With rising energy costs, lower maintenance budgets and decreased indoor air quality are challenges facing every facility manager, both private and public, across the country.
Washington, DC — Dr. Rajiv Sahay, Director of Laboratory Services and colleague Francisco Aguirre, Director of Building Sciences with Pure Air Control Services provided a presentation to the EPA CIAQ members on their research paper published in the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) magazine entitled Evaluation of Steam Cleaning in AHU Coil Sanitization and Energy Conservation emphasizing both the energy as well as environmental impact of steam coil cleaning process. The presentation to the EPA CIAQ group on steam coil cleaning by Pure Air Control Services was provided via their studio (Studio B) in Clearwater, FL in webinar format.
[NOTE: Visit http://www.cadmusweb.com/Outreach/IAQ/June_2013_CIAQ_audio.mp3 to hear/download the MP3 presentation recording, available for a limited time.
EPA’s Federal Interagency Committee on Indoor Air Quality, or CIAQ, Headquartered in Washington DC, coordinates federal indoor air quality, or IAQ, research while facilitating the exchange of information among federal agencies, state and local governments, the research community, the private sector and the general public. The EPA CIAQ group meets every four months. Some of the member list includes: US Department of Energy (DOE), US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), General Services Administration (GSA), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), among others.
With rising energy costs, lower maintenance budgets and decreased indoor air quality are challenges facing every facility manager, both private and public, across the country. But potential savings can be right under an organizations nose. Case in point: dirty or clogged commercial evaporator coils. Simply performing a deep cleansing/sterilization with PURE-Steam coil Cleaning and Flushing can dramatically reduce energy costs, while improving in indoor air quality and with no chemicals (Green Technology).
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. Once debris, pollen, construction materials and dust penetrates inside the coil they become lodged within the fins allowing for bacteria and mold to initiate growth. This condition causes excessive operating costs, comfort control problems and unhealthy sanitary conditions that are not conducive to good indoor air quality.
With energy costs rising, Florida State University (FSU), a major Florida university, took 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.
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 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.
Charlotte County School District has implemented the PURE-Steam “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.”
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.
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 building, healthcare facility or school district “chemical free” via the PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning while saving energy and creating healthy indoor environments.
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; 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, visit the company’s web site at www.pureaircontrols.com or contact Jeff Nack or Alan Wozniak at 1-800-422-PURE ext 804 or 802 respectively.
About EPA CIAQ:
The Federal Interagency Committee on Indoor Air Quality, or CIAQ, was established by Congress in 1983. The mission of the CIAQ is to coordinate federal indoor air quality, or IAQ, research while facilitating the exchange of information among federal agencies, state and local governments, the research community, the private sector and the general public. The CIAQ also supports EPA’s IAQ research program required by Section 403 of the 1986 Superfund Amendments and Re-authorization Act, or SARA.
The CIAQ is co-chaired by EPA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Department of Energy, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Other federal departments and agencies participate as members.