As we head into October and the temperatures drop, there are a few important things Chiller Service Northwest would like the chiller industry to know about maintenance during seasonal change.
There are 5 main steps to keeping your equipment running strong through the winter.
1. Make sure your chiller has the right amount of glycol.
Gylcol charts will show you your chiller temperature and the amount of glycol your equipment will need. It is imperative to check your glycol levels at the beginning and end of each season.
2. Keep your chiller condenser coils clear of snow and ice.
Ice and snow can damage fan blades and restrict air flow through the condenser – reducing the cooling potential of the chiller. It is very important to make sure that your chiller is protected from the outside climate.
3. Head pressures.
Head pressures drop during extremely cold weather and if your chiller isn’t equipped with low ambient controls, it will not function properly. One way to prevent this from occurring is to block the airflow through the condenser by wrapping it with plastic. Or block the condenser intake with a piece of card board. It’s an easy, cheap fix that will work for a temporary solution in low temperatures.
4. Run the pump.
When your chiller is running, it provides enough warm water to keep your fluid above freezing, or above the glycol freeze levels. When the evening comes around and everyone goes home, the chiller is usually not running. When a process chiller is no longer running, the ambient air temperature can cool down your fluid rapidly. If you keep the pump running overnight, the chiller will receive heat from the pumps, and from elements inside the building.
5. Plan ahead.
The best advice on preparing your chiller for cold weather is to plan ahead. When purchasing your chiller, make sure your chiller is equipped to handle the cold weather conditions for your area. Here in the northwest temperatures can drop dramatically during the winter months. Every company with a process chiller should perform a maintenance check in early September. This will allow plenty of time to make any corrections necessary for the upcoming winter months.
To learn more about chiller maintenance, please visit our website at chillerservicenorthwest.com.