Machado
Lic # 719286
Environmental
by Tom Pula
What it Really Takes
 
 
 

Once in awhile I feel compelled to say something again even though I’ve said it before many times. And besides, we have some new impressive pictures that will help me get the point across.

Machado
 
 
 

When we are cleaning the inside of an A/C system, we are cleaning something that is behind 16-24 gauge sheet metal, above drywall ceilings, 30 feet in the air, behind access panels that are rusted in place. In other words, we are cleaning things that haven’t been seen by a living person since it was installed long ago.

What does it take to clean an A/C system?

 
 

While there have been great strides in the technology and equipment used to clean HVAC systems, there is not any magic wand or computer controlled mechanical means that is going to replace elbow grease and a willingness to get in there and just do the work. It really does mean you open up the system wherever needed, you disassemble the unit into a hundred pieces to be able to get to the inside of it, you clean it and then you put it all back together again.

 
 

For this very reason, clients don’t always see what goes into cleaning a system. In addition, because the components are hidden as described above, how are you going to know? Is a client or a prime contractor going to climb into a system, take it apart to verify cleanliness? Not likely.

There are two stages. One is the estimate. When I am sending a crew to clean a system starting at 6 PM, I want to make sure that crew knows what they are in for. An estimator has to look to determine what will be needed. If an estimator saw this, he would know it was an old system that might contain some old fiberglass that needs a bit of repair, but if he didn’t take the time to open it up, he would not see the sagging and tattered insulation as shown in this photograph.

 

or this...

Without this information ahead of time, the service department would not know that a lot of liner needs to be replaced and the project would be underbid with a client who was then hit with change orders. By looking when the bid is done, we find out exactly what is needed in the first place.

When it comes to doing the work, it really boils down to getting to everything. And that takes work. It takes patience and experience, knowing where to open the ductwork, and how to access those places that just seem impossible to get to.

No matter how you slice it, it comes down to hard work and elbow grease, getting in there and crawling around.

If it takes buidling scaffolding inside a massive air handler, that's what is done.

If it takes taking every panel off a rooftop air handler, that is what is done.

But the product is worth the effort. The amount of detail work our crews put in makes a complete and long lasting product for our clients.

Our customers have come to expect perfection and that is what we deliver. That doesn’t come from magic wands or computerized remote cleaning devices. It comes from a willingness to do what is needed to reach the internal components that need to be cleaned and then carrying it through to a completed product.