September 27, 2017

hvac technician reviewing a checklist

Regular maintenance of the cooling tower will help in increasing the efficiency of the cooling tower and reducing overall costs.

Commercial HVAC owners are on a constant lookout for ways and means to reduce their energy consumption while trying to gain maximum cost-efficiency from their HVAC systems. The bigger fight however, is to try and keep the utility bills lower. One way to achieve this is by maintaining your cooling tower efficiently.

What is a Cooling Tower?

A cooling tower is a device that is used to remove excess heat that is generated when the HVAC functions to either heat or cool a building. Cooling towers remove the excess (or waste) heat by evaporating some amount of the water that circulates inside the system into the atmosphere. These are usually seen outside the building or adjacent to the building housing the HVAC system

Two Types of Cooling Towers

There are two types of cooling towers:

  1. Natural draft – A natural draft cooling tower cools by way of natural convection of the airflow. As the air inside the cooling tower becomes warm and moist, it rises to the top in the form of steam that evaporates, and the cooler air that is drawn in is left below. Natural draft cooling towers are usually bigger and are less expensive to run.
  2. Mechanical draft – Smaller as compared to the natural draft cooling towers, mechanical draft cooling towers use the same principle of the natural draft cooling towers, except the circulation of the air happens mechanically by either propeller fans or centrifugal fans. The mechanics used in these towers enable one to control the volume of air through speed controls that in turn control the capacity. These types of cooling towers can be placed inside a building due to their compact nature.

Film Media

Inside a cooling tower, one can find a film media that enable optimal heat transfers by increasing the surface area and the amount of contact time between the water and the heat. More the time taken for contact, more water evaporates, resulting in higher efficiency of the device as a heat rejection device. These further have two types, that depend on the cleanliness of the water and little or no debris in the system:

  1. Film fill media – This type includes a thin film over which the water spreads, enabling a larger water surface in a more compact area.
  2. Splash film media – A splash film media continuously exposes more water to the airflow by breaking the falling water into droplets.

Maintaining Cooling Towers

Just as the HVAC systems themselves, cooling towers also require regular maintenance. The standing water in the cooling towers can prove to be a perfect ground for breeding of mosquitoes and bacteria growth in the water that can be detrimental to the health of those around the cooling tower. Furthermore, calcium build-up on the insides of the cooling tower is another concern that can affect the optimum functioning of the cooling tower. It is therefore essential to maintain cleanliness around as well as inside the cooling tower. This can be achieved by preventive maintenance of the cooling towers by a professional St. Louis HVAC company.

Commercial HVAC St. Louis

Regular maintenance of the cooling tower will help in increasing the efficiency of the cooling tower and reducing overall costs. For more than 35 years, Scott-Lee Heating Company has been serving the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. Call us today at (314) 200-0788 or fill out our online contact form.