We’ve been telling you for years that dirty coils are detrimental to your HVAC system’s operational efficiency. Simply put, dirty coils practically reach into your pockets, take out your wallets and go on a spending spree using your money. Why do we say this? ‘Cuz we know the statistics.
But now another organization has systematically studied the effects and costs of dirty coils, and the results are pretty clear. The Federal Utility Partnership Working Group, a public/private offshoot of the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), recently met to discuss among other things, research being conducted at Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) Technology Test Center, a state-of-the-art facility where the utility conducts research into energy efficiency and evaluates new technologies. At their April 15th, gathering this year in Providence, Rhode Island, the group reviewed what research revealed about the effects of neglected or ignored maintenance practices on HVAC performance and costs. The results should open some eyes. The SCE studies centered around, among other things, poorly maintained and cleaned evaporator and condenser coils. Here’s a quick summary of the negative impact each failing is responsible for:
Dirty evaporator coils:
- Reduced cooling capacity by up to 40%,
- Reduced compressor power by up to 7%
- Reduced supply air CFM rates by up to 75%
- Dropped energy efficiency up to 35%
- Increased supply air temperatures up to 2 degrees F
Dirty Condenser Coils:
- Degraded cooling capacity by up to 40%
- Increased discharge pressure up to 60%, cutting refrigeration effect by 30%
- Reduced compressor power up to 70% * Reduced energy efficiency by about 60%
- Increased supply air temperature by close to 5 degrees F
The story these numbers tell is fairly short and sweet – keeping your coils clean and well-maintained is an important aspect of your HVAC operations.