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Category : Air Conditioning Maintenance

Coffee Smog: The Hidden Particulates Clogging Your Coffee Shop’s Air Filter

Coffee Smog: The Hidden Particulates Clogging

Your Coffee Shop’s Air Filter

It sometimes feels like there’s one on every corner – and in fact, there are now an estimated 22,845 coffee shop outlets in the UK, with the last decade seeing the largest growth period for the industry. The country’s increasing passion for hot beverages and ham-and-gruyere toasties is worth a staggering £8.9 billion in annual revenue. But the coffee shop atmosphere creates a distinct problem for equipment maintenance companies.

Air-conditioning is now an accepted and expected part of running a commercial establishment, offering a level of comfort cooling, dehumidifying open spaces, and maintaining indoor air quality regardless of the weather. Air-conditioning units naturally become less efficient when exposed to dirt and debris over time: their filters are estimated to be around 60% effective, preventing larger dirt particles like dust and skin cells from getting through to the unit, but allowing in smaller particulates with the air. As filters gradually become clogged, dirt is pulled through to land on the coil surface. After that, it’s a domino effect of escalating problems:

  • the dirt acts as an insulation layer,
  • the reduced heat transfer makes the system work hard to achieve the same cooling effect,
  • the internal components, under additional strain, are more likely to leak or otherwise fail,
  • energy and maintenance costs for keeping the unit running spiral (an inefficient unit can boost the energy bill by around 36%), and
  • eventually the unit is beyond repair and must be replaced.

This is a recurring issue in every commercial establishment, but for coffee shop franchises, it presents a particular problem. Coffee and cocoa powders, milk powders and sugar particles settle on the AC unit; when combined with moisture and heat from the coil, these deposits become a sticky, tar-like substance. No one chemical cleaner will remove this combination of dairy, sugars and fats easily, and not every cleaning company is able to provide a bespoke solution. A dark, damp environment like an AC unit very quickly becomes a haven for bacteria and microorganisms, and it’s essential to clean efficiently and regularly to maintain good standards of public health.

What can be done? Firstly, the owners of coffee shop franchises need to be aware of the hazards of insufficiently maintained air conditioning systems, and build regular cleaning sessions into their budget. With inverters, heating and cooling can be provided from the same equipment, and these modern air-conditioning plants are increasingly replacing traditional heating systems. As this means the equipment is running all year round, it’s under a great deal of pressure. Systems like this become inefficient when left unmaintained, and it’s best to follow the instructions of the original equipment manufacturer to keep it running in peak condition. A regular clean helps prevent the build-up of deposits and bacteria, and makes those deposits easier to remove.

Many AC manufacturers recommend two deep cleans a year at minimum, and independent HVAC training organisations have recommended that a Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) programme should include the following:

  • Carry out a visual inspection
  • Check all fittings and fixtures
  • Remove and clean filter
  • Remove and clean condensate tray
  • Deep clean exposed coil
  • Clear and clean pumps and drain lines
  • Check refrigeration cycle
  • Check for refrigeration leaks
  • Check airflows and temperatures
  • Reassemble
  • Check system operation – raise a repair call if faults are found.

 

As for the cleaning process itself, we are finding that a combination of dirt removal with various cleaning fluids works best, freeing the coils from contamination and checking the pumps and drains for any bacteria slime blockages. Some contractors have invested in UVB technology to disinfect AC coils, but if the dirt is not effectively removed, then no level of UVB will suffice. The right chemical solution, in conjunction with the most effective cleaning method, is crucial.

As the coffee shop demand shows no sign of slowing down, we’ll keep abreast of the most cutting-edge new research – to make sure the air stays as clean as your coffee mug.

 

Contact TotalCare Hygiene Services: Air Conditioning Maintenance

 

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To Scrub or Not to Scrub: Why TotalCare’s True Love Isn’t Actually Cleaning 

‘I contacted TotalCare to assist me with the completion of a tight (refrigeration) maintenance schedule. This was a success: it is safe to say that I am very pleased with the results. They took ownership over their responsibility, allowing me to get on with my own important tasks. I will continue to use them, and would happily endorse them.’

– Greg Lindley, ColdService Ltd

Recent Cooling Post Article: http://www.coolingpost.com/uk-news/bradley-comes-clean-with-new-service/

This might surprise you, but cleaning isn’t our passion. It’s part of what we do, of course: wherever human beings live or work, we create dirt and chaos that must be resolved into cleanliness and order. But anyone can mop your floor or shampoo your office carpet. We’re interested in more than that: we want to promote long-term solutions that will preserve system, facility and human health. The continuing health and happiness of your workforce. The preservation of your equipment to keep it working efficiently and well. A workspace that protects and provides for your employers. We believe that clean conditions, smooth-running equipment and healthy, comfortable inhabitants make a business really soar; a house feel like a proper home.
That’s why we employ Hygienists, not cleaners.

We want our services to make a tangible difference to the way you live and work. So we invest in the latest equipment and technologies, keeping abreast of developments in the industry. And putting the customer first means starting with our own employees.

Every one of our Hygienists is part of our core ethos, from the very beginning of their career. Each has undergone specialised training courses, then shadowed a senior Hygienist before joining a team. As a company we cover domestic, commercial and specialist cleaning and hygiene services – everything from gardens to windows to carpets to fridges, in homes and offices large and small –there’s a lot to learn. We run a strong mentoring programme to keep developing individuals’ talents, and a continuing incentive scheme to recognise outstanding contributions. Everyone is employed full-time on a secure contract, and we are proud to support the living wage for all our staff.

Our theory was that happy Hygienists would make for happy customers. Once we’d put all these systems in place, we found we had motivated, passionate employees who care just as much about your health and happiness as you do.

So when I call TotalCare Hygiene Services and book a session, what can I expect?

Do you have a garden or grounds to spruce up? An office space to sanitise? Toddler-stained carpets to rescue? Congratulations: we’ve got Hygienists ready to help you! Each of our teams is comprised of a trainee, a supervisor and a senior. They are trained in a workflow we call PAC: preparation, where the job is thoroughly assessed, planned and prepared for; application, where each team member is delegated an individual task that will receive their full attention; and confirmation, where every job is checked personally by an appointed supervisor before completion.

We’ll ensure you’re fully informed at every stage. After the initial assessment, we’ll explain what needs to be done, how we’ll achieve it and how long we expect it to take. If anything unexpected comes up during the task, you’ll be the first to know. And once we’ve finished, we’ll take you through what’s been done to make sure you’re satisfied with the results.

What if I’m not satisfied?

We try very hard to make sure you will be! But in case you’re not, our guarantee means that we’ll return quickly and at no extra cost to resolve any problems.

If you’re interested in any of our services, we’d love you to contact us via our website. Let’s make your long-term health and comfort our business: one team of happy Hygienists at a time.

Expecting a silent night this Christmas? Not if you work in a hotel…

 

If you’re employed anywhere in the hospitality industry, you’ll know that Christmas means big business. Hotels of all sizes expect to be fully booked with Christmas parties, dinners and dances throughout the festive season. Smaller businesses might request conference rooms and bars for their end-of-year parties, and larger businesses often book out multiple function rooms as well as negotiating reduced room rates for their guests.

Hotels themselves get into the spirit of things, too: themed evenings, tribute bands and DJ sets might be scheduled and opened to the general public, and New Year’s Eve parties are especially popular.

This season might be profitable (and, given the depressed economy, the festive financial boost is often essential), but it’s not easy to manage. Catering for almost 300 people – eating, drinking, and dancing till late – often means hiring extra staff, creating health and safety contingencies and submitting detailed logistics plans. The repeated late closures and extra preparations can put a great deal of pressure on serving staff, cleaning staff and management alike.

It’s the hygiene side of things that interests us most (not surprisingly). In our experience, when hotels work at capacity, night after night, throughout November and December, it’s the cleanliness that tends to suffer the most. When an event room is full, staff have less space to serve, increasing the possibility of accidents and damage. Parties mean spillages, carpet wear, and stains on soft furnishings both in conference rooms and bedrooms.

What are the most common dirt contaminates on carpets during holiday season? We’re glad you asked – though you might not really want to know:

  • Alcohol, especially red wine
  • Makeup
  • Foodstuffs
  • Chewing gum
  • Vomit
  • Fake tan spray (yes, really!)
  • Dirt and dust tracked in on shoes
  • Pest Control

With so little time between one function and the next, it’s often difficult for the furnishings to be completely cleaned in time, since traditional carpet cleaning methods take time to apply and dry afterwards.

And dirty rooms mean more customer complaints – and loss of revenue – particularly when conferences are scheduled for early January, when carpets and furnishings have not yet recovered.

What’s our solution?

Well, hiring extra staff over Christmas doesn’t just mean service workers. Your regular cleaning team will struggle to finish each room to a high standard under festive time pressure. We’re ready and able to step in: our teams can work the post-party shift to ensure that your carpets are cleaned and disinfected, and as an added bonus completely dry as fastas 30 minutes.

Since a full carpet clean isn’t possible between every event, we recommend a bonneting method, which should get the carpet through the festive season and prepare it for a thorough deep clean in early January.

Most importantly, TotalCare is committed to upholding your hotel’s reputation for excellence. We’ll work with your constraints and to your schedule. Cleaner surroundings mean more satisfied customers, fewer complaints and more secure Christmas revenues. We think that’s something worth scrubbing for!

A Wet Floor Sign, doesn’t mean clean floor!

Some years ago, a former colleague and I met a team of Refrigeration Engineers at a Supermarket. I was interested in what they were doing. Wet Floor Signs littered the floor, water puddles were everywhere to be seen. Initially, any passer-by would have assumed that the floor was being cleaned, so to take caution, but on closer inspection, it was evident that signs had nothing to do with cleaning…The Engineers were infact unblocking a drains.

Insite:

Refrigeration produces moisture – Warm moist air is transported by fans through a heat exchanger called an Evaporator Coil. The Evaporator is set a low temperature – its purpose is to draw in heat energy from the objects stored in the fridge.

As the air passes through the coil, moisture molecules are attracted to each other, as more and more molecules come together water droplets form. These droplets then run down the Evaporator coil into a water collection tray called the Condensate Tray. The build-up of moisture needs to flow away, via a condensate drain (which runs underneath the fridge and the store).

Dirt, packaging and bacteria cause restrictions and blockages in the drains. Water, not able to flow away, will back up and over spill all over the shop floor.

With 40% of all reported incidents across Grocers is linked to Slips and Trips, preventative measures are extremely important.

I have since noticed the same issues raising across many different Grocers at home and abroad. I have spent many years travelling in building awareness in the correct principles surrounding maintaining clean and clear drains and coils. This is truly a universal problem and for this reason TotalCare was born.

Back to the story…

Engineers vacuuming drains from blockages. What are they vaccuuming? What is the root cause of the  blockage and why does it effect so many stores in so many towns?

It is true that packaging and plastic bags can get caught in the drains, but the real colperate are Biofilms!

Biofilms are micro-organism communities. Clusters of bacteria and germs come together to support a small ecosystem within dark, damp environments. It just so happens, that refrigeration is the perfect breeding ground for microbes and pathogens. To adhere to a surface (to create a bacteria community), bacteria produces a gel  called Exopolyshaccarides – This gel forms in layers resulting in a thick congealed goo, which then fills water drains in fridges, resulting in blockages. Exopolyshaccarides (technical name for bacteria goo), are removed from drains via a vacuum.

The process of vacuuming drains is repeated again and again, meaning that the root-cause of the problem (micro-organisms) are not treated. There are many treatment methods, many of which act as a bandaid over a wound instead of treating the wound first for possible infections.

It has become evident that the correct application method needs to marry-up with the correct chemical solution. Without the two working closely together, you’ll find the same problem re-occurring way ahead of any planned maintenance.

This year has been a great testing platform for our services. We have helped and assisted the following refrigeration clients in achieving the best results: Tesco, Epta, Westway, M&S, Newman Ref and many more.

Since our visits water leak call-outs have reduced to practically zero…unfortunately we can’t prevent pieces of broccoli getting caught in the plug.

In conclusion, don’t look under that refrigerated trap door! You may just meet the Exopolysaccharide Boogy Man!
For more information follow the link:
http://www.totalcarehygieneservices.com/refrigeration.html

#drainublocking #health&saftey #calloutreduction #refrigeration #refrigerationmaintenance

Safe Contractor, F-Gas, Altius certification and approvals

TotalCare Hygiene Services achieves new accreditations, with more to follow in 2019.

Our mission statement, here at TotalCare Hygiene Services, has been the same since we launched in 2016: to promote clean conditions for the preservation and longevity of system, facility and human health. That vision sets the tone for our day-to-day work, where we want our cleaning services to provide long-term preventative measures as well as immediate solutions, and it also informs our strategic path ahead. We always want to be in the vanguard of the professional hygiene industry: championing safer procedures, investigating new technologies and processes, and going the extra mile in customer service.

As part of this vision, we’ve been working hard on achieving accreditations from various industry-recognised regulatory bodies. Over the past few months, we’ve accomplished the following:

  • Assured Vendor, via Altius
  • Certified Safe Contractor, via Alcumus
  • F-Gas Certified and Registered with Refcom
  • Registered with BESA Training
  • Partnered with Business Edge for all HVAC training
  • Health and Safety Awareness Training, via Praxis42

Each of these regulatory bodies has assessed our procedures, reviewed evidence we’ve submitted and confirmed that we’ve met their requirements for above-and-beyond health and safety practices.  The accreditations affirm our commitment to maintaining safe practices and investing in continual staff training, and we’ll pass the benefits of those practices onto our customers. Our next step is to work towards compliance with ISO 9001, the international standard that confirms the ability to provide services that consistently meet customer and industry requirements. We’re now building the back-end framework to support our application, once we feel ready to make the jump.

It’s essential to us that our customers have confidence in us: confidence that our work will be of the highest quality, confidence that we’ll always be open, transparent and accountable, and confidence that we ensure safe and effective procedures at all times. When customers use our services, especially repeat customers, it’s a sign of trust we take very seriously. We’re excited for where the industry will develop in 2019, and, as ever, hope to be at the forefront of positive change.

 

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External Condensers for Convenience Store Refrigeration Plant

Lime scale chocked condenser…no problem!

TotalCare works with operators and contractors in solving problems with contaminated on refrigeration heat exchangers.

TotalCare was called to attend a site inspection of some large condenser coils situated on top of known supermarket. The coil being covered in lime scale kept tripping due to high pressure, resulting in the unit switching itself off – The possible losses of food revenues would have cost 1000s – Luckily with our trained eye, TotalCare team showed how the issue was caused by the lime scale and demonstrated the right method on removing the cause without compromising the integrity of aluminium coil.

Final Score

Lime Scale 0 – TotalCare 1

#coilcleaning #refrigerationmaintenance #ppm #condensercleaning #fridge #service #heatexchanger

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Air conditioning coil cleaning in retail and cafe environments.

Contaminated AC = COST £££

Every environment may have different types of airborne dirt. A coastal environment, one would expect to find higher concentrations of salt. An office may have printer inks, moisture, paper and fabric fibres. A salon you will find hair and proteins from lotions and hair sprays. All of these contaminants, overtime, will find their way into both refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

Both types of cooling systems circulate air through a refrigerated coil, which is designed to remove heat energy from the environment. Airborne particulates follow the circulating air and are then drawn into the unit. Dirt begins to collect and clog the coil and filter (if fitted).

A dirty heat exchanger, if left untreated, could see energy costs increase by up-to 36%. Other related issues around poorly maintained coils include:

System refrigerant leaks

Higher energy costs

Higher tax on climate change levy’s

System repair

Component failure

Drain blockages

Ice build-up

Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) helps to

Other benefits may also be enjoyed, such as improved Indoor Air Quality fewer particulates in the air and a reduction in potential cross contamination.

Cleaning the filter isn’t enough, it will help, but dirt can find its way into all surfaces within a AC and Fridge.

TotalCare supports refrigeration contractors in the delivery of their PPM contracts.

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