How Chillers Operate in the Winter

Whether your facility depends on chillers to run at optimal capacity, relies on them to keep your product safe, or counts on a unit to simply improve the working conditions, you always want this essential and irreplaceable system to stay in top shape.

If you’ve got a portable chiller rental unit in San Diego from a reputable company, you can be confident that their system will serve you reliably throughout colder months. Even so, we must err on the side of caution. 

With winter in full swing and temperatures dropping by the day, you may be concerned about how your chiller will behave in the cold weather or if it’ll work at all. Let us put your mind at ease.

Do different types of chillers need to be outside?

The answer to this question entirely depends on the type of industrial chiller that you’re renting, as water-cooled and air-cooled systems come with different installation requirements.

portable chiller rental unit San Diego

The majority of water-cooled chillers feature a central unit that can be placed in a dedicated enclosed area inside the facility. There are some exceptions to this, however, they are incredibly situational and rarely used. Therefore, in this case, it’s not suitable for exterior placement.

However, air-cooled chillers are more similar to standard HVAC systems. Most of them consist of external and internal units. As is evident, external units do require outside placement, which makes them susceptible to cold weather conditions.

Do chillers run in the winter?

Since industrial chiller units must remain operational and reliable throughout the year, manufacturers design them to withstand a lot of wear and tear. However, they do have optimal working conditions, including a specific temperature range within which they perform at peak efficiency. 

Drastic changes in temperature (e.g. cold weather), can compromise the system. While it will remain operational, the chiller’s efficiency can significantly decrease during this period. Therefore, having a strategy in place to deal with such situations is an absolute imperative. Fortunately, the best option here is the simplest one: regular maintenance.

Regular chiller maintenance tips for cold weather

In most cases, a company you rented a chiller unit from will take care of its maintenance. However, if maintenance will be your sole responsibility, here’s what you can do to keep it in shape throughout the winter months:

  • Keep snow and ice off of the chiller condenser coils, as they can reduce the airflow around the condenser and damage fan blades;
  • Monitor head pressures and use manual controls to fine-tune them, as the pressure can drop during extreme colds (if the chiller doesn’t have ambient temperature control);
  • Ensure that there’s always a proper amount of antifreeze within the unit, specifically propylene glycol/water mixture;
  • Allow the pump to run at night, as it should provide enough heat to keep refrigerant or glycol from freezing;
  • Schedule inspection and maintenance well ahead of the winter season, as it will give you enough time to make repairs or alterations to the system.
  • Have a contingency plan for a worst-case scenario (e.g. prolonged power outages).

Do chillers run in the winter

Where to find a reliable portable chiller rental unit in San Diego & nearby areas?

For well over 4 decades, Aerco Systems supplied industrial and commercial properties in the San Diego area with a wide selection of reliable portable cooling units fit for the size and scope of their operation. 

Whether you’re located near Balboa Park or in the vicinity of Lake Hodges, our skilled technicians are ready to be there and install a system befitting your needs within hours. Give us a call today and see why we’ve been the prime choice of so many for so long!