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What Are the Common Threats to Chiller Efficiency?

What Are the Common Threats to Chiller Efficiency?

A building chiller is the most crucial appliance, when it comes to commercial and institutional facilities. More than 50% of the energy goes into running the chillers efficiently, and they have a huge impact upon the monthly electricity bill. Therefore, regular inspection and maintenance of your chiller is mandatory.  However, sometimes things don’t go as planned and some factors affect the performance and efficiency of your chiller.

Here are some of the most common threats to your chiller’s efficiency.

Poor Operation

Poor operation of the chiller not only affects the efficiency of the chiller, but also shortens its life. Two common examples of poor operation practices is using it for something it is not designed for, and not being able to understand the outcomes of misusing it. Sometimes, people think that a higher flow rate results in the availability of more cooling water, which is totally wrong. The reality is that increasing the flow rate beyond the manufacturer’s requirements, results in decreased chiller efficiency.

Ignorance in Maintenance

Regular and thorough maintenance is crucial to the efficient performance of almost every appliance. However, in the case of a chiller, maintenance is more important. For example, a good quality centrifugal chiller carries the load of approximately 0.50 KW per ton. However, through proper maintenance it can carry between 0.55 and 0.60 KW per ton. If maintenance of the same chiller is ignored, you will experience a visible decrease in its ability to carry heavier loads.

Cooling Tower Ignorance

Cooling towers play a vital role when it comes to the efficiency of a chiller. The operation of a cooling tower determines the efficiency of a chillier in most cases. A cooling tower that functions perfectly allows the chiller to function right as well. When cooling towers are exposed to environmental elements such as dirt, rainwater, debris, the water passage are clogged. In such situations, biological growth is also not uncommon to happen and result in clogged spray nozzles. To make the towers function perfectly, regular inspections need to be scheduled by the people in charge.  


The proper sizing of a chiller is vital to its steady performance.  Decreasing the load can result in a decline in the overall efficiency of the chiller. For example, the installation of new windows and energy efficient lighting systems, results in lesser cooling loads. When the cooling load decreases, the hours a chiller operates also decrease, thus resulting in a decrease in total annual efficiency of the chiller.

The aforementioned are some of the main threats a chiller has to face. If you want your chiller to run efficiently for a long period of time, make sure to have it checked and maintained on a regular basis.