Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Keeping a Tidy Evaporator Coil

I regularly go into lots of dry cleaning plants.  One thing I consistently notice is that owners and managers don’t take the time to properly maintain their equipment.  If you want to keep your equipment in top-notch shape and produce a quality product quickly and efficiently, you need to take care of your equipment.  One thing you can easily do to keep your equipment in top form is to prevent an excess build-up of lint at the evaporator coil.  Before we get into how to do that, let’s talk about what the coil does and why keeping it clean is important.

Solvent is turned to vapor due to the heat from the condenser/steam coil.  The vapor along with lint from the garments being cleaned, travels to the evaporator coil through the filter.  There the vapor is condensed to a liquid, consisting of both solvent and water, due to contact with the cold surface of the coil.  This liquid drains to the separator, where the solvent returns to the based tank and the water is expelled.  The air flow then goes back to the condenser/steam coil and the process starts all over again.

The filter is the only thing that provides protection to the evaporator coil.  If lint builds up and embeds in the coils, then the entire process is slowed and can become so bad that the evaporator coil will freeze as the lint insulates it from the heat.

Cleaning or changing the filters at the end of each load will help prevent equipment failure and will help keep cycle times fast.  If your coil is already embedded with lint, remove it (most are installed with quick fittings) and clean it with a HVAC coil cleaner.  Do not brush the coil because you could damage it.  After you clean and rinse the coil, put all water in your waste drum for proper disposal because of the lint’s contact with solvent.

I hope this information helps you understand the importance of keeping a tidy evaporator coil.  If you have questions about your evaporator coil, leave a message below or contact us at our office.  Be sure to check out our helpful hints section for additional information on evaporator coils.