What You Should Know About Chiller Piping and Chilled Water Systems

Homes and smaller commercial buildings typically have traditional air-conditioning systems to keep their spaces comfortable—but did you know that many larger industrial buildings use chilled water systems instead of traditional air conditioners? Chilled water systems have a number of advantages over the centralized air conditioners that we’re used to.

This post from your construction inspection service will cover everything you should know about chilled water systems and the chiller piping that goes along with them.

System basics

As the name suggests, a chilled water system uses water instead of refrigerant to cool a building. The chiller is the heart of the system and is responsible for cooling the water down to about 40°F.

Once the temperature is low enough, the water runs through a network of chiller pipes throughout the facility. The chilled water passes through coils inside air-handling units, which blow cool air inside the space.

The water running through the chiller piping also absorbs heat from the inside of the building, which is dispersed outside.

This continuous process allows larger buildings to stay comfortable throughout the summer without the need for a massive, traditional air-conditioning system.

What are the advantages of chilled water systems?

Construction inspection services wouldn’t recommend chilled water systems if they didn’t have advantages for both large and small facilities. Here are a few reasons to make the switch to a chilled water system:

  • Cost effective: Since water is better at absorbing heat than air, chilled water systems are more effective (and, thus, energy efficient) than an air-cooled system. By some estimates, a chilled water system can cut your cooling costs in half. Additionally, water is much less expensive than costly refrigerant lines, further contributing to your savings.
  • Better air quality: Air ducts running throughout a facility can produce nasty odors and spread pollutants throughout your space. Because each area of your building needs a separate air-handling system, you won’t have those building-wide pollutants and odors floating through the air.
  • Longer lifespan: You can expect your traditional AC to last for a few decades without needing to be replaced. But since chilled water systems aren’t exposed to the elements, like an outdoor AC condenser is, they have a much longer lifespan. Although the unit may be a bit more expensive up front, you’ll get a much higher return on investment with a chilled water system.
  • Quieter operation: Traditional ACs are loud even in residential settings—and that noise is only louder when the units are cooling an industrial facility. A chilled water system is much quieter, which is ideal for sensitive environments, like hospitals.

Is your system up to code?

If you have a chilled water system in your facility, it may be time to have it inspected to ensure that it is fully functional and that the chiller piping meets regulatory standards. Our construction inspection services at ACMS Group can look over your system to ensure everything is on the up and up. If something is amiss, we’ll help you develop a plan of action to set it straight. Give us a call today to learn what we can do for you.

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