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Tag : 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.

Taming the Beast: How TotalCare Makes Refrigeration Headaches a Thing of the Past

 

Next time you’re in a supermarket, count up the refrigerated display cabinets (yes, we know how to live). Chances are, if you’re a customer, you’ve never noticed how many there are. In fact up to 79,000 throughout a single large grocers estate! Each chiller (another word for fridge) has on average 5-6 fans per fridge to circulate airflow, totalling 395,000 fans across one supermarket brand. If you’re a Store Manager or employee, though, we’re willing to bet you spend far too much time thinking about refrigeration units, and the many problems they tend to cause.

 

Refrigeration units: can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em

A large grocer couldn’t run without refrigeration, to cool and preserve the goods on sale. Sales revenues from chilled foods make up more then 60-70% of all goods sold throughout some single grocers. So, how critical are chilled goods from a sales and profit perspective to supermarkets? The answer is incredibly important!

Yet maintaining, servicing and mending each cabinet consumes valuable time and resources, and can even affect consumer confidence. Here’s a quick run-down of the common issues:

 

  • Drain blockages: Refrigeration units are havens for bacteria biofilms(jelly-like bacterial secretions that thrive in warm, dark and damp areas). Once the biofilms have built up, condensate is unable to drain away, resulting in water spillages on to the shop floor. Employees can only soak up the water with absorption socks called Puddle Pythons, and wait for a refrigeration engineer to be available. In the meantime, customers may slip and fall, resulting in potential injury and possibly out-of-court settlements and increased insurance premiums. 40% of all declared injuries throughout supermarkets are due to slip&trip hazards (Health&Safety Executive).

 

  • Shut-down for cleaning: most refrigeration cabinets are given a deep clean once every 9-12 months (housing and panels are generally cleaned every few weeks). The traditional cleaning method involves vacuuming drain-lines and high-pressure washing with cold to warm water – which means shutting down the cabinet, removing produce, and disrupting customers. No disinfectants are used to remove micro-organisms. However, due to the lack of correct use of chemical products in situ with a poorly executed methodology, the 1-2 time maintenances become more frequent throughout the year, which may result in compromised reputations for both the contractor and grocer.

 

  • Parts/Component breakdown: it’s been reported that, on average, 7% of refrigeration fans and fan motors need replacing every month. Based on what has previously been stated, this is approximately 27,650 per year throughout a single supermarket chain. In larger stores this can work out to be a whopping thirty parts per month per larger store! As a result of faulty fans, due to drain blockages, the evaporator coils are also prone to freezing, necessitating a full defrost and potential loss of goods and sales revenues.

 

  • Increased energy bills: The build-up of biofilms can also affect the heating/cooling flow within the unit, increasing surface corrosion and making the unit less energy efficient. It is a proven fact, throughout the refrigeration industry, that for every 1 degree increase in condensing temperature energy costs can rise by 2-4%. Studies have shown in some cases of an overall increase of up to 36%!

Other costs to grocers and contractors include: Service Contractor call out fees (inclusive contrac or pay as you go), system downtime, loss of sales revenues, component replacements, insurances premiums and energy taxes!

The build-up of dirt and bacteria jelly is worrying for stakeholders, especially when located so close to goods that are for human consumption.

What’s a Store Manager to do about all of this? It’s vital for the store’s reputation and name – and for the health and happiness of its customers – for refrigeration units to be cleaned well, maintained efficiently and mended in a way that causes the least disruption. Unfortunately, current cleaning methods don’t tend to address the underlying issues, allowing bacteria to rapidly return, and the cycle of breaking-down and patching-up to continue.

 

TotalCare does things differently

We’ve got good news for you: we believe our one-time, first-time approachshould apply to even the most troublesome of refrigeration cabinets. That’s why we’ve adopted a new cleaning method for commercial refrigerators, using products that have been registered with the international NSF non-food compounds programme. It means they can be used safely where food is stored and handled. And because we use safe cleaning products not just warm water, we completely remove the damaging biofilms each time, discouraging regrowth for longer. Infact, up to the next scheduled cleaning regime.

We also physically remove dirt and dust from circulating airflows, improving the surrounding air quality. We’ve found that our method preserves component life for longer, reduces the number of service calls, keeps drains leak-free for up to fourteen months, helps units stay energy efficient, and significantly reduces disruption in-store.

We think of ourselves as your reputation insurers: a vital, willing partner in boosting customer and employee satisfaction. This is achieved when the right combination of cleaning products with the right level of technical understanding come together.

Imagine it: no more water leak-and-breakdown headaches. You and your refrigeration cabinets can be friends for good. More importantly your customers will want to come back knowing that their goods are kept in a clean and hygienic environment!

Find out more: http://www.totalcarehygieneservices.com/refrigeration.html

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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