Why clean a thermal installation? Expert advice - Climalife technical support

At a time when everyone is trying to save energy, maintaining energy consuming systems is essential. Helping your customers save energy and casting a spotlight on your areas of expertise are key.

The energy efficiency of heating and refrigeration installations depends initially on the right technological choice and, as the years go by, the regular maintenance of exchangers and all fluid and air handling systems.

It is vital to maintain the following types of equipment:
- chilled water systems with or without freezing control, cooling water systems (municipal water, ground source water), cooling towers;
- central heating systems and primary domestic hot-water systems;
- refrigeration and air conditioning installations: it is vital that air-based heat exchangers such as evaporators and condensers, as well as filters and ducting systems, are cleaned.
During refrigeration, a drop in thermal exchanges affects the refrigeration unit's rate of compression, which in turn increases energy consumption.
To maintain any system, preventive treatment is an ideal solution to limit the risk of scaling and oxidation in the hydraulic systems and prevent the risk of clogging in the aeraulic heat exchangers. This will stop a drop in thermal exchange and of the flow of transfer fluids.

Clogging, aside from causing a loss in performance, also affects the system's lifetime.

Climalife has a range of cleaning solutions to help you with your day-to-day operations.

Whatever the situation, there is a treatment solution for you.

1) Water systems

Preventive maintenance:
Closed-circuit water systems, chilled-water and heating-water systems can be preventatively treated with pH-neutral products designed to protect the system against corrosion and limescale.
Thermonett® Protector is approved by the CSHP (French Public Safety and Health Committee) and compatible with all metals and materials. This product, together with periodic inspections, is guaranteed to improve the reliability of your system.

In the case of sludge or oxides in chilled-water systems, primary central heating and domestic hot-water systems, Climalife recommends Thermonett® Sludge Remover. Non-acidic and approved by the CSHP, it is compatible with many different metals and materials and is injected with a dosing pump. Thermonett® Sludge Remover places sludge and oxide deposits in suspension. These deposits are then removed by a sludge separator previously installed on one of the system's horizontal elements.
Climalife has a range of suitable sludge pots.

Shock treatment against limescale:
Open circuits such as cooling towers, municipal water or ground source water systems and sometimes closed heating systems need to be descaled thoroughly before sludge and oxides are removed. In such a case, "shock treatment" is required. The system must be drained after treatment. Duonett D7 is an ideal product for this operation.

2) External surfaces

The clogging of evaporators and fin condensers causes the same energy issues as well as hygiene problems and health risks.
There are many cleaning products on the market: solvents, aqueous solutions, biocidal solutions, fungicides and bactericides.

The Frionett range meets professionals' needs by covering all cleaning requirements.

For condensers, lagging and external units in general, an alkaline general-purpose cleaner such as Frionett Power has suitable cleansing and degreasing qualities.

For evaporators:
- Frionett Activ' is a disinfecting cleanser formulated to combat bacteria and fungi.
- Frionett Contact can be used in the food industry to clean sales counters, kitchen work tops, hoods, cooking equipment, cold rooms and refrigerated warehouses.
As specified in industry regulations, surfaces must be rinsed with water once treated.

3) Refrigeration systems

The cleaning of the interior of refrigeration systems following an incident (failure of a compressor, electrical motor burn-out, presence of water or moisture) needs to be approached appropriately.

For airtight compressors and accessible airtight compressors, the presence of acidity after motor burn-out or the presence of moisture in a circuit will result in the short-term burn-out of the electrical motor and oxidation.
Climalife offers you a Periodic Oil Diagnosis* ("DPH") to monitor the condition of your refrigeration installations on a preventive basis and to check for and avoid pollution within the system.

The best way to clean a system after a compressor failure or burn-out is to remove the oil in the system. It is oil that represents most of the pollution and particles (moisture, acidity).

When water enters a refrigeration system following a water-based heat exchanger failure, before any cleaning can take place, the compressor and faulty exchanger must be demounted. The faulty equipment will have to be changed or repaired and then the water will have to be purged from the system, section by section, with refrigeration-grade nitrogen. The unit will then have to be drained at 0.3 mbar and cleaned with the solvent or cleanser selected. Finally, the compressor is replaced or repaired.

In the case of an installation containing small amounts of moisture or acidity, the oil and drying or anti-acid cartridges should be replaced once or more depending on the amount of contamination.

There are many cleaning products on the market. The biggest difficulty concerns their final extraction due to the extremely high evaporation temperatures (above 150°C).

As Climalife is always concerned about providing professionals with innovative and relevant solutions, it has developed three specific products.


- Nettogaz GC1 is pressurised with nitrogen and has a boiling point of +20°C at atmospheric pressure and very high solvent power. After cleaning, the product is drained with nitrogen.

- FACILISOLV has a boiling point of +43°C at atmospheric pressure. It is suited for industrial use and packaged in a drum. It is used with an adapted general-purpose pump. Its Kauri Butanol value is over 100, thereby making it a high performance cleaning product. It is extracted from the system in the same way as Nettogaz GC1.

All of the cleaning product must be removed to avoid the presence of residue which could lower the viscosity of oil when in service. Drain the system thoroughly. Care must be taken with the recipients such as the liquid cylinders which must be demounted and completely emptied to remove all of the solvent and pollutants.

The solvents must be recovered.

The cleanser:

- Nettogaz Greenclean is injected under its own pressure. Greenclean's detergent base does not evaporate. It is removed from the system with new R-134a whose high miscibility with Greenclean allows the detergent to be easily removed while working on one section at a time. Greenclean is highly effective in the case of tightening scroll-type compressors that carbonise the system and in the case of very complex systems with very low drainage access points. Greenclean must be recovered.