Here’s everything you need to know about cooling towers. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Many commercial buildings use cooling towers for air conditioning. 
  • A cooling tower removes heat from a water supply via evaporation. 
  • Cooling towers can help businesses lower the energy and maintenance costs associated with running commercial HVAC systems. 
  • Proper maintenance is a must to get the most value out of a cooling tower. 

Your business wants to get the most value out of its commercial HVAC system. To achieve your goal, you may want to invest in a cooling tower. A cooling tower is a heat removal device that removes heat from a water supply via evaporation. To do so, the tower brings air and water into direct contact with one another. Next, a small amount of water is evaporated. This lowers the temperature of water circulated across the tower.

There’s a lot to like about cooling towers. To understand why, let’s answer some of the biggest questions surrounding them.

Is a cooling tower necessary?

Cooling towers are great options for steel mills, power plants, and other commercial facilities that use refrigeration systems. The towers can also be used for air conditioning and are frequently utilized by schools, hospitals, and other facilities.

What types of cooling towers are available?

There are three main types of cooling towers:

1. Crossflow

In a crossflow tower, water flows vertically, and air flows horizontally across it. This ensures air does not have to pass through a distribution system. 

2. Counterflow

A counterflow tower uses a pressurized, pipe-type spray system that lets air flow vertically upward and water flow vertically downward.

3. Hyperbolic

Hyperbolic towers use a chimney stacking technique that allows cool, outside air to push damp, warm air inside. They have a splash fill at the bottom; water sprays over the splash fill and is cooled by upward-flowing air.

Along with these options, induced and passive draft cooling towers are available. Induced and passive draft varieties are less common than the other options and are classified based on airflow.

An induced draft cooling tower uses a fan system or another form of mechanical pressure to push air upward. Comparatively, a passive draft tower pulls air upward via a chimney architecture.

How can a cooling tower be incorporated into a commercial HVAC system?

A commercial HVAC system can be used to heat and cool a large space. The system’s size varies; it must be proportional to the area that needs to be warmed or cooled.

Meanwhile, a commercial HVAC system can require significant amounts of energy. As such, running the system can result in high energy costs. And, the more the system is used, the more likely it becomes that it will break down, too. 

With a cooling tower, a business won’t need to rely solely on its commercial HVAC system for cooling. Instead, the tower can work as part of an HVAC system to deliver high-quality air. The tower can also help the business lower its energy costs and reduce the risk that its HVAC system will stop working any time soon.

How can you get the best results from a cooling tower?

Proper maintenance is crucial. These three tips can help you take care of a cooling tower. 

1. Clean your cooling tower regularly

Disinfecting and cleaning the interior of a cooling tower should be done at least twice a year. Otherwise, water can pool inside a tower, increasing the risk that bacteria and other contaminants will form. 

Use a pressure washer or vacuum to remove contaminants from a cooling tower. In addition, apply a chemical cleaning solution throughout the tower. The solution should be circulated across the system, then flushed out. 

2. Perform water treatments

The functionality of a cooling tower is largely predicated on water quality. And, if water quality deteriorates, a tower becomes more susceptible to breakdowns than ever before. 

Conduct ongoing water treatments to assess water quality. These treatments should be performed at least once a month. 

3. Inspect cooling tower components

Like any mechanical system, a cooling tower is prone to wear and tear. But, those who proactively monitor the performance of tower components can guard against failure. 

Assess a cooling tower’s motors, fans, belts, and other mechanical components. Also, inspect the tower’s electrical components. Evaluations of a tower’s mechanical and electrical components can be performed any time the system is cleaned. Or, they can be completed if any system performance problems arise. 

Are cooling tower services available?

Maintaining a cooling tower can be challenging. Fortunately, services are available to help businesses optimize the performance of their cooling towers and commercial HVAC systems. 

For businesses that are considering a cooling tower or already have one in place, it helps to work with an experienced commercial HVAC system contractor. In doing so, the contractor can provide personalized tips and recommendations to help a company optimize its cooling tower and HVAC system investments. 

Should your business invest in a cooling tower?

A cooling tower can help a business lower the energy and maintenance costs associated with its commercial HVAC system. Yet, not all cooling towers will deliver identical results. By partnering with an industry-leading commercial HVAC system contractor, a company can identify and install a cooling tower that delivers long-lasting benefits. 

UES can help you set up a cooling tower or incorporate one into your existing commercial HVAC system. We know the ins and outs of cooling towers and are happy to share our knowledge and insights. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.