Understanding Chiller Maintenance: FAQs You Might Be Asking
Who’s actually going to air condition their office this winter? Well, most likely no one. Chiller equipment often lays dormant during the colder months. And as we wave goodbye to the warm weather, there’s never been a better time to finetune your commercial chiller systems. However, navigating chiller maintenance can be confusing, and you may have a few questions, like:
How Does a Chiller Work?
A chiller is a component of most HVAC units that’s responsible for keeping your equipment cool. In chiller systems, a machine pumps warm water or fluid to the chiller, where it cools the refrigerant through a heat exchange. The newly chilled refrigerant is then sent out through the HVAC system, cooling different areas and repeating the process.
What Are the Main Types of Chillers?
Generally speaking, there are two main types of chillers: air-cooled and water-cooled. While they both essentially serve the same function, their processes slightly vary:
Air-Cooled Chiller: Air-cooled chillers are the most common type and use ambient air to lower the refrigerant temperature. However, it’s important to note they’re less energy efficient compared to their water-cooled counterparts.
Water-Cooled Chiller: As you might have guessed from the name, this type of chiller uses water to cool HVAC equipment. Unlike air-cooled chillers, this system uses a two-step method:
- HVAC equipment heats up and turns chilled water into heated vapor.
- The vapor makes its way into the chiller, where it’s cooled, condensed, and pumped into the cooling tower.
How Can Chiller Maintenance Improve My Energy Efficiency?
It’s no secret that HVAC units are hard on your energy bill. In fact, in most commercial buildings, heating and cooling equipment accounts for roughly 60% of the total utility costs. However, that’s assuming your equipment is in good shape. If your chiller has issues, it’ll eat up even more energy—sometimes up to 20%.
That’s why chiller maintenance is so essential, as it helps ensure your system runs like it should. During chiller maintenance appointments, mechanical contractors will inspect your system, identify where it’s falling short, and make adjustments to resolve any problems. Not only does this help your chiller run more efficiently, but it also saves you the headache of dealing with a premature replacement.
What Should I Include in My Chiller Maintenance Checklist?
This winter, there are several chiller maintenance tasks you can conduct to keep your system in good shape, including:
- Evaporator and condenser coil cleaning
- Compressor oil analysis
- Condenser oil treatments
- Wiring checks
- Load balance tests
- Refrigerant inspection and charge
- Refrigerant leak checks
These services are a proactive way to combat minor chiller problems before they get the chance to spiral into severe system-wide issues.
Overdue for your annual chiller maintenance? A&G can help. Our experts can maintain your chiller’s refrigerant levels, reduce energy costs, and improve your facility’s efficiency.
What Should I Look for When Finding a Chiller Repair Service in Fort Worth?
Searching for a provider to tackle your chiller maintenance doesn’t need to be difficult. To find reputable mechanical contractors, look for the following factors:
While online reviews are helpful, they aren’t the end all be all in your search for a commercial chiller maintenance. Additionally, you should also talk to your professional connections. There’s a good chance several of your neighboring businesses have used an HVAC provider they’re willing to vouch for—or recommend avoiding.
Ask your personal and professional connections questions like:
- What made your experience with this HVAC provider good or bad?
- How detailed was their chiller maintenance?
- Did they hit you with any hidden costs?
- Did they try to sell you services that weren’t needed?
Just remember, if they used an HVAC provider more than two years ago, take their recommendation with a grain of salt. Companies can improve and change over time, and it might be worth giving your prospective partner the benefit of the doubt.
When searching for professional chiller services, online reviews are a great place to start. Compile a list of potential providers and read their reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
These are the three major review websites, so you’ll get a large sample of customer experiences. Reading through several testimonials gives you a comprehensive picture of what a mechanical contracting company does, and more importantly, how well they do it.
However, it’s important to note that no company delivers perfect service—mistakes happen. Even the highest-rated HVAC providers in Texas have the occasional customer who’s unhappy with the service provided.
As a general rule of thumb, don’t get too hung up on a bad review; instead, look for patterns. If you see multiple reviews noting poor service, that’s when it’s safe to assume that quality is an issue that this company needs to work through.
A&G Piping: The Top Choice in Texas for Chiller Maintenance, HVAC Services, and More
Looking for a full-service mechanical contractor in Fort Worth, Texas? Good news—you’re in the right spot.
At A&G, we’ve been providing high-quality welding, manufacturing, plumbing, and HVAC services to businesses throughout the state since 1984. With nearly half a decade of experience, we know exactly what it takes to keep your mechanical systems in top shape.
Start a conversation with our experts to learn more, and discover the A&G difference.