing indoor air from traveling from the air intake to the evaporator coil.

Less Common: Low Refrigerant

Pressure plays a key role in the refrigeration cycle. If the refrigerant line loses pressure, it is unable to absorb or transport heat energy as efficiently, which could lead to icing issues.

However, this is typically a less common reason why an air conditioner keeps freezing up. For one, the refrigerant used to transport heat energy is supposed to exist in a closed-loop system. Under ideal circumstances, it does not leave its pipe: unlike a car, your home’s air conditioner is capable of using the same refrigerant, year-after-year, and shouldn’t need periodic “recharging.” For a refrigerant line to lose pressure and refrigerant, something has gone wrong with the line. There is likely a leak.

Your next steps

If your AC has frozen over, you need to call your local HVAC experts at Wagner. Our technicians are specialists when it comes to diagnosing air conditioning issues. We’ll run through our checklist and work to determine the root cause of the issue. As detailed in this article, the answer to “what causes an air conditioner to freeze up” is typically something minor, such as insufficient airflow. However, we’ll also want to rule out more serious issues, such as refrigerant loss or a problematic blower.

Never try to defrost your own air conditioner. Attempting to chip away at ice can lead to damage to the system. Go to your thermostat and turn off the cooling setting: you don’t want your air conditioner to continue the cycle that is causing it to freeze up. Instead, just turn the fan on—maximizing airflow will help with the defrost process and reduce the amount of time it takes our technicians to get your air conditioner back to normal.

This fall is the time to schedule your evaporative cooler shutdown

As we put the summer behind us and get into the cooler months of fall here in Albuquerque, it’s that time of year again: time to schedule your evaporative cooler shutdown. A professional swamp cooler shutdown is an essential part of winterizing your system and getting it ready for colder weather. In this article, we’ll review the reasons why you should schedule a shutdown with our team and what our service includes.

At Wagner, we’re your local swamp cooler experts. We repair, maintain, and replace all types of coolers. Be sure to give us a call to schedule your fall shutdown and spring startup services.

Swamp Cooler Maintenance Rio RanchoWhy is it important to shut down a swamp cooler for the season?

Your evaporative cooler works hard throughout the summer to bring your home effective cooling. However, during the winter, it’s a potential liability. All swamp coolers contain water in both their lines and pans. Here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, we’re no strangers to freezing nighttime temperatures in the winter months. If those lines aren’t properly drained, the water inside of them can freeze and break the line. Then, when that ice thaws, you have both a leaking system and lines that need to be replaced. The presence of melted water in the spring can also attract insects and lead to metal corrosion that shortens the overall lifespan of the system.

What does our evaporative cooler shutdown service include?

A professional swamp cooler shutdown accounts for this by completely draining any remaining water from the system’s lines and pans. Our team then cleans the system after a long summer of use; seals the vent leading to the inside of your home; and covers the system to protect it from rain, snow, ice, and freezing temperatures during the winter. As part of our service, our technicians also inspect the unit for any problems that could prevent the evaporative cooler from performing as it should in the spring.

With the right protection in the fall, your swamp cooler will be in good condition and ready for use again in the spring when things start to warm up.

Why hire a professional?

As mentioned above, you do not want to take the risk that any residual water is left in the lines, as this can—and most likely will—freeze due to our wintertime overnight lows here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Any frozen water in lines can lead to a major headache when spring rolls around.

Another common cause of problems is an improperly fitted cover. The cover for your evaporative cooler needs to be breathable, but also protect the unit from the elements. Any gaps in protection could lead to preventable corrosion or damage to the system.

Finally, only a professional can inspect the system during the shutdown and identify potential issues that could impact how it runs next spring and summer. Trust us: it’s better to address those problems in the fall than when the heat returns next year.

Call Wagner to schedule an evaporative cooler shutdown this fall

If you haven’t already, now’s the perfect time to have one of our technicians get your swamp cooler ready for the winter months ahead. Go ahead and call us to schedule your evaporative cooler shutdown here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. In fact, our team of HVAC and swamp cooler experts is here to help with all your home service needs. When you need your swamp cooler maintained, repaired, or replaced, give us a call.

What are the signs you should replace your old swamp cooler?

Swamp coolers—also known as “evaporative coolers”—are great options for homeowners here in Albuquerque. They emit cool air in a much more efficient way than the typical air conditioner. However, there comes a time when you made need a swamp cooler replacement. In this blog, we’re going to run through the signs you should replace your swamp cooler.

For evaporative cooler services here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, call the pros at Wagner. We handle a wide variety of plumbing services.

Pictured: When you need to replace your swamp cooler here in Albuquerque, call Wagner!

When you need to replace your swamp cooler here in Albuquerque, call Wagner!

Signs you should replace your swamp cooler:

#1. The unit has significant corrosion

Because swamp coolers use water to operate, they’ll eventually start to develop water damage. Much like your water heater, the combination of metal and water can only last for so long before it starts to rust. Minerals in the unit’s water can lead to scaling over time, and rust to spread like a virus through the interior of the system.

This will eventually impact the energy-efficiency of the system, making it that much more expensive to operate. This will continue until it just doesn’t run anymore.

#2. The unit has not been regularly maintained

If you haven’t given your swamp cooler the attention it demands, it’s possible that the unit can no longer function. Wagner can help you stay up-to-date with your swamp cooler’s maintenance schedule, including seasonal start-ups and shutdowns.

#3. The system is getting up there in age

This fits with the first point, too: eventually, your swamp cooler just isn’t going to run as well as it did on the first day it was installed. If you’re relying on your system to make your home habitable in the summer, it might not be worth it—financially or comfort-wise—to tough it out for another year with a failing unit.

Regular maintenance can guarantee that you go years before needing an evaporative cooler replacement. However, if it’s been a long time and it is not functioning at top efficiency, you may need to consider replacing it.

#4. The airflow is either non-existent or not cool enough

Cool airflow is the primary purpose of a swamp cooler, so if your unit’s not delivering, you’ll want to have it inspected. If the issues run too deep and new parts can’t fix the problem, a new unit may be the solution.

#5. Water is leaking from the unit

When the cooler is leaking water, it’s often a sign that the unit has not been properly maintained during the winter months. If the problem goes too long without being tended to, it can create some irreversible problems.

Take care of your swamp cooler, and it’ll take care of you

Ultimately, your swamp cooler will last a long time if you take proper care of it. It’s important to have your unit as fall approaches and started back up just in time for summer. Wagner can help you with this, so your unit is good to go all year long.

If you notice any of these signs you need to replace your swamp cooler, let the Wagner team of experts assist you with your cooler replacement and continued maintenance. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

Tips for diagnosing swamp cooler problems this summer

To keep your cooling and energy costs as low as possible during the warmer months of the year, you might have invested in a swamp cooler. Swamp coolers are a great way to stay cool! However, homeowners can encounter swamp cooler problems from time-to-time. Here’s a guide on diagnosing any issues you might have with them. Contact us for service!

Your swamp cooler won’t start

If you suddenly discover that your cooler won’t start, start by checking the breaker or fuse to see if that might be the problem. Replacing the fuse or resetting the breaker might help take care of the issue, but the cooler’s wiring might be the problem if that doesn’t help.

Remember: you should never work with electrical systems directly. Instead, you should call the professional electricians at Wagner for help.

It’s not producing enough cold air

Maybe it’s that you’re getting plenty of airflow from your cooler, but for some reason, it doesn’t seem to be cooling you down. It might be that there’s a clog triggering your evaporative cooler problems. Are the cooling pads dry? If so, wet them a bit before using your cooler again to see if that helps take care of the issue.

Water is pooling under the system

Should you ever discover a small pool underneath your swamp cooler, it might be that you didn’t store it correctly during the cooler months of the year. Swamp cooler shutdown is an important task that, if done wrong, can lead to further swamp cooler problems.

For example, failing to drain the cooler before storing it or not clearing it out thoroughly can result in such a leak. Additionally, the cooling pads should be removed and the system should be covered throughout the winter season.

Odd odors are coming from the system

A swamp cooler shouldn’t smell like its namesake. Water or mildew on the pads might be the culprit behind the smell. Again, it’s important to properly maintain and care for the unit so it’s always fresh and clean. This is one of the many reasons we recommend scheduling a swamp cooler startup at the start of every season.

The system has poor airflow

It could be that your cooler cools, but that it doesn’t churn out enough air to make the room comfortable. The unit might not have the exhaust it needs to do its job properly, but if your model doesn’t use exhaust ducts, try opening doors and windows to see if that boosts the airflow.

Call Wagner for help diagnosing swamp cooler problems

For professional HVAC help with your swamp cooler problems, contact us here at Wagner.

This Earth Day, make plans to save energy this summer

April 22 is Earth Day, and there are a lot of great events happening here in Albuquerque. What’s more, many organizations around town will be planting trees and doing trash pickups in parks.

It’s this time of year where many homeowners wonder how they can improve their own energy-efficiency, both to save money and to use less energy. In this blog, we’ll run through four ways your air conditioner can save you energy and money.

The best ways to save energy this summer

There are many ways to save energy in your home this summer. Here are a few of the ways you can get more out of your air conditioner this summer:

#1. Schedule an AC checkup with Wagner

Spring is the best time to schedule your air conditioning checkup from the team at Wagner. By having one of our professional techs inspect your system this season, we can not only make sure your system is less likely to break down in the summer, but also increase your energy-efficiency.

An unmaintained air conditioner is an inefficient one. Over the course of summer, fall, winter, and early spring, your air conditioner gathers dust and debris that keep it from running at peak capacity. Our checkup tightens parts, checks systems, and ensures that your unit is ready for the hot weather ahead.


#2. Replace your old, struggling air conditioner

If your air conditioner is old, it probably isn’t as efficient as it once was—and is far from as efficient as new systems are. Even with an AC checkup, there’s only so efficient that a 15-year-old air conditioner can be.

Most homeowners replace their old air conditioner when it dies for the final time, or when the repair costs finally outweigh the system’s value. However, during your checkup, ask your Wagner tech about the state of your system. Here are just a few signs that it’s time to replace your old system:

  • Reduced energy-efficiency, and higher bills
  • More frequent breakdowns and repair needs
  • Less comfort in your home


#3. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat

You may have seen programmable thermostats for sale in your local hardware store. These systems offer homeowners greater control over their comfort and home energy use, even when they’re not at home.

These thermostats, true to their name, can be programmed to cool and heat at certain times on certain days of the week. Most models can also be connected to WiFi, which allows you to adjust or check the temperature of your home on-the-go or while you’re at work.

By allowing for this level of consistent control, programmable thermostats can help make your home more energy-efficient. For example, if you only need your home colder when you’re falling asleep, you can set your thermostat to turn down the AC after 10 p.m.


#4. Keep your home consistent

Many homeowners believe the best way to save energy is to turn off their air conditioner during the day while they’re at home, and then turn it back on at night.

However, contrary to popular belief, this practice actually ends up using more energy. When your AC has to play catch up and cool your home down after a long, hot day, it uses more electricity than it would have needed to just maintain a temperature throughout the day.

Instead, using either your regular thermostat or a programmable model, set a consistent, slightly higher temperature for your air conditioner to stay at during the day. Then, you can make small, 1-3 degree adjustments when you get home at night.

Call Wagner for an AC checkup this Earth Day

Your air conditioner is one of the primary users of energy in your home. By making it more efficient—along with some other common-sense changes in your home like switching to more efficient light bulbs—you can cut back on your energy use, saving you money and lessening your home’s footprint.

To schedule your AC checkup, contact Wagner today!

It’s swamp cooler startup season, so call Wagner!

Here in Albuquerque, the cold weather might not be completely gone, but it certainly has one foot out the door. Spring is almost here and, after that, summer will arrive. In other words, it’s swamp cooler startup season.

To schedule your swamp cooler startup with Wagner Mechanical, contact Wagner, or call us at (505) 884-2822.

Why get a swamp cooler startup?

There are many reasons you should get a swamp cooler startup this spring. Here are the three main ones:

Your system needs to be taken out of its winter state

If your evaporative cooler was properly shut down in the fall, it’s been preserved for the winter. Starting it back up for the summer again requires professional dewinterization, including cleaning, checking moving parts, and removing any old moisture or corroded water from the system.

Extend your system’s lifespan

A swamp cooler is properly maintained and cleaned each spring will live a longer life. Swamp cooler startup season is the perfect time to have Wagner look at your system before Albuquerque’s hottest days of the year.

That’s because Wagner’s techs can catch small issues that, left unchecked, would grow into big problems. Those big problems could cause damage to your evaporative cooler.

Prevent summer cooling interruptions

Professional swamp cooler startup can not only extend the long-term life of your system, but also help keep your swamp cooler from breaking down in the middle of summer.

Why is spring the best time for this?

Now that we’re exiting winter and entering spring, you’ll want to start to think about getting your home ready for summer. Along with other home maintenance tasks, don’t forget to have Wagner look at your swamp cooler.

If you wait until summer to get your swamp cooler dewinterized, you may find yourself facing some warm nights without it. It’s better to just have Wagner get it ready now.

Call Wagner for swamp cooler services this spring!

Wagner offers swamp cooler startup and shutdown services, right here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. No matter what kind of evaporative cooler you have, our experienced, friendly techs can get it ready for the summer ahead.

To schedule your service this swamp cooler startup season, contact us online or call us at (505) 884-2822.

It’s time to schedule your evaporative cooler shutdown. Here’s why.

Throughout the hot summer months here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, our swamp coolers—also known as “evaporative coolers”—have kept us cool and comfortable. But, now fall is here and winter is arriving soon. It’s time to schedule your evaporative cooler shutdown.

All swamp coolers require winterization in the fall. It’s part of their design. Failure to prepare your system for colder weather and snow can result in damage—perhaps even fatal—to the system. In this blog, we’ll discuss that and a few more reasons why you should have a professional inspect and shutdown your cooler.

Swamp Cooler ShutdownFour reasons to schedule your evaporative cooler shutdown

If you have a swamp cooler inside the house, it’s essential that you schedule a seasonal shutdown with Wagner. Here are the four big reasons why you should have Wagner shut down the swamp cooler this month:

#1. Prevent damage to the system

A swamp cooler contains many different moving parts, most made of metal. Over time, any standing water left in the system—or water deposited by winter rains or snow—will develop into rust and corrosion, ruining the system. In addition to completely draining the system, Wagner’s technicians expertly cover the swamp cooler to ensure that moisture is locked out.

This is necessary, even if you have a plastic swamp cooler. Standing water that is left inside the circulating pump can damage the system. Any leftover water can also serve as a safe haven for pests and insects, which can be a nasty surprise when the system is opened back up in the spring.

#2. Avoid costly repairs when you start the system in the spring

Every evaporative cooler has a water supply line. The supply line should be winterized before the start of the winter by an HVAC professional. That’s because freezing conditions here in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area can freeze any remaining water in the lines, causing them to burst.

If the temperature goes below 32 degrees and remains at that level for an hour, any water inside the supply line will freeze, resulting in the pipes bursting. Put quite simply, this will ruin the system and require costly repairs. It’s better to just have a professional handle your evaporative cooler shutdown ahead of time.

BLOG: Here are 4 signs your evaporative cooler needs repairs

#3. Avoid the need to clean the system

Another major reason for shutting down your cooler before winter is that it will prevent dust from settling inside the cooler. When one of our professional technicians thoroughly inspects the cooler, we’ll clean and properly cover the unit.

This protective covering will prevent dirt and dust from getting inside the system, and—as we mentioned earlier—keep moisture out. This will go a long way in ensuring the increased lifespan of the cooler.

Scheduling a shutdown of your evaporative cooler won’t cost much. However, it can save you a lot of money on repairs and the cost of the system. Moreover, it makes spring startup easier by ensuring that your cooler is ready to go.

#4. Keep your evaporative cooler’s warranty intact

Winterizing the swamp cooler will also ensure that the system remains under warranty. Most manufacturers require that the cooler be properly maintained. Otherwise, the warranty is voided. To learn more about the specific warranty rules on your swamp cooler, give the team at Wagner a call.

Start your swamp cooler shutdown by calling the team at Wagner

Do you reside in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, or surrounding areas? If so, you should contact Wagner to schedule the shutdown of your swamp cooler. Call us at (505) 884-2822 or contact us online.

Swamp cooler shutdown season has arrived

During the hot summer months in northern New Mexico, it’s difficult to be comfortable in your home without your swamp cooler running. But, as summer ends and autumn brings colder months to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, it’s time to start thinking about swamp cooler shutdown for the season.

Wagner Mechanical offers swamp cooler shutdowns, and in this post, we’ll review some of the reasons you need our professional shutdown service this fall.

Swamp Cooler ShutdownWhy do I need to have my swamp cooler shut down?

Unlike air conditioners, an active ingredient in the operation of swamp coolers is water. Left to its own devices over the winter, water will freeze, rust metal, and become a future house for insects of all types in the spring. A professional swamp cooler shutdown has multiple steps, but a main task is removing this water from the system.

If you don’t remove the water, it could destroy your evaporative cooler over the course of the winter. Albuquerque is no stranger to freezing nights, and any water left in the water line will freeze, most likely causing the pipe to burst and need to be replaced the following spring when it’s time to start your system back up.

Water can also rust, causing essential mechanical parts to wear down and stop working. In short, failure to remove water from the swamp cooler prior to the fall could lead to the complete destruction of the evaporative cooler—which means you’ll have to pay to replace it next summer.

What does a swamp cooler shutdown include?

As a part of our swamp cooler shutdown process, the HVAC technicians at Wagner Mechanical will:

  • Remove all water from the pan, lines, and system as a whole.
  • Disconnect the water line.
  • Thoroughly clean the swamp cooler and seal any leaks.
  • Install a protective cover over the swamp cooler.
  • Seal the vent to the house.

Why should I have a professional company do this work?

You don’t want just anyone working with your evaporative cooler, especially when you’re winterizing it. To be properly ready for winter, all water needs to be removed from the line, components, pan, and more. An HVAC professional has the best equipment and expertise to get this job done, and it’s less hassle for you as a homeowner.

Our NATE-certified technicians are swamp cooler professionals who will not only winterize your unit, but also give it a checkup to make sure it’s ready for startup in the spring. As part of our current special in Fall 2016, they’ll also get your furnace checked while they’re there, making sure that you don’t have any problems with your heating system. It’s a great deal and can really help you knock two items off your home maintenance list at once.

Ready to have your swamp cooler shut down?

If you’re ready to winterize your system, contact us online or give the team at Wagner Mechanical a call today at (505) 884-2822. We’ll help you prepare your home’s swamp cooler for the colder months ahead, so that it’s ready to rock-n-roll again in the spring when things begin to heat up.