Most pressure washing professionals have at least one client who utilizes a cooling tower as part of their HVAC system. This is a great way to line up some side work by offering this much needed service. Cooling tower cleaning is done once a year in most areas. Some conditions require it to be done as often as four times a year.
A cooling tower can be as small as a car, or as gigantic as a multistory building. It is located on the top of large buildings. Hospitals, Universities, schools, and big office buildings typically use one as a part of their HVAC system. It is also found used in conjunction with multiple heat pumps sharing the same plumbing network. Most of these businesses would be interested in contracting cooling tower cleaning.
Cooling towers transfer the heat from the water in the HVAC system to the air outside. Warm water is piped from the chiller to the top of the tower, where it is dispersed from a nozzle. The spray falls through a filtration medium, called a filler. As it passes through the filler, the water is cooled by air and collects in a basin at the bottom. From the basin, the water is sent back to the chiller and the whole process starts over again.
Since a cooling tower is basically a big air exchanger, it draws in a lot of pollution. Airborne plant material, dirt, smog, and bugs get sucked into the system. This debris travels through the filler and accumulates in the basin. It develops into a hard scale on the sides of the unit, and into a thick sludge in the bottom of the basin. Some of it is sent into the chiller, causing the unit to have to work harder and possibly clogging the system.
If cooling tower cleaning is neglected, the results can be costly. It is designed to make a HVAC system more energy efficient, and failing to maintain it defeats this purpose. It is estimated that for every degree that the water is cooled, the chiller is two to three percent more efficient. This reduces the total unit workload, saving money on energy costs and prolonging the life of the system. The debris that collects inside of it can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. This not only poses a risk for those that perform cooling tower cleaning, but can also make the people inside the building sick too. If the bacterium makes its way through the system, it can become an aerosol and dispersed into the environment through the HVAC system where it is then inhaled.
Cooling tower cleaning should be done with an electric or gas pressure washer with 1500 psi or less. This prevents the filler from becoming damaged during the process. The unit needs to be powered down and taken offline. Once this is done, the superstructure can be sprayed. The basin should be drained.The bottom of the basin will have to be shoveled out manually and the waste disposed of. The filler and the basin are then sprayed. Pressure washers are ideal for this since it is able to remove large deposits of hardened material quickly. Cooling tower cleaning is vital to the HVAC systems performance.Pressure washing professionals can earn a decent side income by adding this niche service. The main selling points for customers are to keep energy costs lower, protect indoor air quality, and prevent expensive equipment from