Tag: hvac coatings

Technical Corner:How Professionals Work Smarter Not Harder on HVAC …. Part 2

Proper maintenance of HVAC air handlers helps the CFO or finance head, as well as occupants.   Saving money every month by getting the same amount of cooling for less money makes sense.  Certainly, if another provider of electricity came by the office and offered a 10% discount on electricity purchased by them, any owner would jump on the opportunity.

The reason why maintaining coils properly isn’t done is only because management does not realize the extent of funds they are currently wasting by cutting back on man-power for coil cleaning.  If it appears that it is too time-consuming, then other more technological methods developed over the past decade need to be looked at.

In our previous blog, we talked about how biofilms form on surfaces. Biofilms are interesting, mostly because they seldom are noticed and the average person is just unaware of them.

Indeed, they form on almost all surfaces and are not unique to HVAC interiors.

HVAC interiors offer something that most surfaces don’t see however, and that is a temperature controlled environment with moisture, darkness, and a constant supply of nutrients  from small particles in the air being pushed across the coils in amounts of millions of cubic feet each day.

We explained how technical studies by ASHRAE show coils within one year of cleaning are responsible for up to 20% or more increased energy costs than newly cleaned coils.  Since the HVAC energy use accounts for over 50% of a typical buildings electrical expenditures,  having clean coils would make for a much better bottom line in terms of energy usage.

But coil cleaning to remove the physical buildup of dirt and other contaminants may not make sense if manpower is on short supply, and it isn’t worth it, even with spending more energy dollars, to clean the coils often.   But there is a solution.

As most of you know, Controlled Release Technologies spends tens of thousands each year on research and development.  Since our founding in 1986 we have brought out more than a dozen innovative products that the marketplace had no access to prior to our development.  A major accomplishment was our development of First Strike MicroCoat ®.

First Strike MicroCoat ® keeps coils continuously clean for a year or more at a time without maintenance intervention or cleaning.   It was, and is today, a major breakthrough in technology.  We developed this product to handle concerns by many of our customers over odor control, and especially wasted energy they saw by using dirty insulated coils.

Another of your advantages with tis product is  it is water-based and  free of noxious petroleum products.   This makes it more environmentally se to use while at the same time being significantly more cost effective by removing extra labor for cleaning while decreasing your monthly energy bill.

Please do not hesitate to leave your comments or testimonials below.

Lynn Burkhart is the founder and president of Controlled Release Technologies, Inc. located in Shelby, North Carolina. More information about the company, and its products, can be found at http://www.cleanac.com and by calling (800) 766-9057.

Technical Corner: How Professionals Work Smarter Not Harder on HVAC …. Part I

Maintaining HVAC air handlers to obtain low cost of operations can be quite time consuming and use up available man-hours.  Management allocation of labor has always been minimal over the past few decades, but now restraints on hiring have been even more noticeable.  The result?

Many departments have cut back on necessary coil cleaning, keeping water collection pans free of bacteria and other microbials, and in some cases choosing to put off changing air filters.   While on the surface these things seem okay to cut back on, the actual fact is they cause more problems than they solve.  Of course the cutbacks seem to provide the owner with more cash flow.  But this is surely not the case.

Cutting back on maintenance items as above costs management more money rather than less.


A recent ASHRAE Journal reported a study that was completed in New York on HVAC units that had been cleaned a year previous.  What they found was to some surprising; others in the HVAC field might have considered the ASHRAE findings intuitive or expected.

Several air handlers had their coils cleaned after a one-year period.  The study found that the clean coils exhibited an energy savings of up to 20% or more than those coils that had been cleaned only one year before.   For several air handlers, this amounts to wasted financial expenditures of tens of thousands per year.   Balance that against keeping the coils clean throughout the year and one can see that saving a few man-hours does not really compare to this kind of wasted money.

The main culprit is biofilms.   Biofilms are very thin layers, in most instances, of bacteria and other microbes.  They tend to be sticky.   They grow on any surface, and growth is enhanced by the presence of high moisture and nutrients.

Because they are sticky, when any dirt or organic matter bypasses the filter or comes through the filter, the matter impacts upon the biofilms and may stick to the film.   Since the overwhelming amount of surface area is the cooling and heating coils, particles that impact and stick on the biofilms on these surfaces insulates the coils even further.   It is known that biofilms alone provide the same insulating affect as 5 times that amount of scale.

This is why coils that are apparently “clean” are financial detriments.  Knowing this, is it really smart to cut back on spending an hour or so cleaning coils?

But that is really only the start of the issues.   We all know bacteria and fungus create VOC’s or odors.  In many cases, these can be quite obnoxious.   Most managers might believe that since the air handlers are out of sight of tenants, no one really cares if they are in fairly good health.   We know of one air handler right now in the North East whose tenants in the building (lawyers by the way) have been complaining of odors for quite a few months.

Not withstanding all of the above, there lies another problem, and that is equipment sustainability.  How does having a clean HVAC unit related to the expected lifespan of the unit?  Most air handlers may cost anywhere from $25,000 to well over $100,000 to replace.   In the vast majority of cases, the owner does not hear this news until the unit is within a few weeks or months of replacement.   This can come about by the management not periodically inspecting the units for corrosion and fouled coils.

In the next blog, handling the above in a realistic way that makes sense will be reviewed. Please feel free to comment, we love to hear from our readers.

Lynn Burkhart is the founder and president of Controlled Release Technologies, Inc. located in Shelby, North Carolina. More information about the company, and its products, can be found at http://www.cleanac.com and by calling (800) 766-9057.

Technical Corner: Flex Seal vs “Flex Seal”

Over the past two months we have seen an increase in calls to our offices regarding purchasing a new  product called “Flex Seal”, a product sold in a TV informational.   This relatively new  product is in an aerosol can, and is promoted as a sort of “stop-leak” spray for a variety of applications.

In contrast, our company (CRT) created and developed our product Flex Seal in the 1990s.  Ours is a professional product developed to coat walls, wood, and porous materials such as insulation.  The purpose of  CRT’s Flex Seal is to a) contain and encapsulate fiberglass and similar type particles thought by many to be carcinogens, b) to meet National Fire Protection (NFPA) fire and smoke generation code standards,  c) to provide a very low volatile organic (VOC) contribution, and d) to contain an agent that helps guard against the growth of odors and prevent microbial attack on its coating.
Aerosols generally have high VOC emissions (objectionable odors).   Rubberized compounds also may have a high flammability or smoke generation, making it unsuitable for many uses.

While CRT’s Flex Seal is a flexible coating with qualities listed above, it would be the product of choice for coating insulation within HVAC units or ductwork to seal off the porous insulation, and making it possible to clean the insulation.  Its white color allows users to see immediately if there is any dirt or foreign material buildup on the coating surface, and thus clean it with a rag – something not before possible on porous materials such as insulation.

While the TV infomercial indicates that the aerosol material may be used to seal a condensate pan, this is highly undesirable for several reasons, including VOC emissions, and long term usage.  If one is to coat any surface, it is desirable to clean the surface first or coatings will not have their best adhesion.   In this case, we recommend Pancrete or T-84 to coat these types of surfaces.

Our customer service dept at custserv@cleanac.com or our application specialist at application.specialist@cleanac.com can assist you in helping you select the proper products for your application.

Lynn Burkhart is the founder and president of Controlled Release Technologies, Inc. located in Shelby, North Carolina. More information about the company, and its products, can be found at http://www.cleanac.com and by calling (800) 766-9057.


We have our first winner! Congratulations to Patrick Reese of Fazio Mechanical, who won our blog contest this past Friday. CRT is hosting a blog contest, in which we have 4 more weeks to go. Every friday, for the next 4 weeks some lucky person will win a ITunes gift card. For registration information and details on the contest, give us a call at 1-800-766-9057.

You can also check us out on Facebook , and follow on  Twitter.

Controlled Release Technologies, Inc., a research, development and manufacturing firm based in Shelby, North Carolina. CRT is an EnergyStar Partner and manufacturer of independently-certified Green products for HVAC maintenance. Since 1986, CRT has been creating leading edge HVAC maintenance products that have become industry standards, used in thousands of commercial buildings world-wide. CRT employees are members of BOMA, ASHRAE, ASHE and the American Chemical Society. www.cleanac.com

Product Spotlight: Sustainability- Avoid Corrosion and Expensive Replacement Costs

The lifespan of an HVAC unit is a significant consideration when determining maintenance budgets. Replacement can cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, leaving building owners and managers unprepared if a unit needs to be replaced prematurely. This is money not budgeted, and not available. If early failure can be avoided, or the actual unit lifespan can be prolonged, it would greatly affect the cost per year of ownership.

Using coatings can protect and extend the life of HVAC units. Certain coatings are quite effective at stopping corrosion within air handlers, the number one cause of premature HVAC coil and pan replacement. All metal objects eventually corrode, however condensate pans, cooler basins and surrounding metal surfaces are particularly susceptible due to water accumulation and buildup within the HVAC system.

At CRT, we have developed the following coatings to help avoid replacement and labor costs, and solve problems due to corrosion. By using these products, HVAC units, condensate pans, cooler basins and surrounding metal surfaces remain protected, enhancing sustainability, and reducing unforeseen maintenance expenditures.

Pancrete & T-84
Pancrete, “The Pan in a Can”, is a permanent, self-leveling, two part epoxy-like resurfacer. It can be applied to any horizontal HVAC surface, including condensate pans, cooler basins and surrounding metal surfaces. Difficult and expensive replacement is avoided, and Pancrete’s blue color adds aesthetic value. Also available in a NFPA compliant version called T-84.

V-570 & V4138
V-570 is a permanent, paintable resurfacer designed to work in conjunction with Pancrete. V-570 is a two part, epoxy-like coating that can be applied to any vertical HVAC surface. Structure failure due to corrosion is avoided, and V-570 is colored white making future cleanings easier. Also available in a NFPA compliant version called V-4138.

If you have an experience you would like to share, or want to talk more about this blog, please leave your comments below.

Jonathan Dunagin, Marketing Director of Controlled Release Technologies, Inc. located in Shelby, North Carolina. More information about the company, and its products, can be found at http://www.cleanac.com and by calling (800) 766-9057.