By Doug Coffey,
If you operate a building that is in need of a chiller replacement for next year, the time to begin planning for this is now. In the Ohio region, it is generally safe to be without mechanical cooling between approximately mid-November and Mid-March. During this timeframe, buildings can usually be cooled with outside air (assuming the building air handling units have that capability). Unless the installation is very complex, this approximately four-month window provides adequate time to do a chiller replacement.
In order for the contractors to start the work as soon as mechanical cooling is no longer needed, the design phase needs to get started. This will allow time for contractor selection, equipment procurement, etc. Note that it is not necessary to have the chiller on site when construction starts. Considering chiller lead times, it is not unusual to have the demolition, piping modifications, electrical modifications, pump replacement, controls upgrades, chiller access pathways, etc. nearly complete before the chiller is delivered to the site. The complexity of the replacement will dictate how much preparation time is required before the chiller is needed.
Of course, every chiller replacement project has its own unique set of circumstances. Therefore, it is best to allow adequate time and start the planning process now. HAWA has significant experience with all types of chiller replacements. Contact our office if you would like to have your unique chiller replacement project reviewed by our engineers.