As you know, HVAC systems are composed of many different components. One of those major components are your system’s coils — which include both the condenser and evaporator coils. It’s one of the most important parts of your system, and thus requires special attention. In fact, it can even be a breeding ground for harmful microbes. Here’s what you need to know about coil disinfection.
Coil Disinfection is Important for Bacteria Removal
Before diving into the methodology, it’s important to understand why coil disinfection is so important. Both your condenser coil and evaporator coils play an important role within the HVAC system. In short, condenser coils cool refrigerant and converts it into a liquid form. Condenser coils also help facilitate the transfer of heat to the outside of your home.
Evaporator coils, on the other hand, are where refrigerant enters. Heat from the air is absorbed in this stage before being passed through the condenser coil.
With the conversion of refrigerant from gas to liquid, there’s bound to be plenty of condensation (as expected). While most of it is deposited in the drain pan, a moist environment creates a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, mildew and other harmful microorganisms. This can reduce airflow and impact system performance. And worse comes to worse, this can create a number of health hazards for inhabitants — including the spread of the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ Disease.
So make sure you’re taking the time to disinfect your coils! Here’s how.
Options Include UV-C Coil Disinfection
You’ve probably thought about sprays as a conventional method to eliminating bacteria and other hazardous growths — but did you ever consider lights? That’s right, one of the biggest methods of coil disinfection is through the use of Ultraviolet lights.
UV-C systems are able to accomplish coil disinfection by using ultraviolet light to kill pathogens on contact, without damaging sensitive surfaces like some other cleaning methods can do. The UV-C process is more effective and will take less time than other methods of disinfection, such as steam or ozone. So how does it work?
According to AMCA, “UV light is a band of electromagnetic radiation classified into four wavelength ranges: vacuum UV (100 to 200 nm), UV-C (200 to 280 nm), UV-B (280 to 315 nm), and UV-A (315 to 400 nm). Wavelengths from 100 nm to 280 nm are germicidal.”
Furthermore, ASHRAE (via AMCA) “has recognized that the UV-C wavelength inactivates virtually all microorganisms living on HVACR surfaces, with kill ratios of up to 99 percent, depending on the intensity of the UV-C and the length of exposure.”
Use a Specifically Formulated Coil Cleaner
If UV lights aren’t your thing, there are also specifically formulated coil cleansers that you can find at any home services store. With these, you’ll first want to clear any surface debris and clean the fins of your coils before proceeding. Then you’ll want to apply the cleaner as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Usually letting the cleaner sit for 10-15 minutes is a good rule of thumb. From there, you can examine the coils and determine if another application is needed.
Coil Disinfection with XTRAIRE
At XTRAIRE, we make sure that your home or business flourishes with the cleanest air and the sturdiest operating system possible. Ensuring a smooth-running operation entails coil disinfection, and our experienced technicians at XTRAIRE are trained in dealing with any and all problems your HVAC system may face.