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How to Prevent Coil Corrosion

Many types of HVAC equipment rely on coils to operate, and these coils must be protected from environmental elements. If not properly protected, coils will corrode, or deteriorate, which leads to less efficient equipment and expensive repairs.

The good news is that most coil corrosion can be avoided or delayed if you take prevention steps—because it is always easier to prevent than treat. Here is a closer look at coil corrosion prevention options that are available:

Options for Coil Protection

Pre-Coated Aluminum-Fin Coils

While not available for all types of equipment, pre-coated aluminum-fin/copper tube coils are treated with a durable coating that offers excellent protection from mild coastal environments. However, they will not provide enough coil corrosion resistance for extreme coastal environments or industrial settings.

Copper-Fin Coils

Copper is naturally resistant to corrosion because it creates its own protective film. Therefore, copper-fin coils are an excellent option for coastal environments. Additionally, they are not prone to galvanic corrosion. That being said, copper does not hold up to most pollutants, so this type of coil is not recommended for highly polluted environments, such as dense urban areas, contaminated coastlines, and industrial applications.

E-Coated Aluminum-Fin Coils

Epoxy-coated aluminum-fin coils are the most corrosion resistant. A standard aluminum-fin/copper tube is evenly coated with a flexible epoxy that provides a solid defense against any corrosive elements in the atmosphere—nothing can get through. The epoxy layer is applied with a meticulous electrocoating process that ensures every coil cavity is protected in its entirety. The only corrosion risk with this option is exposure to nitric acid or formic acid. Otherwise, this is the best way to prevent coil corrosion.

CAUTION: Don’t Use Field-Applied Products

The above solutions to prevent coil corrosion are all completed in a factory where the environment is extremely controlled. However, there are many spray-on coatings on the market that are applied in the field. While these do serve a purpose, they should only be used as a last resort. There are too many variables that can impact the adhesion and application of a spray-on product. Additionally, using field-applied products on certain equipment can void the warranty.

 

If you want to keep your customers’ HVAC systems running strong for years to come, it is important to think about how you can prevent coil corrosion. By offering coil protection, you can save them a lot of hassle and money in the future. To learn more about coil corrosion prevention options, contact us now.

2 comments

    • Brian Mclellan says:

      It says only use field applied solvents as a last resort. Because there are too many variables as to why they won’t work when applied after the initial installation. Such as machine oil being on the coil fins, condensation and any other type of moisture, salt from coastal air penetrating the fins and so on… The pre-applied coatings from the factory are the best bet

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