HVAC, Building Performance: Cooling Tower Maintenance & Goodway’s Cooling Tower Vacuum

We’ve talked about cooling tower maintenance quite a bit on the Goodway blog. And now that it’s spring and we’re starting to think about air conditioning maintenance, the subject is on our minds once again.

iStock_000022676282SmallIf you look back at past posts, you’ll see that the top two reasons for cooling tower maintenance resonate through them all: energy efficiency/system performance and health.

Often the importance of cooling tower efficiency is a bit overlooked because the focus is on chiller efficiency.

“Chillers use about five times the energy of the cooling tower. Consequently, more attention is paid to the chiller than the cooling tower in most facilities,” Steve Spielmann, Goodway’s Customer Service/Technical Manager, explains in this post about cooling tower maintenance.

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Your HVAC Spring Cleaning Checklists Redux

Spring is just around the corner, and that means summer can’t be too far behind.

HVAC-cleaning-checklists-staggered-300x186As winter makes it exit – not soon enough for some of us – it’s time to turn your attention to keeping your HVAC system humming right along through the hot summer months.

Last year we offered you three comprehensive checklists of tasks and tips to ensure the cooling system in your facility is operating at 100%.

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Post-Hurricane Sandy Series: Cooling Towers and Flooding

This week we continue our Post-Hurricane Sandy Series, as we discuss cooling towers and how they can be affected by flooding. Next week we’ll finish up the series when we give you FEMA resources to help you fully restore your facility after the disaster.

Flood waters carry debris that may get pulled into towers. So it’s crucial to a thorough recovery and clean-up process after flooding not to forget about cooling towers.

Cooling towers should be cleaned regularly regardless to keep them free of insects, dust, pollen and other debris. However, it’s particularly important to clean the towers after a flood to ensure that sediment and other debris doesn’t harshly affect the cooling tower.

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HVAC Security: Is Your Facility Prepared?

HVAC systems are vulnerable to accidental or intentional biological and chemical threats due to their complexity.

Just as an HVAC system spreads air, it can spread contaminants – and air intakes can introduce toxic chemicals. As Facilitiesnet explains, a terrorist attack is one potential source of airborne chemical or biological attack, but accidental incidents pose just as serious – and probably more likely – risks.

HVAC security attacks can include terrorist or criminal activity, fires, natural disasters or riots, but they can also include bacteria, viruses, mold and chemical fumes from VOCs, smoke, asbestos and carbon dioxide.

According to the EPA, common biological contaminants include mold, mildew, viruses, bacteria or even the droppings from rodents, cockroaches or other pests. HVAC systems can harbor such contaminants and distribute them. Some diseases, including humidifier fever – a respiratory infection – can result from microorganism growth in building ventilation systems.

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Clean HVAC Systems Prevent Virus Outbreaks on Cruise Ships

Outbreaks of viral infections on cruise ships have been appearing frequently in the headlines this year.

In the first week of February 2012, approximately 500 cases of norovirus reportedly occurred on two Princess Cruise ships, according to CNN. Both ships are based in Florida. On the Ruby Princess had 92 passengers and 13 members became ill with the virus. The Crown Princess ship reported that 364 passengers and 30 crew members came down with the virus.

In the same week as the Florida cases about 200 passengers on a ship departing from New Orleans became ill with norovirus, according to the Associated Press. The Royal Caribbean ship Voyager of the Seas was forced to depart late due to the illnesses. In May the cruise ship Boudicca reported 170 norovirus illnesses, causing the passengers to be quarantined. The ship, owned by Fred Olsen, experienced similar outbreaks in 2010. A spokeswoman for the company confirmed the passengers had a virus that caused gastroenteritis symptoms, according to the UK’s Mail Online.

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Top Ways to Diagnose Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Problems

Despite national attention on poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it’s still a problem affecting facilities and its occupants. Building owners who want to successfully combat poor indoor air quality, must ensure that their building managers and hired contractors understand IAQ and know how to address any problems that arise.

The Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model (I-BEAM) is the EPA’s guidance tool for building professionals. It teaches you how to improve air quality and how to conduct an indoor air quality inspection. I-BEAM provides a set of forms to aid in diagnosing and solving air quality issues.

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Legionellosis Linked to Limescale Buildup

Legionellosis is making the headlines again, with at least 15 confirmed cases in April in Auckland, New Zealand. The cases are spread throughout the Auckland area, making it difficult to find the source and supporting the idea it’s likely present in more than one source. One person in Auckland has died after contracting the disease.

Officials in the Auckland region have encouraged over 300 building owners to chemically treat or “shock-dose” their cooling towers with a biocide to kill the outbreak.

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How to Effectively Clean Your Chiller and Cooling Tower

This week’s post continues our HVAC “Spring Cleaning” series on giving your facility’s cooling system some much needed attention before warmer weather arrives. Below are our three printable HVAC cleaning checklists to get you started:

Checklist 1: How to Clean Chiller Tubes
Checklist 2: How To Clean Air Conditioner Coils
Checklist 3: How to Clean Cooling Towers

(Note: You must provide your email address to get access to each checklist.)

The second post in our HVAC “Spring Cleaning” blog series explains how to clean chiller tubes and cooling towers. The last post in the series will explain how to properly clean your cooling system’s air conditioner coils.

Here’s more about this week’s topic – cleaning chiller tubes and cooling towers:

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Starting Your HVAC “Spring Cleaning” Checklist is as Easy as 1-2-3

Now – before the summer heat arrives – is the time to give your facility’s cooling system attention.  Fortunately, Goodway makes it easy for you to start today. Below are three printable HVAC cleaning checklists to get the ball rolling:

Checklist 1: How to Clean Chiller Tubes
Checklist 2: How To Clean Air Conditioner Coils
Checklist 3: How to Clean Cooling Towers

(Note: You must provide your email address to get access to each checklist.)

We are also writing a HVAC “Spring Cleaning” blog series to explain each checklist in more detail. This first post in the series is an HVAC cleaning overview. The remaining two posts in the series will explain how to properly clean your cooling system’s chiller tubesair conditioner coils and cooling towers. In these future posts, we’ll discuss the importance of cleaning specific parts of your cooling system and specifically reference these checklists that address the procedures and what tools/products you’ll need to get the job done right.

For now, here’s the overview . . .

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Top 10 HVAC Maintenance Posts of 2011 from the Just Venting Blog

Today, we’re bringing you a rewind of the most popular HVAC maintenance posts of 2011. Enjoy these reader favorites from the Just Venting blog as the year winds down.

Number 10 – Dust & Soot Vacuums Are More Versatile Than You Might Think

Our 10th most popular post for 2011 is a good reminder that sometimes certain jobs require specialized tools. In this instance, when you are using tools that emit particles such as sawdust, concrete or particle dust, a specialized vacuum can really clean up the mess and protect the air. This guide gives you some food-for-thought on which vacuum to use when.

Number 9  How to Prevent Legionnaires Disease via Cooling Tower Cleaning

This past year marked the 35th anniversary of an outbreak of pneumonia among people attending a convention of the American Legion at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia and also the first reported incident of Legionnaires Disease. The source of the infection was determined to be the hotel’s air conditioning system cooling tower. When the normally present bacteria became airborne, it can cause illness in the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. This is exactly what happened that fateful day 35 years ago. This tutorial walks you through the best prevention methods for your facility.

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