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When to Replace Your
Evaporative Cooling Media

Kuul Views | May 2024


Maintaining a cool environment to keep your equipment and your operations performing at the highest levels is a major concern for data centers, gas turbines, commercial facilities, and other industries that operate in harsh, demanding environments. 

System efficiency and the ability to reduce media degradation directly impacts your companies’ operational costs, which makes regular maintenance and timely replacement of your evaporative cooling media crucial. If you act too hastily, however, premature replacement of the cooling media can lead to unnecessary costs and diminished returns on investment (ROI). 

Understanding the optimal timing for replacing evaporative cooling media involves more than just knowing when; it’s also about understanding why.

The impact of evaporative cooling, the most effective and efficient method for regulating temperature within some of the toughest industries and environments, depends heavily on the condition of your cooling media.

Factors like usage intensity, water quality, and environmental conditions are crucial in determining the right time for media replacement, which is essential for maintaining system efficiency, controlling costs, and maximizing cooling system lifespan. In this article, we will define the key areas where you need to focus to ensure you are replacing your evaporative media in a timely and efficient manner.

The Lifespan of Evaporative Cooling Media: What You Need to Know

Evaporative Cooling Media closeup with a hourglass denoting the lifespan

Evaporative cooling media, on average, lasts between 3 to 5 years. However, the lifespan of your evaporative cooling media can vary dramatically from under a year to up to ten years, depending primarily on factors like water quality, environmental exposure, and perhaps most importantly, system maintenance

Regular assessments and proactive maintenance can extend this lifespan. Which ensures your cooling system operates at peak efficiency for as long as possible, saving you money and positively impacting your finances.

Below, we’ll dig into each factor more extensively to explore how they impact media lifespan.


Water Quality

The quality of water used in evaporative cooling systems plays a pivotal role in the lifespan of cooling media. Hard water can lead to mineral buildup, which impedes the media’s ability to absorb and evaporate water effectively, thereby reducing its cooling efficiency. Regular water treatment and system checks can mitigate these effects and preserve the media’s functionality.

Additionally, monitoring your cycles of concentration (CoC) is critical. That means measuring the concentration of dissolved solids or minerals within your blowdown water against your fresh water and replacing your fresh water when the concentrations get too high. Regular measurements of the CoC and fresh water replacements as necessary help you maximize your media lifespan by preventing damage.

If you have concerns that excess scaling caused by hard water may be impacting the lifespan of your evaporative cooling media, our engineering services team can provide you with a media scaling analysis. They will help bring any issues to light and provide solutions to get things back on track.

Environmental Conditions

The environmental conditions present around your evaporative media cooling system’s physical location can have a major, and potentially negative, impact on the longevity of the media. Elements such as extreme weather conditions or exposure to dust and debris over long periods of time will shorten media lifespan. It’s critical to take environmental exposure into account when predicting the lifespan of your evaporative media and the frequency of routine maintenance.

Regular Maintenance

Regular cleaning is essential to ensure that your evaporative cooling system operates at peak efficiency and extends the lifespan of your cooling media. Dust, debris, and mineral deposits can accumulate over time, leading to clogged media, which hampers optimal water flow and can increase your pressure drop. Cleaning frequency should generally be at least once per season, though this may vary depending on usage intensity and environmental conditions. Refer to our maintenance guides for more specific maintenance instructions for your evaporative media.

The KEEP Program

Kuul Evaporative Media products are proudly part of the Condair Family, the creators of the K.E.E.P. Program (Keep an Effective Evaporative Program). Condair’s KEEP Program was designed to provide tailored guidance to our customers on inspection and service to ensure that media installed at your facility functions optimally

Through this program, our experts help you identify potential issues and address them promptly. We also provide expert advice on how to extend the life of your media and determine the most accurate replacement schedule. This support is invaluable for maintaining system efficiency and can significantly lower operational costs and longevity of your cooling media.

By incorporating regular maintenance and utilizing resources like the KEEP program, you can enhance system performance, reduce downtime, and avoid premature media replacement. That ensures your evaporative cooling system delivers consistent and cost-effective cooling. For more information or to sign up for the KEEP program, please contact our team.

Top Signs You Need To Replace Your Media

The answer isn’t always clear when determining the optimal timing to replace your evaporative cooling media. Learning how to spot the telltale signs that it’s time for a replacement, however, is crucial to maintaining optimal performance in your media and your operations. 

Ultimately, the decision boils down to two key indicators. 

Any performance-related signs uncovered should be considered primary signals, while the physical signs typically indicate the need to review your media’s performance to determine the level of degradation and the negative impact that may result.

If there are signs of trouble in one or both of these areas, your cooling media likely requires attention. To help you more easily determine optimal replacement timing, review the following performance and physical indicators below.

Performance Indicators: The Primary Indicators

Recognizing Physical Signs of Media Degradation: Secondary Indicators

Evaporative cooling media comparison with and without media scaling

While performance metrics are crucial in determining when to replace evaporative cooling media, visual inspections can also reveal important physical signs of degradation. 

These physical indicators should not be overlooked, as they often serve as early warning signs that, if recognized and addressed in time, can prevent further damage and inefficiency. 

Secondary indicators:

Visual Indicators Complement Performance Metrics

When conducting visual inspections, the physical signs you uncover can serve as initial indicators to prompt more thorough performance evaluations. For instance, if significant scaling is observed, it is advisable to check for increased energy consumption or reduced cooling effectiveness. These symptoms can provide corroborating evidence that the media needs to be replaced. 

This approach ensures that decisions are based not only on observable conditions but also on operational performance impacts, leading to more informed and effective maintenance actions. 

It is important to note that while these physical signs should prompt deeper analysis, they are not always present when media replacement is necessary. Therefore, maintaining a regular schedule for reviewing your performance metrics is essential as the primary indicator for replacement.

Always prioritize comprehensive assessments to maintain optimal efficiency and prolong the lifespan of your evaporative cooling system. This comprehensive approach helps confirm the necessity for media replacement, ensuring that decisions are made on a solid foundation of both visual evidence and performance data. 

Triggers to replace your evaporative media infographic

Economic Analysis: When Replacement Becomes Cost-Effective

Conducting an economic analysis to determine when to replace media can shine a spotlight on opportunities for potentially substantial cost savings. 

This is a critical assessment. When media is replaced while operating at optimal levels, you limit the return on your investment by shortening the lifespan unnecessarily. Ignoring manufacturer guidance and replacing media too early can significantly increase your operating costs. Conversely, not replacing your media after its performance starts declining can cost you substantially from increased cooling and equipment costs.

Industry-Specific Example: Data Centers

In the data center industry, servers operate most efficiently at their peak performance temperature. Pressure drop, caused by media that is performing inefficiently, makes your system work harder to maintain the ideal temperature. That, in turn, increases energy costs. 

To determine when replacement is cost-effective in this scenario, you would need to assess the cost of replacing the media against the increased energy consumption needed to reach  the ideal temperature.

By comparing the costs associated with increased energy consumption due to reduced efficiency with the cost of replacing the media, facilities can make informed decisions that optimize financial outcomes, thus protecting your full ROI. 

Our team of engineers can assist in determining if it is time for media replacement and whether such an update would yield a full ROI. Connect with our team of experienced engineers to schedule a media replacement analysis to ensure you received the highest return on your investment from the performance boost of media replacement.

Kuul Media: The Superior Choice for Replacement Media

Kuul Media for replacement in cooling systems

Kuul evaporative media stands out as the premier choice for evaporative cooling media replacement – distinguished by its exceptional durability, efficiency, and innovative design. 

Crafted from high-quality materials, Kuul media is engineered to withstand harsh environmental conditions and resist mineral buildup.

This robust construction not only ensures an extended lifespan, reducing the frequency of replacements, but also maintains its structural integrity during installation, significantly cutting installation time by up to 40%, reducing the impact on your bottom line.

Our media is meticulously designed to maximize water evaporation, enhance cooling efficiency and ensure top-tier performance. It incorporates antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of algae and mold, ensuring cleaner, healthier air and reducing maintenance demands. 

Find out what sets Kuul media apart from the competition:

Proven in rigorous research and field testing, Kuul media is trusted globally for its reliability and effectiveness. Its ability to deliver reduced pressure drop translates into enhanced system efficiency with lower operational costs, making it an essential component for maintaining optimal performance in mission-critical environments. The reduced rinsing times further contribute to faster turnaround times, underscoring its role in enhancing overall system efficiency and minimizing downtime.

Ensure Peak Performance with Proactive Media Replacement

Regular replacement of evaporative cooling media is essential, not just for maintaining system efficiency but also for ensuring the longevity and health of your cooling systems. By addressing media degradation at the first sign, you can enhance cooling efficiency, reduce energy and water consumption, and prevent costly system overloads. 

Your media’s lifespan varies based on water quality, environmental and operational conditions, and other key factors. Adopting a holistic approach to media replacement helps ensure that your systems deliver optimal performance and comfort while minimizing operational costs and environmental impact.

Our team of engineering experts can help you assess the condition of your evaporative cooling media and guide you in scheduling timely replacements. Kuul’s Engineering Services ensure that your system continues to operate efficiently, supporting sustainable practices that save on energy and costs while promoting a healthier environment. 

Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive maintenance programs and how they can benefit your operations.


The Leading Choice For Replacement Media

Kuul media is the leading choice for evaporative media replacements. Superior media coupled with an industry-leading team to support you is why Kuul media is trusted for the world's largest cooling applications.

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