Tag: HVAC equipment sustainability

Technical Corner: Is Bigger Really Better? (Part 2)

Those who have read Part 1 of “Is Bigger Really Better” know that when it comes to air conditioner sizing, bigger is not necessarily better. But there are areas where bigger is better when it comes to preventative maintenance.Take the area of the condensate collection pan for example. Collection pans get dirty and produce odors. In some cases they are a breeding ground for bacteria, fungus, and other microbes.There is no question that these areas are among the dirtiest, if not the most offensive, areas of the air handler. Water overflowing comes about from fouling so bad that the collection pan drain line becomes solidly plugged, preventing water from flowing out naturally.Before the mid-1980s, all that could be done was to add tablets to the condensate pan to attempt to address the problem. Tablets dissolved quickly. Even those that purported not to dissolve quickly (a small weighted red box), an analysis of the active ingredient showed its’ solubility rate was 1.5 grams per liter of water. This would be how much would dissolve in one liter (about a quart) of water.

These type products, considered the best at the time, were used with varying results. It was not uncommon to see literally dozens of these boxes in an air handler, all with fungi and other microbes growing around them.

If the products were that good and they were not consistent, then there must be something we didn’t know as to why. One reason might have been that the water flow was much higher than the tablet could effectively treat. We checked a small fan-coil unit in Florida and found that this smaller unit flowed 1-1⁄2 gallons of water per day or about 6 liters of water.

Now if 1.5 grams of the tablet dissolved in 1 liter of water, then 6 liters would take up 9 grams with one day’s flow of water. But the tablets weighed 3⁄4 ounce or 21 grams. At its 50% active ingredient level, that meant the tablet contained only 10.5 grams of actives. So, in a little over a day, there would be nothing there to work with.

Most engineers and professionals need products they can rely upon, and HVAC maintenance people demand the same. It is irritating to have to make an emergency call to a unit to handle an overflow, or having complaints on odors, and other service related matters.

In 1986 our company made a major breakthrough in this area. This was the development of the first true controlled-release condensate pan treatment. Unlike old treatments used without consistent results for decades, PanGuard and Algae Guard makes a remarkable leap forward. They slowly release ingredients over a 3 to 6 months period of time. This lays on the table what every manager wants: consistency and predictability of results.

Time after time, it works. No surprises and no extra labor. In fact, since the products are only placed in the condensate pan when filters are changed, there is no extra work involved.

To obtain this optimum performance, we determined the condensate flow of water from each tonnage of air conditioning unit. Next we oversized Algae Guard and PanGuard to insure that no matter what conditions would occur, the products always work.

Because upsets seem to occur when one least expects them, we went that extra step by being conservative in our controlled release products: they were engineered to handle all the water from a certain tonnage of air conditioner when that unit was running 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, at a relative humidity of 100%. No other manufacturer of condensate collection treatment products engineers a product to these high standards. With these products, failure is not an option!

Our EPA registered Algae Guard product contains 32% active ingredients as shown on its box label. Users are encouraged to check our box label with other timed-released products to see the difference quality engineering makes.

There is only one other polymer-based product on the market similar to ours; it uses our old 1986 polymer matrix.

Good, but in 2007 after years of further research and development, we upgraded our system by synthesizing a brand new timed-released molecule that is much sturdier, and more efficient at the controlled release of working ingredients. This coupled with our 32% active ingredients in the case of Algae Guard increases its desirability over a 20% active, lower performance polymer molecule.

In this case, bigger is better. Upgrading our products continuously insures our customers only get the latest in technology as we develop it.

CRT Time Released Products

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: Is Bigger Really Better? Pt.1

When it comes to many things air conditioning systems, bigger is not always better. Take the sizing of an air handler for instance.

Many instances have been uncovered where architects and mechanical engineering firms oversized the air handler. For example, where the conditions called for a 50 ton unit, 75 tons or higher was installed. Bigger must be better was the supposed reasoning.

Unfortunately, this mistake costs the building owners over 20 million dollars in the end and nationwide infamy. Why?

Air handlers not only must provide adequate cooling, but also reduce the amount of moisture or humidity of the inside air. When the units were started up, cooling was almost immediate. However, the cooling capacity of the units was so large that the unit was able to come on only for a few minutes before it shut off again.

As a result, little moisture was removed and the humidity levels remained high. In Florida, where high humidity is a fact of everyday life, moisture removal is vital. Normally in air conditioners where the air moisture condenses upon cooling coils (similar to the condensation on the outside of a glass of water you may drink in a restaurant), and moisture in the air is removed.

What is known by all indoor air quality professionals is that humidity levels over 60% are conducive to fungal (mold) growth. In this Florida case above, moisture was not removed ever from the air. A building occupant, after the new building was condemned and occupants evacuated, stated “It was either hot and damp or cold and damp in the building. But it was always damp.”

Owners were confronted with bulldozing down the marble enclosed building and re-­‐building it from scratch, or trying to repair the existing building.

There are other areas however where bigger is better. Handling mold issues in the HVAC condensate collection pan is one of them. My next blog will address this important factor.

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.


Tips From The Girls “Which of the Three Little Contractors Are You?”

I am sure everyone is familiar with the story, “The Three Little Pigs.” Although it may be meant for children, it helps teach a very valuable lesson; that hard work and determination pay off. This is especially true in regards to HVAC Systems. Please read our spin on the story, “The Three Little Contractors,” to learn how.

 The Three Little Contractors

 Once upon a time there were three little contractors. Their boss told them to do some research and come up with a solution to pan overflows, dirty drain pans, and algae growth in pans.

 The first little contractor decided to use some handy-dandy tablets. They were cheaper than anything else on the shelf and had a guarantee to stop build up, be long lasting, and prevent overflows. In return, all he would have to do is check the pan every once an a while. This solution was cheaper for him, saving money for other things.

The second little contractor decided to install a float switch in the condensate pan. He figured it was more expensive than tablets, but he wouldn’t have to check the pan as often. He knew the float switch would do the work for him, and automatically shut down the unit if the water reached a certain level. This solution was more costly, but required less work of him and more time to relax.

The third little contractor decided his solution was an EPA-registered, timed-release product called Algae Guard. Algae Guard slowly releases its ingredients, which attach to the dirt, grime, and grease in the pan (instead of just dissolving away). Algae Guard washes the debris down the drain, preventing overflows and keeping the pan free from mold, mildew, and fungus. Additionally, it only had to be placed in the pan every 3 or 6 months, depending on the size of the unit. This solution was a higher quality and a little more expensive, but required less work of him and was proven to be more effective.

Months passed and the boss decided to inspect the contractors work. The boss visited the first contractor’s worksite. The tablets that the contractor had placed in the pan were no where to be seen. The boss was not pleased that he had paid out some money and had nothing to show for it. The pan looked as it had when he last seen it. He told the first contractor that he was very disappointed because no thought had been put into solving the problem, opting with just the cheapest/easiest thing.

Before the boss could get to the second contractor’s site, he had already received several complaint calls. The second contractor’s unit had completely shut down and the business had to send home all of its employees because the building was unbearably hot. The boss then looked at the condensate pan and was even more displeased! While the float switch had done its job, the main problem hadn’t been solved. The mold, mildew and fungus were still in the pan, and now the drain was clogged. He fussed at the second contractor for his sheer laziness and lack of care.

The boss was anxious to see the third contractor’s site. Surely he had come up with a better solution. When the boss arrived he was very pleased. The pan was free from any overflows, and had no mold, mildew or algae in the pan. The boss exclaimed to the third contractor, “How did you manage to solve those issues!?”. The contractor replied, “I simply paid a tiny bit more money and placed this timed-release product in the pan, then it did all the work for me.” The boss was so ecstatic he gave the third contractor a raise for his research, determination, and hard work.

Don’t let the BIG BAD WOLFUNGUS get the best of you. Which contractor will you be?

Kristen Burgess, Client Services Rep., and Shandi Maddox, Marketing Assistant of Controlled Release Technologies, Inc., a research, development and manufacturing firm based in Shelby, North Carolina.  CRT is an IFMA CSP, 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: The Sludge 2: EAHU #5

 Last week’s blog received such a response that it warranted an encore performance.

Not only are air handler condensate pans affected by sludge buildup, but so are evaporative coolers. This is never more evident than in an account submitted to us by one of our distributors.
The unit in question, EAHU #5, had been neglected for years. Preventive maintenance had become deferred maintenance, which eventually led to ignored maintenance. We could take paragraphs describing the condition of the unit, the rust and corrosion of the motor and support structures, the scale deposits on the pads and the condition of the cell deck. However, we think the picture explains it all. Imagine those water particles floating in your air!
At CRT, we developed our Timed Release Product Line to essentially eliminate scale, clogs and buildup. By using the following product, cooler pads and basins remain clean and deposit free, protecting assets from costly maintenance and saving capital otherwise spent on utility bills.
Cooler Guard is a timed-release polymer block that protects against scaling damages and accumulation on evaporative cooler pads and basins. Users are able to cut water expenses virtually in half as a bleed is not needed when using Cooler Guard. Once installed, an evaporative cooler remains clean four to six weeks, depending on mineral concentration of the water.
To learn more visit cleanac.com/cooler-guard, and feel free to leave comments below.
Controlled Release Technologies, Inc., a research, development and manufacturing firm based in Shelby, North Carolina.  CRT is an IFMA CSP, 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 (800) 766-9057.

Product Spotlight: The Sludge from Air Handler #21760

Occasionally, potential clients request CRT’s assistance evaluating their HVAC maintenance needs. One such case occurred a few years ago at a large business facility experiencing a pan overflow.

When initially questioned, the building owner admitted that he had no on-site staff and contracted out all HVAC work “as-needed.” This was glaringly obvious upon entering AHU #21760. If you think this picture is disgusting, you can only imagine the smell. It has been said, if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, then it must be one. Well this smelled like the duck had died.

Further questioning revealed that it had been over a year since this unit was last inspected, and at that time tablets had been used to try and control dirt and grime buildup. Now this owner was facing a major overhaul of the unit, including water damage to surrounding structures. All this, just to save a few dollars.

At CRT, we developed our Timed Release Product Line to essentially eliminate leaks, clogs and overflows. By using the following products, condensate pans remain clean and deposit free, protecting buildings from costly water damages and maintenance expenditures.

PanGuard

PanGuard, an independently certified Green Product, is the original, timed-release polymer strip. PanGuard eliminates clogs and overflows due to deposit accumulation in HVAC condensate pans, and is engineered to meet the needs of individually sized units. Once a condensate drip pan has been cleaned, it remains clean for three to six months.

Algae Guard

Algae Guard is an EPA registered, timed-release polymer strip. Algae Guard eliminates clogs and overflows due to mold and fungus accumulation in HVAC condensate pans, and is engineered to meet the needs of individually sized units. Once a condensate drip pan has been cleaned, it remains clean for three to six months.

To learn more feel free to contact us, and please, share your AHU condensate pan horror stories and pictures in the response section below.

Controlled Release Technologies, Inc., a research, development and manufacturing firm based in Shelby, North Carolina.  CRT is an IFMA CSP, 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 (800) 766-9057.