An HVAC system is only as efficient as its coils. That's why companies spend millions of dollars every year to optimize their units and fit their systems with the best products and materials. High-performing HVAC coils are necessary for the system as a whole to work properly, and when they become clogged, damaged or dirty, air quality suffers.
It's important to be aware of how many HVAC problems are fully preventable, and, in some cases, actually self-inflicted. Harsh environments and pollutants can negatively impact the condition of HVAC coils, but building owners must realize these factors and take action promptly.
Regularly scheduled maintenance checks and frequent updates are necessary to ensure HVAC systems reach their full potentials. Unfortunately, this level of attentive care isn't always given.
In place of allowing HVAC coils to become irreparably damaged, companies commonly turn to coil cleanings as a means to keep their HVAC units working at full capacity. However, even during these procedures, further harm can unknowingly be done. Having a top-of-the-line coil cleaning method is key to revitalizing HVAC coils and improving the overall output of the system.
Here are a few ways HVAC coil cleanings are handled improperly:
Too much pressure
If there is mold, bacteria or any other type of buildup present inside of the coils, it can be tempting to use a high-powered pressure washer to remove the particles. However, this approach could actually be overkill. Because HVAC coils are made from fairly thin metals with multiple bends, they can actually be further damaged if they are in the presence of added pressure.
Also, coils have the habit of cratering, which create weak points and inhibit air temperature control. Increased pressure will contribute to this problem. A better approach would be to use a standard hose while holding the end at least a foot away from the coils. This will ensure the water pressure is not too high, while also giving a better vantage point to see any additional marks.
Too many chemicals
Using cleaning agents that are high in acidity will not solve the problem. In fact, it could do considerable damage to the HVAC coils. Even if there is significant buildup that doesn't seem to go away, the presence of numerous chemicals can actually corrode the metal coils, which creates an even larger issue.
The key is to combine the right chemical composition in conjunction with water. The solution should be 95 percent water so that the agents don't eat away at the coils.
Acids aren't the only thing that can damage the surface of HVAC coils. The material you use to actually wipe down the coils plays an equally large part in the cleaning process. Though coils are made of metal, it's not necessary to use wire brushes or gritty sandpaper. These items will only scratch the surface of the coils and create weak points. Later on, these weaknesses will be more susceptible to corrosion and possible pinhole leaks. When this occurs, the coils will likely have to be replaced, which costs more money in the long run.
Every scrub across the coils has the potential to create a hole. Further, materials like steel wool will cause too much friction and have a negative effect, especially when combined with harsh chemicals. A more mild approach should be used. For instance, a cloth or light material will do a better job compared to an abrasive.
Too much residue
Once the coils are cleaned, the job is still not over. That's because people sometimes forget to remove all the excess oils, fibers and cleaning agents left behind. These coils have to withstand high temperatures, and when the unit is turned back on, this residue will heat up and potentially cause harmful releases of toxins into the air.
Also, the residue could actually adhere to the coils themselves and prevent them from working properly. Over time, this causes structural damage – not to mention, when the coils are coated, the coating will actually lay overtop the residue, instead of the coils.
This defeats the entire purpose of HVAC coil coating services because if the layers of hydrophobic polyurethane are not actually protecting the coils, then little is being accomplished. One simple lack of awareness, such as residual chemicals on coils, will put an HVAC system into a never ending cycle of malfunction and degradation.
Maintenance on an HVAC should be an inclusive and cohesive project that takes into consideration the long-term effects. Coil cleanings should be revamping the coils, not producing more problems.
Combined with cleaning, put your HVAC system on the fast track for energy efficiency by using coil coatings as well.
Rahn Industries has a full lineup of spray and immersion (dip)/ Bake protective coatings to meet your needs.