Reasons Coils Fail Prematurely

Evaporator or condensing coils are an imperative part of your overall HVAC system operation. They provide the system an avenue to rid the building of heat and thus help to cool the space.  Coils that are not functioning well directly impact the efficiency of the HVAC system and increase operating costs while also reducing the system’s life expectancy. A regular inspection of the coils should be a regular part of the system’s maintenance plan to keep your organization’s HVAC system in peak operating condition.    

Here are some of the most common reasons coils can fail before their time:

  • Plugged Coils – If filters are not changed or your coil is not cleaned in a timely manner, your coil will actually act as a filter. When dirt builds up on the coil, it will prevent heat transfer and can cause a 20% to 40% drop in performance.  Dirt adds to the coil resistance and will absolutely cause your coil to fail prematurely.
  • Vibration – When your coil is installed near a moving piece of equipment, vibration can occur and cause leaks. The area where these leaks occur is very important and will clue you in to if the problem is vibration. If they are near the tube sheet and look like they are slicing through the tube, the coils should be isolated from the rest of the system to prevent the vibration from causing damage.
  • Freezing – Most people think that when a coil freezes, the water or condensation laying on the coil freezes into ice and it expands causing the tubes to bulge and eventually springs leaks. What really happens is the coil will freeze in multiple areas simultaneously and it’s the pressure between these areas that causes the tubes to swell and eventually burst. These are very easy to spot as the leaks will run the length of the tube rather than around the tube.

Make sure that your HVAC contractor is keeping your coils in top shape and keeping your HVAC system at peak performance. Inspecting them now after a summer of hard use can identify issues that may crop up during the heat of next summer. For more information on EES Facility Services’ Preventative Maintenance Programs, contact us today.

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