With warmer weather just around the corner, Goodway Technologies is urging building owners to perform coil cleaning and maintenance. Cleaning coils before the hot season is smart for buildings and business. It can help ensure that systems perform properly throughout the season and without consuming excessive amounts of energy.
“Our partners and clients have reported significant energy savings directly related to their regular coil cleanings,” said Tim Kane, president and CEO of Goodway. “When completing this vital maintenance can save a company upwards of $40,000, it’s an investment worth including in every building’s regular maintenance practices.”
When coils are not cleaned regularly, particles build up which makes the air handler work harder and the heat exchange process less efficient. This shortens the life of the equipment and causes it to consume more energy. A Southern California Edison report revealed that both dirty evaporator and condenser coils reduced cooling capacity by 40%. While uncleaned evaporator coils decreased energy efficiency by 35%, dirty condenser coils caused energy efficiency to drop 60%. This means that it took much more power and money to cool at the same rate a system with clean coils would have.
Dirty coils also negatively impact indoor air quality. When dirt, dust, and pollen are clogging the coils, more of these particles are let out into a building along with the cooled air. Uncleaned coils also promote the growth of bacteria, mold spores, and other unhealthy organisms that can produce bad odors, allergies, and generally contaminate the building’s air.
What steps should you take to clean condenser and air handler coils?
Goodway said its coil cleaning checklist will help ensure facility maintenance professionals have taken all the necessary steps to properly clean a building’s condenser and/or air handler coils. Some items on the list include:
• Obtain access. Cleaning coils works best when the maintenance tech can get the cleaning wand close to the areas that need to be cleaned.
• Vacuum coils and fins. Before cleaning, remove dry debris from the coils with a vacuum that can reach dust and dirt in tight spaces.
• Clear blockages. The condensate pan and line need to be free of blockages before wet cleaning can begin, as any obstructions can cause major damage due to flooding water from cleaning and HVAC system condensate.
• Use a wet cleaning process. Using pressurized water forces deeply embedded dirt and debris to come loose, vastly improving the cleaning process.
• Use a powerful, yet delicate cleaning system. High pressure equipment can damage fins. The ideal system should deliver around 125 psi or a half gallon per minute.
• Apply an alkaline non-caustic cleaning foam. Using a non-caustic cleaner will help protect coils from corrosion. Goodway says its non-caustic, nontoxic CoilShine expand after being sprayed onto the coils to clean in tight spaces.
• Apply a mold control agent. Adding an EPA registered mold inhibitor can help keep coils clean and free of odor and allergy causing mold and mildew. Make sure it’s EPA registered and approved for use in occupied spaces
Visit the Goodway Learning Center for additional education items and to see the array of facility maintenance tools available for HVAC equipment.