Cleaning the Coils in Hydo Air Units/Air Handlers?

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stoker_RI
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Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2012 9:41 am

Hey guys..

I have a couple of Hydro Air units...air handlers with water to air coils in them of course....these same units see year round air flow as they get utilized for my a/c too...Now I change the filters pretty regularly, mostly I had to use a smaller filter than the diameteter needed due to lack of availability..One is 20 x 22..the other is 20 x 25..these seem to be not of the most common sizes, and I never see that size anywhere..

I'm wondering after 15 yrs of use if I should be thinking about cleaning the coils themselves..and if so, how? I believe in the HVAC indusdtry, there IS a spray that is used to clean them off..and no, I don't think it is just compressed air in a can..

Any thoughts? Experiences?

Thanks!

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McGiever
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Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2012 9:53 am

Is removing them from duct work/air handler an option?

Are they positioned vertically or horizontally?
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stoker_RI
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Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2012 10:04 am

McGiever wrote:Is removing them from duct work/air handler an option?

Are they positioned vertically or horizontally?
noooo...certainly not the one in the attic anyway...mounted horizontally...Its a bitch enough just getting up there thru the scuttle hole to change the filter!..

The other one is verticle and and in the basesment..much more accessable..IDK...never considered removing the coil...do you know if that is commomly done?

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McGiever
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Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2012 10:22 am

Having coils set up for removal for cleaning and left out during cooling season is the choice of some other members here and myself. My install is very new so I haven't got to that point yet, but valves and unions are in place to allow it. :) A fluid cleaning would be tricky with coils in place. :shock:
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coalkirk
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Post Sat. Feb. 04, 2012 7:28 am

After 15 years, especially if you are using a filter smaller than needed, you can bet they need cleaning. You should be able to remove some sheet metal cover from the air handler to gain access to them. I would certainly make that a project for the off season. also you need to get filters that are the right size. It's a waste of time and money to use a too small filter.

My water coil is removable and I take it out at least every other year to clean it. Even with proper filter use, very fine particles find their way to the coils.
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stoker_RI
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Post Sat. Feb. 04, 2012 8:42 am

Thanks for the input guys..
Yeesh! One more maintenance thing!..wow koalkirk...never thought it would be affected so much...looks like in your case you at a minimum power washed the coil..I,m sure the intallers didn't provide any means for easy removal..which means I'll have to drain the line...cut the pipe..etc ...I guess that would be the time to maybe put a ball valve and drain near the units? Do u guys do that? And as stated avove..I'd install unions too..

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coalkirk
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Post Sun. Feb. 05, 2012 7:51 am

I've got a union on one end and a circulator pump flange on the other. It's pretty easy. You could try to clean the coil in place. Use a paint brush and a vacuum cleaner wand. They make a spray can of coil cleaner also.
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. Winston Churchill

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." —General George S. Patton

Burning rice coal in a 1981 EFM DF520, nut coal in a hand fired Jotul 507.

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Post Sun. Feb. 05, 2012 7:58 am

Take care if you use a power washer. I've seen some that folded the fins with too much pressure. Once bent, they are never quite the same.
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coalkirk
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Post Sun. Feb. 05, 2012 9:43 am

Very true! Mines a little wimpy electric one, just perfect for cleaning but not too much pressure. some of those gas powered ones will take chunks of wood off of your deck.
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. Winston Churchill

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." —General George S. Patton

Burning rice coal in a 1981 EFM DF520, nut coal in a hand fired Jotul 507.

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stoker_RI
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Post Sun. Feb. 05, 2012 12:11 pm

coalkirk wrote:I've got a union on one end and a circulator pump flange on the other. It's pretty easy. You could try to clean the coil in place. Use a paint brush and a vacuum cleaner wand. They make a spray can of coil cleaner also.
Thanks!..Do you know what the spray cleaner is called and where it is available?


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McGiever
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Post Sun. Feb. 05, 2012 12:28 pm

SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

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stoker_RI
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Post Sun. Feb. 05, 2012 1:33 pm

Thanks!...This forum is the best, isn't it?

Ops164
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Post Tue. Feb. 07, 2012 7:32 pm

Most of what you buy at the supply house for indoor coil cleaning is more or less 409 spray cleaner. We used to soak the coil in 409, loosen up the matted over stuff with a stiff brush, (brush in line with the fins) and rinsed it off with either a water hose or a low pressure sprayer.

You could install a filter/grille for your second floor unit and save yourself the trouble of getting into the attic for a simple filter change. Also, use the pleated paper panel type filters instead of the fiberglass "horsehair" type. Inspect them at 90 day intervals, replace when you can't see a light thru them. BTW, 20x25 is a very common size, sounds like yo need a new supply house...

Ops

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stoker_RI
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Post Tue. Feb. 07, 2012 8:55 pm

Wow! Thanks for the info!
Ops164 wrote:You could install a filter/grille for your second floor unit and save yourself the trouble of getting into the attic for a simple filter change.

I assume that you mean the return registers?...I've often thought of that..but there are 5...and different sizes..also wondered how I would secure the filter...

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