A building or facility's HVAC systems' are the largest energy consumers, accounting for an estimated 45-50% of total energy usage.
HVAC systems also provide a highway for dust, debris and contaminants to spread throughout a building. Proper cleaning and HVAC maintenance is the number one routine facility managers can follow to ensure an HVAC system maintains comfortable, healthy indoor air quality. We have assembled energy savings' tips that are used by certified specialists for building and facility HVAC maintenance!
Building and Facility HVAC Maintenance: Air conditioner coil cleaning
Cleaning condenser coils (the outdoor coil) and evaporator coils (the indoor coils) is said to be the most cost effective method on a building and facility HVAC maintenance plan.
How does Air conditioner coil cleaning affect Building and Facility HVAC Maintenance?
- Condenser and evaporator coils are two of the most important HVAC components. They ensure that air is cooled and heated. Both coils rely on heat exchange to cool or heat air for desired temperature. To cool air, heat is removed from the air at the evaporator coil and released by the condenser coils. To heat air, the process is reversed.
- As air passes over the coils, the dirt, debris, microorganisms, and other contaminants that filters don't catch accumulates on the coils. Eventually this impacts deep into the fins of the coil. As debris accumulates on the coils, they become insulated from touching the air - preventing air from exchanging/transferring heat. Ultimately, the HVAC system has to run longer to produce the desired air temperature.
- As dirt accumulates on the coils, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Air transported to the rest of the building becomes significantly degrading air quality
Why is Air conditioner coil cleaning so important for Building and Facility HVAC Maintenance?
Air conditioning coil cleaning is a simple HVAC maintenance tip, but must be done properly with special equipment. Different types of air handling units require different cleaning methods. The key to effective coil cleaning is to penetrate deep into the coil beds, then flush the dirt and debris that have impacted the fins of the unit.
Unfortunately, traditional cleaning methods such as self-rinsing chemicals, air washing, and spraying with a garden hose, only provide surface cleaning. Likewise, pressure washers are too powerful. Anything over 900 PSI (pounds per square inch) can damage the fins and coils.
What is the best air conditioner coil cleaning method for Building and Facility HVAC Maintenance?
- The key to properly cleaning the coils is to use a balanced approach between pressure and water flow.
- In order to prevent microbial growth and future biological contamination on the coils and in the drain pan, the coils and drain pan need to be treated with an EPA-approved biocide that will not harm or corrode the coils.
- Internal facility HVAC maintenance isn't as effective or efficient as most assume. Additionally, cleaning coils is a time consuming and tedious task - one that takes your maintenance staff away from focusing on more important projects. The added costs, time required, and operation of specialized chemicals/equipment can significantly increase the budget for your building's HVAC maintenance list.
More Info? AdvantaClean has specially designed processes for PTAC cleaning, fan coil cleaning, rooftop unit cleaning and cleaning coils in large air handlers. All cleaning procedures are documented and accompanied by pre and post-readings that demonstrate the impact of the process. Read our Coil Cleaning Case Study to see the savings in energy costs a 130,000 sq ft facility gained!