Springtime is here once again and it is the perfect reminder to check on your industrial chiller. Sure, it may not have been working as hard during the cold months of winter, but as summer approaches, it will be needed even more. A well running chiller is critical for your process, and you don’t want any interruptions in that service. Use these tips to help keep your chiller in reliable working condition, especially during spring maintenance.


  1. Conduct a Comprehensive Inspection

Before powering your chiller up after any sort of shutdown, you want to perform a thorough visual inspection. Are there any loose connections? Is there an obvious issue with the control panel or the chiller cabinet? Any decay or build-up of debris? Make sure to really look over every element you can. If you can spot something before startup, you may be able to save yourself from causing a more extensive repair down the line.

  1. Test All Equipment Controls

You always want to make sure the sensor readings on your machine are accurate. These readings help you to understand your chiller input and output. However, if the readings are wrong, your whole process could be in danger! Spring maintenance is a perfect time to calibrate the sensors and controls. Check electrical connections throughout the control cabinet and tighten or repair any that are loose.  Ensure all motor overloads are set according to each motor’s nameplate and/or according to the unit’s wiring diagram.

  1. Clean the Condenser Coils (Air-Cooled Chillers)

An early indication that your unit needs to have its condenser coils cleaned is repeated or intermittent alarms for high refrigerant pressure.  The accumulation of dust and debris prevents efficient heat transfer across the condenser, resulting in higher-than-normal refrigerant pressures.  You may also see increased power consumption, as dirty condenser increases the fan power requirement; elevated refrigerant pressure also places unnecessary load on the refrigerant compressor(s) and raises their power input.  When your chiller’s condenser is dirty, it can’t run as reliably or as efficiently as it needs to. By pre-emptively and consistently cleaning your unit, you can keep your chiller operating like new.

  1. Maintain Water-Cooled Condensers

Like an air-cooled condenser, water-cooled units must be kept clean to ensure high efficiency and proper flow of the cooling medium.  The heat transfer surfaces (usually plates or tubes) have tortuous passages and can become coated with slime, sludge, and scale, preventing efficient heat transfer. Water quality largely determines the rate of this buildup. Be sure to clean any strainers and replace filter elements as they become restricted. Always have a qualified expert check the water chemistry to ensure it is up to standards, too.  If a water control valve regulates the cooling water, check that it is operating properly and not wasting water.  Regularly performing these maintenance tasks helps to maintain efficient chiller operation and prevent unexpected shutdowns.

  1. Perform any repairs

Waiting to complete repairs will only exasperate any problems. If you or a trained technician have spotted any issues with your chiller system, it is imperative that you address them before putting the chiller back into use. Choosing to forgo important repairs will almost certainly cause more failures in the future (and probably at an inopportune moment!). It is much better to fix smaller problems in a scheduled manner, instead of waiting for a bigger shutdown to arise.

  1. Create a Maintenance Schedule

Now that you’ve reviewed the most pressing concerns for your industrial chiller, you should set up a maintenance schedule for smaller tasks. Ideally, smaller check-ups should occur throughout the year to ensure proper care for your unit. If you need assistance putting together a check-list, you can always reach out to the manufacturer. You can’t just create the schedule though; you HAVE to follow it. Write down particular times for maintenance to be done and actually go through with the steps.


Whether you perform some spring maintenance or spread it out throughout the year, quality preventative maintenance is crucial to a well operating industrial chiller. Take the time this spring to go over your unit. You’ll hopefully find you have a strong, more efficient chiller as a result.

Don’t forget to read our previous blogs about Chiller Preventative Maintenance!