Heating and cooling coils are a key component of air handling units (AHUs). They heat or cool the airstream to regulate air temperature and humidity in your manufacturing environment. Since coils are in the air flow path of your ventilation system, they can get blocked with dirt, pollen, dust etc. Coils blocked with debris can cause a whole range of issues, which we examine in this article.
Reduced Energy Efficiency
Blocked coils can negatively affect energy usage. Furthermore, debris in the coil means they work less efficiently. The amount of air passing through them decreases and this leads to an increased pressure drop across them. At this point, more power from the fan is required to push air through. This results in higher energy costs and poor system performance. Keeping coils clean is, therefore, very important.
Shorter System Life Cycle
Poor performance of coils means that other parts of the system, such as the fan, have to work harder. This can mean, a reduced life cycle of equipment. In addition, biological growth on coils can lead to corrosion. In fact, the aluminium in AHU coils that have been left unchecked over time can break down to a fine powder residue. This could subsequently get through the HVAC system and into food.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
Microbiological contaminants such as mould, bacteria and funghi can grow in cooling coils. Apart from reducing the effectiveness of temperature control and energy efficiency, it can compromise indoor air quality. Furthermore, food safety in individual food production areas is at risk. Moreover, it can form something collectively known as Macromolecular Organic Dust. This can result in sick building syndrome, linked with various health complaints.
The Solution: Regular Cleaning
The BRCGS Food Safety Issue 8 Section 6 guidelines state that you should clean your AHU every 6 months. This will minimise contamination, hygiene issues and associated breakdown time. We advise our customers to put a regular cleaning schedule in place. This will keep their AHUs clean and maintain good indoor air quality. HVDS engineers are Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) trained. They use a variety of cleaning techniques, including jet washing, steam cleaning and coil combing.