Take These Five Steps Now to Prep Your Chiller System for Spring Start-up

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Stamford, Conn. – December 6, 2023 – As facility managers approach the winter months and plan for seasonal maintenance for chiller systems, Goodway Technologies, a leader in heat exchanger cleaning and maintenance equipment, shares best practices for routine maintenance and cleaning procedures to ensure optimal performance.

Conducting regular chiller tube cleaning and maintenance not only increases operating efficiency but also reduces energy costs, decreases downtime, and improves the overall performance of the chiller system.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, chillers can be one of the largest energy consumers in facilities. Thus, proper chiller maintenance and cleaning become paramount in ensuring efficient operation. While routine maintenance may not always be at the top of the task list, the benefits of cleaning can significantly reduce unnecessary expenses when a chiller is required to work harder to achieve the desired output.

Follow these steps to optimize your chiller system's performance:

Step 1: Maintain a Daily Operating Log – The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) recommends updating the chiller's operating log at least four times daily to monitor critical parameters. This helps identify any potential issues or concerns. At a minimum, the log should be updated once a day, recording data such as head pressures and approach temperatures. Many newer chillers have software that automatically maintains daily log data, simplifying this task.

Step 2: Keep Tubes Clean – Even minor scale or sludge buildup can significantly impact chiller efficiency, leading to increased energy expenses. It is recommended to clean chiller tubes at least once a year. Regular monitoring throughout the year can help identify the need for additional cleaning. Goodway offers a range of chemical descaling solutions, mechanical tube cleaning equipment, and expert consulting services to ensure the proper cleaning approach is used.

For more information on determining which chiller cleaning method, chemical or mechanical, best fits your need read our guide: How to Choose the Right Tube Cleaner for Optimal Chiller Cleaning.

Step 3: Check for Leaks – Regularly inspect the chiller unit for potential leaks, as they can affect both system efficiency and operation. Leaks can also result in hazardous refrigerants escaping into the surrounding air, posing safety concerns for occupants. Refrigerant levels can be monitored by using an air-purge time, checking the refrigerant sight-glass, and employing a gas analyzer to assess joints and connections. Prompt action should be taken if refrigerant leaks are suspected.

Step 4: Maintain Proper Water Treatment – In addition to cleanings, implementing a water treatment program is essential for reducing contaminants on heat-transfer surfaces and inhibiting bacterial growth. This is particularly crucial for cooling towers, where bacteria such as Legionella can thrive. However, in some cases, water treatment alone may not address issues like calcium-scale buildup. Goodway Technologies has a team of experts who can identify specific scales and recommend appropriate solutions.

Step 5: Maintain the System – The final step is implementing an upkeep plan to stay on task with the chiller maintenance program. All facility management employees working on the system should be updated on the process and receive the proper training. Regularly provide updates on the impact of the routine maintenance and track the benefits to share with leadership.

Remember Cooling Towers

For facilities equipped with a cooling tower, it is crucial to include it in the routine maintenance plan. Buildup in cooling towers not only leads to increased expenses and reduced efficiency but also creates potential health risks. Scaling and fouling in cooling towers provide an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria, including Legionella.

For more information on proper cooling tower maintenance read our guide: 5 Steps to Better Cooling Tower Maintenance.

Goodway offers a variety of chiller tube and cooling tower cleaning and disinfection equipment, making maintenance and cleaning less daunting. For more information, please visit www.goodway.com.