Aspen Pumps Group 21 March 2023
What lies beneath
The pandemic brought one huge benefit to the workplace… it got cleaner.
According to research conducted by Samsic, a national provider of Facilities Management services, there’s been an increase of up to 90 per cent in demand for office cleaners across the UK, and online searches for ‘office cleaners near me’ rose by 90 per cent. There’s also been increased interest in more bespoke cleaning services, like touchpoint cleaning and swab testing, along with requests for cleaners to be visible during working hours. These days a clean and hygienic workplace is expected and contributes to the health and wellbeing of everyone using it. But when you think of cleaning, do you think beyond the world of topical surface cleansers and plenty of handwashing? If the maintenance of air conditioning or refrigeration systems (AC/R) is your responsibility, please note: it’s what lies beneath that counts.
Refrigeration units take a lot of punishment, especially condensate removal pumps. Everything that enters the chiller cabinet, from skin cells and environmental pollutants to the odd garden pea and microbes, will eventually drain down into the tank. But it’s those microbes that do the real damage; they thrive in a dark, moist environment and feed on anything and everything, secreting jelly or biofilm to protect themselves. It only takes a matter of days for the biofilm, aka elephant snot, sludge or slime to form, which can eventually block drain lines, precipitating a leak or breakdown. Air conditioning units are not immune as they get damp, cold and warm, the perfect conditions for the growth of mould and bacteria. While this will definitely affect performance, it will also increase running costs. Daniel Park, Channel Marketing Manager, Aspen Pumps Group, estimates that the build-up of dirt on condensers or evaporators, increases the difference between condensing and evaporating temperatures and, for every 1⁰C increase, refrigeration costs rise by 2- 4%. Due to the condenser’s remote location, it’s often neglected during maintenance cycles and, with myriad pipes, valves, joints and compressors running behind and beneath refrigeration units, a leak is inevitable, and that can be even more costly, especially in the retail space.
Retail is one of the most competitive sales arenas in the world. Millions are spent on understanding the psychology of selling in this environment but, when it comes to chiller and freezer cabinets, reliability is king. Minimising breakdowns and leaks is vital, but so too is protecting the public and staff from injury. Slips and trips remain the single most common cause of major injury in the retail sector and, according to the HSE (June 2021), a single incident can cost a company £15,000 or more. To both reduce breakdowns and provide greater protection for staff and customers on the shopfloor, Park advises the adoption of a planned preventative maintenance programme (PPM). Comprising three specific steps: ‘clear’, ‘clean’ and ‘protect’, this programme helps promote the efficiency and longevity of AC/R units, and Aspen Pumps Group has a range of Advanced products that are effective in each of these areas, including its award-winning AdvancedGels.
AdvancedGels are super concentrates so there’s also an average energy saving of 70%, when compared to shipping the amount of product needed to make 80L. There are many other products in the range that can be used to clear, clean and protect your AC/R units, in fact you’ll be spoiled for choice, but it’s vital to complete all three steps because the benefits are undeniable: optimal performance, leading to improved energy efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions; improved indoor air quality; the absence of unpleasant smells; the removal of grease, fats, rust and scale and a longer economic life of a unit.
No matter how effective or efficient your refrigeration units are, you will not be able to keep coil surfaces clean without proactive maintenance, which means vital equipment will eventually underperform, breakdown or both. This would be unfortunate at any time, but right now, as the cost-of-living crisis deepens and global recession looms, can you afford to be reactive?