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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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TotalCare expands its online presence with Checkatrade.com

Now Found on CheckaTrade 

 

Did you know that:

 

  • There are 44 million active social media users in the UK?
  • Finding out about goods and services online is the second most popular internet activity after sending email, with 77% of UK adults using the internet for this purpose?
  • And research suggests that three out of four users routinely consult reviews before booking a service?

 

In 2019, it’s never been more important for a business to create and manage its online presence. Social media and online accreditation companies represent a valuable opportunity to attract new customers, maintain great relationships with existing ones, and improve a business’ reach and reputation.

 

At TotalCare Hygiene Services, we’ve been working hard to improve our online services: revamping our website, building a Facebook community, and, as of next month, becoming a registered service provider with Checkatrade.com. Checkatrade.com hosts over four million reviews for more than 30 000 businesses, gives each business its own web profile, and represents a mark of quality trusted by its extensive user base.

 

We’re excited for the wider reach Checkatrade.com will bring to our business, and continue to commit to the highest standards of service for every customer, new or returning.

 

Until we’re live in a few weeks, you can still find us on our website or Facebook page – and you’re very welcome to leave us a review on Facebook, or contact us directly if you have any feedback.

 

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Launch – New Website and Improved Support

Over the past few months, TotalCare has been investing across different areas of the business, ranging from accreditations, staff training, internal processes and marketing, to future proof the way we engage and offer our services.

Today we are proud to launch Phase 1 of our new website. We plan to add new features to our website which will make it easier to get in touch, book services and receive faster quotations. The website is more intuitive across different screen sizes and devices.

We will keep you up-to-date with our activities, including: business updates, activities, events and where we are. We are excited for the future, and feel confident that by continually building a strong business behind the scenes, this will improve our customers experience front of house.

Visit our website today and watch out for new features coming this year: www.totalcarehygieneservices.com

 

 

#cleaning #cleaningservices #refrigeration #hotel #website #service #facilities #maintenance #engineering #newhorizons

TotalCare: A Big Solution for A Hotel’s Biggest Problem

 

Hotels are big business here in the UK: 36 million overseas visitors came to the country during last year alone[1]. It’s safe to say the economy would not function without the revenue the hospitality industry provides.

From a hotel manager’s perspective, return customers are everything: it costs five to eight times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one[2]. Give the customer an experience that is comfortable, easy and enjoyable – whether they’re a couple celebrating a special occasion, a tourist exploring the local area, or a business employee looking for a stress-free stay – and they’re much more likely to come back. Which means steadier revenues and a better reputation – vital in today’s era of internet reviews and viral complaints.

So let’s talk logistics for a second, because the organisation involved in keeping any hotel running smoothly can be staggering. Hotels aim for 80% room occupancy over the year: around 10% of occupancies are lost to no-shows, and staff generally over-book to compensate for these. Since the final unoccupied 10% represents only a loss in revenue, it’s vital that room turnover is as efficient as possible.

Where does that leave the cleaning schedule?Rooms are prepared for new customers after every departure, of course, but deep-cleans and refurbishments take time – and most hotels aim for a minimum of one deep-clean per room, per year. Imagine a hotel with 178 rooms: around 15 rooms will need to be cleaned per month, if every room is to be cleaned at least once within the year. It’s the hotel manager’s task to schedule the cleaning of those 15 rooms at times when occupancy is lowest, and revenues will be affected least.

The average three-star London hotel charges £128 per day[3]. So putting 15 rooms out of use for a full day means a loss of £1920 over a month, and therefore £23, 040 over the course of the year. If the type of deep-clean requires two days to fully dry and air, as some do, then that loss of revenue is doubled, to nearly £50 000.

 What do these figures tell us, here at TotalCare?That the method used to deep-clean a hotel room is far more crucial than it appears. Most carpet cleaning systems use high volumes of pressurised water and cleaning agents to penetrate the carpet, and the dirt is then lifted out using a specialised vacuum. Depending on the environment, the carpets treated this way may take anywhere from four hours to two days to completely dry. The room, at least, will need to remain unoccupied for at least a day. For older hotels, carpeted floors without underlays may trap moisture from the cleaning, resulting in condensate stains that will also need to be cleaned. More time, and more expense – and if a customer is accidentally placed in a room with a still-damp carpet, there will be complaints, possible health and safety implications and a loss of reputation and revenues via refunds or a free nights stay.

So we decided we could do things a little differently, and developed a method that will allow for same-day turnaroundfor deep-cleaned rooms. Our aim is to complete our pre-scheduled rooms (between 15-20 at a time) between the hours of 6am and 12pm. If check-in starts at 2pm, it’s possible for a room to be completely refreshed without losing any occupancy at all.

 

What are the benefits?Well, we hope the general manager’s schedule will be considerably less complicated as a result, as well as the schedules of housekeeping staff and sales teams. A hotel cleaned with our method can maximise bookings and revenues, minimise unoccupied rooms, and increase customer satisfaction. So more of those gold-standard returning customers, and fewer wet carpets. We think we can all get behind that.

 

You can read a real-life, recent case study about this method in action here.

 

[1]http://www.bha.org.uk/2609_bha_lobby_day_briefings_uk/

[2]http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles/11472/10-tips-for-retaining-loyal-guests

[3]http://gb.hotels.com/hotel-price-index/7-average-room-prices-by-star-rating.html

 

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

Fast Drying vs Slow Drying

Just as with many things, each and every item has its advantages and disadvantages. This is the same with carpet cleaning. The first and most important is the consistency in stain removal.

Stain removal can be a hard and complex science. There isn’t a once size fits all scenario, this is because of the pH level of different substance that are drop, leaked, trodden onto the fabric. Choosing the right chemical solution and method for removing the stain is skilled job and in many cases experience wins.

The most common carpet and upholstery cleaning methods are:

  1. Bonneting – A heated (Damp) pad is used in conjunction with a slow rpm rotary machine. The pad softens the fibres and lifts dirt off the surface. Low to medium pile carpets, the likes of which found in offices, hotels and public areas, benefit from this system. Other benefits include: Fast drying, low noise, more efficient turnaround.
  2. Extraction – An Extraction wand with jets force cleaning chemical under pressure deep into the carpet pile. At the same time, as the extraction wand is moved over the carpet while powerful vacuums evacuate the moisture. Measuring the moisture level both before and after ensures the minimum amount of liquid remains in the carpet. Benefits of this cleaning are: deeper clean in between the fibres, ideal for heavily soiled carpets, removes deeper darker stains.

Extraction takes longer to dry. Bonneting is faster drying. The balancing act for any expert is matching the quality expectation vs drying expectation. The longer and slower isn’t always the best step forward, as more moisture introduced the carpet will take longer to dry. Less moisture may not remove most stains.

Both have there uses. Both can be used in combination each other. The nature of the clients expectations, operations and quality expectation will determine which is best suited to the job. An expert carpet cleaning provider should offer multiple options to get the best results.

Stain removal is a complex task. The general rule for successful stain removal is time. The faster one can react more likely the stain can be removed. Simply cleaning it with either of the above method after a long period isn’t enough. The correct steps in line with the correct chemical choice is key, but again speedy reactions will prove the most successful.

The client should also not hold its vendor to ransom, if certain stains are not removed…there something’s outside of everyone’s control.

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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