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The Ins and Outs of Coating HVAC Systems

Posted by Peter Haugen on Tue, Jan 19, 2016 @ 01:13 PM

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 Coating HVAC systems after cleaning the HVAC system is a great way for air duct cleaning contractors to grow their business.  They can better serve your existing clients by offering them another service, they can bid on a wider range of projects and they can set themselves apart from their competition.   Coating is typically done to restore damaged mechanical insulation found in HVAC systems and as part of fire and mold restoration projects.

What is a Coating? 

Coatings are surface treatments designed to repair surface defects or modify surface characteristics.  Most coatings are water based products, with a solid content of 45% to 70%, weighting 8 lbs to 12 lbs per gallon, in either black or white color, with anti-microbial components to protect the coating from mold and mildew, which pass smoke & fire spread standards, and cost between $35 and $55 per gallon.

 Benefits of Coating? 

For the Building Owner, coatings enhance and extend the life of the HVAC system, giving the building owner a less expensive alternative to replacing existing ductwork and other HVAC components. Cleaning and coating HVAC ductwork in an occupied building is normally 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of replacing that ductwork.  Let’s look at what coatings do.  

On damaged mechanical insulation projects:

  • After cleaning, it locks down any remaining loose fibers so they cannot escape into the occupied space.
  • After cleaning, it isolates residual spores left in the matrix of the insulation after cleaning so they cannot grow in the future.
  • Provides a more durable surface that is more resistant to air erosion/moisture/dirt.
  • Easier to clean in the future.
  • Enhances and extends the life of that surface.  

On restoration projects:

  • After cleaning, it locks in and isolates any remaining soot particles (from a fire) reducing odor.
  • After cleaning, it locks in and isolates any remaining mold spores (from a mold contamination) so they cannot grow in the future.  
  • Provides a more durable surface that is more resistant to air erosion/moisture/dirt.
  • Easier to clean in the future.
  • Enhances and extends the life of that surface

What does a Contractor looks for in a coating?

Contractors look for coatings that help them provide a quality project, with no call backs.  Specifically they look for a coating that:

  • Can be used on sheet metal, fiberglass and ductboard surfaces.
  • Has low odor.
  • Has fast dry time.
  • Meets all flame and smoke spread standards
  • Has an anti-microbial component to protect the coating.
  • Is easy to apply with various application tools.
  • Is available in black or white.
  • Low cost.  

Applying the Coating

Coatings can be applied with:

  • Paint brushes and paint rollers on small accessible areas.
  • Commercial airless sprayers on large accusable areas like an air handler
  • Cart spray/robotic systems with an airless sprayer on inaccessible areas like ductwork.

Since there is a wide range of viscosities between the various coatings, the airless sprayer used must be sized to handle the coating.   If the airless spray is not powerful enough to push the coating through the cart spray or robotic spray system the coating will not fan out properly.   The right application tool(s) can really help maximize productivity and profits on the project. 

For additional information about coating HVAC systems request our “Introduction to Coating HVAC Systems Guide.” Or contact Peter Haugen at 855-Vac-Systems, or 952-808-1619 or phaugen@vacsysint.com with any questions.

. Intro to Coating & Sealing  HVAC Systems Guide

Tags: coating HVAC systems