How Florida State University (FSU) Saved a Million Dollars in Energy
Tallahassee, FL — With rising energy costs, lower maintenance budgets and decreased indoor air quality every facility manager across the country is faced with how to deal with the new challenges. But potential savings can be right under an organizations nose. Case in point: dirty or clogged commercial evaporator coils. Simply performing a deep environmental cleansing of the evaporator coils with PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning and Flushing can dramatically reduce energy costs, improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) and with no chemicals (Green Clean Institute Certified process) help the ecosystem.
Cooling coils use tubing arranged in a series of loops and fins and their purpose is to transfer heat from one fluid to another (e.g. water to air, refrigerants to air, air to air etc.). Aluminum and copper fins are attached to the coils to increase the exposure surface and the rate of heat transfer. In the 1970s and early 1980s the cooling coils had typically 8 to 12 fins per inch, but due to increasing energy costs and mandated energy efficiency ratings, it is not uncommon seeing coils today manufactured with 16 and 18 fins per inch arranged in complex zigzag patterns. Unfortunately, these high efficiency coils are extremely susceptible to blockage from dust accumulation because once lodged deeply within the fins bacteria and mold may initiate growth, which not only compounds the blockage problems but also gives rise to excessive operating costs, comfort control problems and unhealthy sanitary conditions that are not conducive to good air quality.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has long been a proponent of improving indoor air quality in the nation’s schools stating on their web site that “Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can cause illness requiring absence from school, and can cause acute health symptoms that decrease performance while at school. In addition, recent data suggest that poor IAQ can reduce a person’s ability to perform specific mental tasks requiring concentration, calculation, or memory.” Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critically important aspect of creating and maintaining quality school facilities.
CASE STUDY # 1: With energy costs rising, Florida State University (FSU), the 2014 BCS national football champs, had taken a close look at HVAC maintenance, including the total operating cost of its HVAC system. They found that the conventional coil cleaning foam/rinse method only superficially cleaned the surface of the coil and pushed small debris further into the coil causing decreased air flow, a musty odor, decreased temperature and humidity control and decreased the quality of the indoor air. In addition, FSU was concerned about the thousands of gallons of chemicals that would otherwise be sent in the water system polluting the ecosystem.
The forward thinking Facilities Management Department at Florida State University (FSU) felt these dirty coils were nothing but a pot of gold buried in dust and debris in these air handling systems. FSU discovered quickly that professionally steam cleaning high temperature (350 degrees) their evaporator coils has paid huge dividends for them. They found a chemical free steam coil cleaning process so efficient and safe for the environment that in the first year of its implementation alone saved the university over $800,000 of their power bills and were able to provide the students and teachers a healthier learning environment. The estimated payback in less than eight (8) months was 157% return on investment (ROI).
Because dirty coils are difficult to clean, expensive to operate, unhealthy and can lead to humidity control deficiencies, it makes sense to minimize the amount of dust that can enter the airflow and to clean them before dirt accumulation becomes visible. Pure Air Control Services (PACS), an industry leader in environmental and mechanical cleaning technologies recommends not to defer coil cleaning to the point that dust accumulation is visible. Minimally, heat exchangers should be cleaned once a year using the superheated steam process. For non specialized environments (healthcare facilities, clean rooms, etc.), Pure Air Control Services also recommends using air filters with an equivalent Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV) of 8 and to minimize the amount of air that could infiltrate in the air handler by ensuring that the filters fit snuggly in the holding racks and sealing all cabinet penetrations.
CASE STUDY # 2: PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning & AHU Restoration was performed for Hernando County School Board administrative building project in 2013. The results were remarkable. Al Mackey, HVAC Facilities stated: “ the performance of A/H 23 has improved dramatically (after the PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning process), in the past the CWV would always stay @100% to maintain a 56-59 supply air temperature now with the clean coil the CWV maintains 55 degree supply air with the valve between 50-75%open most of the time. Big improvement.”
CASE STUDY # 3: Charlotte County School District has implemented a “Green Cleaning” program to not only save energy but also to improve indoor air quality and mitigate long-term health risks and allergies associated with indoor air pollutants. This program introduces a chemical free coil cleaning process called PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning a safe and effective cleaning process used to save energy and create a healthy learning environment for students, school staff and visitors.
As a part of this initiative, the Charlotte County School District has contracted with Pure Air Control Services a national leading indoor environmental contractor with over 25 years of building IAQ experience. Because the PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning program is totally GREEN (NO CHEMICALS) students, school staff and visitors don’t have to worry about potential dangerous chemicals or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) entering into the air or water system.
Don Terry, Manager of HVAC Maintenance noted that “not only are we saving energy, but we are creating a healthy learning environment for our students and faculty.”
Additionally, Mr. Terry stated that “your staff, crew and support team are great to work with. I would highly recommend your Pure-Steam Coil cleaning process to any facility/HVAC manager interested in saving energy, improving indoor air quality and creating a healthy school.”
Call Pure Air Control Services today at 1-800-422-7873 to discuss ways to get your university, school district, healthcare facility or office building “chemical free” via the PURE-Steam coil cleaning process and save energy while creating a healthy indoor environment,
About Pure Air Control Services:
Founded in 1984 by Alan Wozniak, President/CEO in what began as a small mechanical contracting business has grown into an award winning, industry leading indoor air quality (IAQ) service company serving many fortune 500 corporations, school boards, universities, county, city, state and federal governments and consumers across the US. The firm has serviced over 600 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities.
Pure Air Control Services nationally performed IAQ services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; EDLab an Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; and Duct Cleaning & Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services. The company’s expanding client roster includes the General Services Administration (GSA); Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Allstate Insurance; Carrier Air Conditioning; Naval Air Warfare Center, Orlando; and Naval Air Station – King’s Bay, Georgia, and many other Fortune 500 companies, school boards, and city, state, and county governments, making Pure Air a reliable industry leader.
For more information contact Alan Wozniak at 1-800-422-PURE ext 802
Looking to improve indoor air quality in your building? Contact our friendly team today to discuss options