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Swamp Cooler Installation and Prices

A swamp cooler can provide affordable home comfort by allowing you to avoid the use of your air conditioner during milder warm weather. Your purchase and installation costs will vary based on structural and equipment issues, making it important to consider both your home's design and your budget as you plan your project. Careful choices can pay off through significant energy savings.

National Install a Swamp Cooler Costs

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by ImproveNet members.

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Average reported cost

based on 314 cost profiles


Minimum cost


Maximum cost

Most homeowners spent between:




National Install a Swamp Cooler Costs
Average reported cost $2,342
Number of Cost Profiles 314 cost profiles
Minimum reported cost $180
Maximum reported cost $5,000
Most homeowners spent between: $1,705 to $2,746

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Equipment Needs

Swamp coolers are available in a variety of sizes. Options range from portable indoor units to large window or roof units that must be mounted outside. If you are looking for a single-room solution for summer comfort control, you may only need a portable system that requires no installation. Pricing for this will range from a minimum of $200 to several hundred dollars. If you need a whole-home unit, you can spend from $2,000 to $3,000 for your system. 

You may want to consult with a home comfort specialist in your area to learn about equipment that performs well and lasts a long time. High-powered systems that address whole-home needs can be some of the most expensive units, and labor costs can be greater because of system sizing. It's wise to look for multi-speed systems that allow for high and low settings, helpful for limiting energy use on mild days. Additionally, it's possible to find units with thermostats that will allow for automated operation based on desired temperature levels.

Placement & Structural Work

Installation of a permanent swamp cooler will require some structural understanding. A window unit may be easier to install on your own, but a roof or wall-mounted system will require creating a passage for incoming air to move into the home. Your placement must also take into account the moisture that will be introduced into the home atmosphere. You will want to avoid a direct stream of moist air near electronic devices. 

In addition to proper placement and follow-up sealing, your installation will require electrical wiring. If you aren't comfortable or familiar with electrical work, it's advisable to hire a specialist to assist with your installation. Plumbing connections are also required to ensure a consistent supply of fresh water to your unit. Professional assistance during your installation can provide a reliable method of water delivery.


Your swamp cooler will require pre- and post-season maintenance to ensure good working order each year. It's important to oil moving parts, check fan belts and replace cooling pads as needed to promote healthy and efficient airflow. At the end of the cooling season, a swamp cooler cover is helpful for limiting the influx of cold air into your home during the winter months.

Last updated on May 17, 2016

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