The interior of your heating and cooling system is usually dark and wet–the perfect environment for biofilm to grow and thrive. Here trusted furnace installation contractor Bill Reynolds Heating & Air Conditioning discusses what biofilm is and how it compromises the efficiency and performance of HVAC systems.
A biofilm is a group of microorganisms that can form on nearly any moist surface, including environments exposed to high levels of humidity. It’s essentially a colony of microbes that latch on to each other and use their hair-like appendages to adhere to moisture-rich surfaces. Biofilm will grow and change in shape and size as more microbes attach and invade new surfaces.
Biofilm buildup in HVAC systems occurs in components that tend to be moist and warm, including evaporator coils, condensate pans and air ducts. While manufacturers have incorporated antimicrobial coatings on these working parts, biofilm can develop resistance to them over time. It’s also worth noting that this colony of microbes often appears in shaded areas, which means it can easily be overlooked.
How to Get Rid of Biofilm
Deep-seated biofilm can disperse airborne particles throughout the HVAC unit, making it more difficult to remove. An air conditioning repair technician will inspect the equipment thoroughly to determine if the problem has spread to other components. Getting rid of the issue early on is imperative, as detergents and other cleaning agents will still be effective at removing biofilm from surfaces at this point.
Exposure to antimicrobial ultraviolet (UV) lamps is also seen as a viable solution to biofilm removal, though it can be costly. When scrubbing biofilm-covered surfaces, it pays to be extremely careful, especially when working on sensitive components like evaporator coils and aluminum fins. As for cleaning products, choose ones that inhibit bacteria, fungi and algae growth. When it comes to air ducts, thorough cleaning and sealing must be done by licensed HVAC professionals.
For top-notch cooling and heating services, turn to Bill Reynolds Heating & Air Conditioning. You can count on our highly-trained technicians to work with you to keep your home comfortable year-round. Call (440) 946-7863 or fill out our contact form to request a quote.