Chiller Boilers: How to Cool a Large Structure Economically

Written by: MovinCool

Trying to service the needs of a full apartment complex gets pretty dicey during the summer months. Temperatures skyrocket, which means plenty of people are utilizing air conditioning systems, wearing the system that keeps the entire complex cool. Fortunately, apartments and commercial buildings rely on an amazing system that utilizes water to both heat and cool a structure.

A chiller boiler system relies on a fan coil unit, small pipes and a hydronic cooling system to pump cool or hot air into a space as needed. There are several benefits to cooling a space in this fashion, including efficiency.


The first benefit begins with the components themselves. In addition to hydronic systems being more efficient with energy consumption, they also take up less space in rooms and structures overall. Smaller pipes are needed to transfer the water that is used to cool spaces. HVAC systems might require large ducts, which would alter the structure of the apartment complex and reduce some of the space, or create an unsightly duct running through people’s homes. Fan coils are often utilized in these setups, mostly because multiple zones are required in these types of setups. Tenants will have different needs, activate systems at different times and cool to different temperatures. The system is also much easier to install, which lowers costs when building.

You’ll typically find fan coil units mounted inside of a bathroom, usually on the ceiling, which allows home owners to create an unlimited zone of comfort powered by perpetual air flow. The ability to turn these systems on and off at will helps conserve energy too.

Radiant Cooling and Heating

Chiller boilers utilize radiant heating and cooling to control the temperature in a room. This is by design, and it’s made this way because of the necessity for multiple zones. Hydronic systems need to run water through pipes in order to cool or heat them, and typically only within a few degrees of the desired temperature.

Radiant systems basically replace water of different temperatures. Rather than air cooling an environment, radiant cooling removes heat from the space. This also means that radiant cooling systems cost comparatively less than an HVAC system. Of course, both systems serve different needs.

HVAC systems are better suited to residential structures, where there isn’t a need for different zones and the system has to cool a significantly smaller space.