Coil Corrosion Causes and Reduction

Air conditioning manufacturers have been struggling with a serious problem the last several years; a problem that has left homeowners and small businesses across the country without reliable air conditioning and has led to at least three class-action lawsuits in the United States and Canada. The problem is pitting, corrosion, and eventual failure of copper evaporator coils in residential and light commercial air conditioning units. The HVAC industry is changing its processes in response.

An air conditioning unit works by moving pressurized refrigerant between an outdoor condenser coil and an indoor evaporator coil. Because evaporator coils are inside a building and protected from the elements, it would seem that evaporator coils would last a lifetime safely hidden away in an attic or closet. But it is precisely because the evaporator coil is sealed away so tightly that coil corrosion is becoming a problem.

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Heat Exchanger and Boiler Maintenance: Chemical Descaling

Have you ever ironed a pair of dark pants only to have small white flakes fall out of the iron’s steam holes and make white streaks across your clothes? This is especially a problem in older irons that have never been cleaned. Your iron is in many ways like a commercial steam boiler. After a long time making steam, a boiler can clog up with white flakes and get trapped in the boiler system. This white buildup in both the steam iron and the boiler is a layer of calcium and other minerals called scale, or sometimes limescale. As the water evaporates, the minerals in the water don’t turn into steam when the machine is in use; they are left behind to form scale inside the equipment.

As annoying as those little white flakes are for your dark pants, imagine what those deposits do to the heating elements of large industrial equipment like boilers and heat exchangers. On some equipment, the scale buildup can be inches thick. An inch, or even a much thinner layer of scale is more than an annoyance, it’s a serious maintenance problem that diminishes system efficiency, reduces heat transfer, and increases operating costs. Just like maintaining and cleaning your steam iron, facility managers have to do the same for their heat exchangers and boilers.

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The Importance of Clean Condenser Water Systems

Water Wasters Poorly-Maintained Cooling Towers Foul Up SavingsCommercial HVAC systems account for between 40 and 50 percent of a building’s total energy use. With one system being responsible for so much cost, facility managers and building owners have an obligation to their tenants to reduce the system’s energy use while still keeping people comfortable. On larger buildings with water cooled chillers and cooling towers, these complicated pieces of cooling equipment are interconnected. When once piece of equipment is not working well that inefficiency spreads throughout the entire HVAC system driving up energy costs. Through good maintenance practices, facility managers can have equipment that operates efficiently and keep energy costs at normal levels.

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There Might Be More in Your Duct System Than Air

Earlier this year, Forbes Magazine ran a story about working in America and noted that the average American spends 90,000 hours of their life at work. For many of us, that 90,000 hours is spent in a tightly closed building with no open windows and questionable air quality. The indoor air circulates through ductwork most likely installed when the building was constructed many years prior. Indoor air passes though the ductwork blowing by anything sitting inside: dust, mold, maybe even bugs…and then we breathe it in. For poorly maintained or older HVAC systems with clogged filters, disconnected flex duct, or moisture infiltration, indoor air can be some of the worst air we breathe thanks to what’s resting in the ductwork.

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Gender Diversity in HVACR

A diverse pool of talent provides great resources for companies in any industry to continually profit from new ideas and approaches. According to a recent Forbes article, diverse companies can become more profitable in the monetary sense, too. 

A recent McKinsey report found “..top-quartile companies on executive-level gender diversity worldwide had a 21 percent likelihood of outperforming their fourth-quartile industry peers on EBIT margin, and they also had a 27 percent likelihood of outperforming fourth-quartile peers on longer-term value creation, as measured using an economic-profit (EP) margin”. Bottom line, what does that mean? Gender equality pays.

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