Category: Back To Basics

When is a good time to clean coils?

Over the years our company has been asked about best practices for cleaning coils.

  • When should coils be cleaned?
  • How to tell if the coils were properly cleaned?

This is the first in a short series of blogs that addresses these issues.

A primary variable that determines ones coil needs to be cleaned is the pressure drop across the coil itself. Usually, higher pressure drops are indicative of a coil that is fouled with dirt and/or organic growth.

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Dirty Cooling Coil 

Sometimes the coils appear visibly dirty, this in itself might be reason to go through a coil cleaning. Another factor is that the AC unit doesn’t cool as it should.

For example, a brand new through-the-wall AC unit, such as found in many hotels, might take 3/4 hour to drop the room temperature 8 degrees. The same unit with a dirty coil might take several hours to cool the same room. One major drawback is the unit is running several times longer to do the same work. Occupants can be dissatisfied with the slow cooling. In my own experience, I actually left my hotel room because it took several hours for the temperature to go down.

As mentioned, the unit works strenuously when it is dirty. This increased usage of power raises the electrical costs monthly. All this unnecessary work & money out of your pocket, when you have a solution as simple as cleaning the coil.

Over the past decades, we all have intuitively known that dirty coils drive energy costs up, but few know how much or if it was of any true financial consequence. Since up to 50% of a buildings electrical usage is consumed by the HVAC system, it would be good to know from actual studies how dirty coils affect your bottom line. Is it substantial or not?

Fortunately, the ASHRAE society did a complete engineering study specifically on this matter & published it in their journal.

While the results are not surprising, the affect on your bottom line is. If you do not have the article, feel free to contact us.

Drop us a line with comments, questions, suggestions, feedback on what you do with your coil. Any experiences you can comment with?

Lynn Burkhart – President of Controlled Release Technologies 

 

Contact us:

www.cleanac.com – 800-766-9057 – kristen@cleanac.comcustserv@cleanac.comshandi@cleanac.com

 

 

When did the First Air Conditioning Happen?

It is difficult for most of us to imagine life without air conditioning.   Modern AC units have come a long way over the past 30 years.  Precise temperature control, humidity control and quietness of operation are all things we have been accustomed to.

But what did our great grandparents do to get comfortable?   And how about their great grandparents – certainly air conditioning was not available then.

Or was it?

Air conditioning can be traced back to the days of the Egyptians, perhaps even before.

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Source: Did You Know?  pin via Scott Heating and Cooling via Pinterest

They used a method we can easily understand today. Early cultures, say 2,000 years or so ago, hung wet cloth or wet reeds in their window openings.  Why?

Modern day example: Drive down the highway, roll your window down, and put out your hand.  You hand will feel cool.  Wet your hand first, and you will find that it is even colder than before.

The reason this occurs of course is because water on your hand is evaporating from its surface, and this evaporation causes one to feel colder.   The less moisture or humidity the air holds, the more evaporation occurs.

So you see, any light breeze produced by the wet reeds produced the same type of cooling for Egyptians.  You didn’t need to be rich or a political leader in those days to enjoy basic cooling.

 In Arizona or New Mexico,  temperatures get can get up to 115 degrees.  The climate is so dry, there is almost no humidity. Use of cooling by evaporation is very common in these climates because it is so effective. With no complicated air conditioners, an evaporative cooler can drop the temperature from 115 degrees down to the 70s without too much effort.

Here, water is dripped over pads that can look like woven straw.  Air is blown over. Sound familiar? 

Evaporative coolers work by merely by having a fan blow over a “pad” similar to straw which has water dripped on it. The water evaporates by the fan blowing air, and immediately the air gets colder.

Seems the Egyptians were an inspiration for our modern day cooling system. 

It’s nothing short of amazing to walk from an outside temperature of 110 degrees  into a building cooled by this method and immediately see temperatures in the 70s or low 80s.

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At Controlled Release Technologies our mission is to provide all HVAC users with innovative, proactive solutions to preventable HVAC problems. 

What Is Condensation?

How many of us have went out of our way to shop for a glass, tumbler, or cup that will not “sweat”. There is nothing I dislike more than grabbing a cup with water droplets! These water droplets/sweat are also known as condensation.

Condensation can be in many more places than just our favorite tumbler. One major place of concern of condensation is in the HVAC System.

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Condensation occurs when water vapor in the air comes into contact with something cool. Molecules slow down and get closer together & the gaseous water vapors turn back into liquid water drops (condensation). Seems kind of harmless on our cups but in an HVAC System this can cause so much damage and cost a great deal of money.

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Years ago, Lynn Burkhart- President of CRT, visited a very prestigious resort in Florida. An esteemed guest had a not-so-pleasant experience in the resort.  There was a leak on the floor above, this leak damaged several expensive belongings of said guest. Can you imagine the frustration of the guest and embarrassment of the resort?


Do you know how this leak occurred? That’s right. Condensation from the HVAC’s drain pans had overflowed and leaked into the room, from the ceiling. Yikes! There is never a good reason for water to emit from the AC Unit. That is a true sign that the unit needs some TLC (Tender Loving Care). Whether it’s maintenance, repairing, or replacing. 

PM (Preventative Maintenance) is important to the health of your HVAC system. A checkup once or twice a year will help to detect & prevent an issue before it occurs. 

You can also be proactive by providing a time-released drain pan treatment PanGuard (Certified Green) or Algae Guard (EPA Registered) to keep your drain clean & free from over flows.

We’d love to hear any condensation stories you have. Please give us a call, comment, or simply shoot us an email. We look forward to chatting with you. 

About us

“The CRT Tipster” is an HVAC tips and news blog owned by Controlled Release Technologies, Inc. We are a chemical manufacturing company in Shelby, NC, that creates products for HVAC maintenance and more! Find us at cleanac.com, or call us toll free at 800-766-9057.

Water in Ductwork, NOT TODAY!

Have you heard the following things listed OVER & OVER again in regards to your HVAC unit?

“No one wants any sort of strain on their HVAC unit. Strain that could cause many problems that are an extra cost to you. Such as:

-Higher energy bill
-Frequent maintenance on your HVAC unit
-HVAC replacement

There are many ways to keep your HVAC unit stress free. Below are just a few basic steps you can take to keep your HVAC system stress free. Very easy stuff, and they each only take a few moments of your time.

-Keep vents clear
-Keep those coils clean
-Change out the air filters regularly”

BUT, one thing that goes unmentioned quite often is the ductwork. Of course it would. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Did you know, ductwork carries the warmth in the winter and holds the cool air in the summer. Without proper ductwork insulation, the temperature of the air being carried could be lost while transferring from the HVAC unit to the vents in your home. Ductwork can also play a major role in your energy bill. Even the Department of Energy claims so.

So, you see how important ductwork is. What if just a little bit of water entered your ductwork from the HVAC system? It’s just a little water. No biggie, right? Actually, YES! Even the smallest water droplet is a huge deal! To name a few, it can cause the following:

-Rust out metal ductwork
-Breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria
-Decrease Indoor Air Quality greatly
-Water damage
-Degradation & De-lamination

Although, water in the ductwork can cause many problems. Your health alone should be enough reason to want to get your ductwork checked out. Exposure to mold can lead to allergies, infections, rashes, even alzheimer’s. The list just goes on and on.

When water gets in the insulation in your ductwork, those water droplets fly through your airstream. These water droplets create a breeding ground for mold & mildew. Water droplets will wreak havoc on the insulation in the ductwork causing degradation & de-lamination. Not only would this be tearing your insulation apart to later be replaced (more bucks from your pocket) but that delaminated insulation would be freely roaming the air in your home (remember you & your family are breathing this).

Why worry about water in your ductwork causing this step ladder of issues when there is a solution?

For the new home-owner, why not be preventative & go ahead and protect yourself?

Ductile is a coating that protects the HVAC ductwork from degradation and insulation de-lamination. Ductile locks down fiberglass particles that would enter the air stream. Hallelujah!
No stress of your insulation breaking down & no worries about your health. Did you hear that, NO STRESS!

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Contact us for more information on Ductile. Shandi or Candice will be more than happy to give you some information. 800-766-9057 or if you’re like me and prefer email reach out to sales@cleanac.com or custserv@cleanac.com

Asbestos: Silent Killer

Did you know…

“The major health problem caused by asbestos exposure, aside from cancer, is a lung disease called asbestosis. When a person breathes high levels of asbestos over time, some of the fibers lodge deep in the lungs. Irritation caused by the fibers can eventually lead to scarring (fibrosis) in the lungs”

-American Cancer Society

What is asbestos?

Asbestos refers to a group of six types of naturally occurring minerals. Asbestos minerals are made up of fine, durable fibers and are resistant to heat, fire and many chemicals. Once called the “miracle mineral” for such properties, asbestos was used in a slew of everyday products, from building materials to fireproof protective gear.

Abestos is not anything to play around with when it comes to our health. Asbestos were banned in the US in 1999. However, if you have a home that was built before this time…

According to the EPA, here are places (to only name a few) that asbestos can be.

  • Attic and wall insulation produced containing vermiculite
  • Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceilings
  • Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Automobile clutches and brakes