The Effects of Coil Corrosion on Your Commercial HVAC Unit

February 13th, 2019
The Effects of Coil Corrosion on Your Commercial HVAC Unit

Let’s take a moment to suppose that your commercial HVAC unit recently failed.

Let’s take a moment to suppose that your commercial HVAC unit recently failed. Although you were able to procure a functional replacement, it might only be a short-term measure until you can determine what caused the demise of your previous commercial HVAC unit. After all, you don’t want it to happen again. It could have something to do with corrosion and the deterioration of the coils inside.

Coil Corrosion

At first, any problems associated with coil corrosion won’t seem like problems at all. These issues are so small, they’re almost undetectable. The real danger, however, comes out when this condition is left unaddressed for too long. You will eventually need to replace the coils, and if the damage is too extensive, the entire system itself. While it’s easy to assume that the corrosion is only a concern for older HVAC systems, it can begin to form after only a few weeks. That’s why you need to be vigilant and have relatively new equipment inspected.

Types of Coil Corrosion

There are two common types of coil corrosion. The first is known as pitting corrosion and the second is called formicary corrosion. Pitting is caused by fluoride in the local water supply, and from chloride in detergents and cleaning supplies. Ions from these chemical substances eventually break away during their travels through the coils and encounter the condensate. Damage from the ions form tiny pinholes in the metal which eventually grow into larger leaks. These leaks allow refrigerant to seep out.

Formicary corrosion, on the other hand, is a little different. It is caused by acid and is also called ants nest corrosion. This type of corrosion causes tunnels to form in the tubing connected to your commercial HVAC unit. Pinholes also form due to this type of corrosion, which also cause refrigerant to leak out and cause the entire system to overheat.

What to Do Next

The next step is to have your HVAC system tested and inspected for any other problems. These problems could be brought on by failing coils, but it could also be due to a different issue entirely. The compressor in your HVAC unit will need to work even harder to compensate, which in turn, consumes more energy. Cooling won’t be as effective, which will become a huge hassle as winter turns to spring and spring inevitably turns into summer. Your employees will be uncomfortable and unproductive, and your clients, in turn, will be unhappy.

Crockett Facilities Can Help!

Crockett Facilities Services, Inc. (CFSI) is committed to helping building owners, property managers, engineers, and facility professionals lower their operating expenses through HVAC preventive maintenance. We can develop a cost-effective, customized preventive maintenance plan for your commercial building that will provide you with peace of mind, improved comfort, and energy savings.

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To learn more about the importance of HVAC Preventive Maintenance, please contact us at 202.600.2787 or mford@crockett-facilities.com. Our PM contract customers receive priority service with 24/7 emergency service in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. Follow us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!

 

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