How to Make Sense of Heating Coils?

Various winter storms have already ripped through multiple parts of the country, and we’re not even into 2020 yet!!  With conditions such as these, emergencies with your HVAC systems are almost inevitable. THIS is precisely when you need your coil supplier to have the speed and flexibility to be able to tackle whatever emergencies arise.Steam Coil

Of all the types of HVAC coils available, heating coils are probably the easiest to select and understand. Capital Coil has listed the three most common types of heating coils that you are likely to come across.

Hot Water Coils

When looking at a water coil, the first thing to remember is that it is in effect “dumb”. In other words, water coils do not know the temperature of the water moving through it. While standard HVAC water coils are mostly constructed in the same design, the number of rows contained within the coil is a key differentiator in determining if the coil is hot water or chilled water. 99% of all hot water coils are (1) or (2) rows based on performance requirements. The “Delta T” between the entering air temperature and the hot water temperature is very large. As a result, you only need a coil with (1) or (2) rows to do the job. Face velocities across the coil can be anywhere from 600 to 1,200 FPM (feet/minute), while water velocities are usually 2-4 FPS (feet/second). As a result, you will always end up with a (1) or (2) row coil with somewhere between 8-14 fins/inch.

Booster Coils

Hot water booster coils are just another variation of the standard HVAC hot water coil.  They are always (1) or (2) rows as well, but the casing is designed for duct work installation. This basically means there is usually a 1” or 1.5” casing on all four sides of the coil. You select the proper size of the coil to make sure the air velocity across the coil is correct and simply transition the duct work to make the casing size around the coil.  Generally speaking, the size of the coil face is larger than the duct size, so you must transition the duct to make it larger. Just remember, a booster coil is nothing more than a standard hot water coil that is used for duct work installation.

There can also be a casing variation called “slip & drive”, where the coil is installed in the duct work. The coil does not have the standard casing on all four sides like a flanged coil. Capital Coil’s selection program allows you to pick either option.

Steam Coils

The real secret to any steam coil installation is to know that steam coils are much more of a product of the entire system than any other coil; meaning that other coil types are much more independent of the system.  Steam coils require numerous considerations, such as traps, pitched casing, piping flexibility, and vacuum breakers.  Steam coils are also built according to steam pressure through the tubes and headers.  2 – 50 psig is considered “low pressure” steam for coils, while 50-100 psig is considered “medium pressure”. Anything over 100 psig is considered “high pressure” steam.  An important fact to remember is that each of these categories requires a separate kind of construction with different brazing and different materials.  Additionally, almost all steam coils are (1) or (2) rows deep. Steam coils are known either as “standard” steam or “steam distributing”, but the differences are very easy to understand.  Outside air temperatures below 40˚F require that you have a “non-freeze” steam distributing coil.

 

Capital Coil’s available shipping schedules: 

 

 

Hot Water, Any Size, Replacement or New:

3-4 weeks: Standard shipping

10 work days:  Add 20% premium

5 work days:  Add 40% premium

3 work days:  Add 75% premium

Hot Water Booster Coils

Any size, any rows, any fins, any quantity:  1 work day to 2 weeks

Steam Coils (Standard or Steam Distributing)

3-4 weeks:  Standard shipping

10 work days:  Add 20% premium

5 work days:  Add 40% premium

3 work days:  Add 75% premium

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Quick, Reliable & Uncommonly Fast

 Quick, Reliable & Uncommonly Fast

You have many choices when buying replacement coils and choosing a coil supplier. You could decide to diversify and work with numerous suppliers, based on a particular need. However, Capital Coil & Air can make your buying decisions a lot easier. We have been in the coil business for many years, and in this industry, we recognize what is important vs. what is irrelevant. That translates into us having good insight on what you need and how best to support you as a customer.

Quick

Coils today typically do not have much “preventative” maintenance done on them. Most everybody just waits until a coil fails and then worries about the problem at that time. And when coils inevitably fail, they fail during the times when you need them most; i.e. cooling coils failing in the summer and hot water coils breaking down in the winter. As a result, there is usually an urgency attached to most HVAC projects. Generally speaking, most jobs require some form of “quick-ship”. Capital Coil & Air gives you (4) different shipping options for all replacement coils. Our standard ship time is 3 – 4 weeks, but if you need your order faster, Capital Coil will accommodate that need. We do not want to have a “one and done” transaction. Capital Coil’s goal as a business is to have a customer base that we work with for 20 years, not 20 minutes. While we will do our best to give you the fairest price possible, you have to recognize that there is an additional premium associated with quick-shipments on replacement coils. However, you will never pay that premium if Capital Coil is late on manufacturing your order. We’ve built our business on quick-ships, and we hit 99% of all deadlines on orders the last two years. In other words, we rarely miss! We give you options, and you only pay for what you really need.

Reliability

Reliability encompasses so many things in the coil industry. For example, if you need a price today, and the sales rep takes (2) days to get back to you, that’s unacceptable and unreliable. If you require a drawing to help you design a job, and you are waiting for a week to have it returned? Again, not what Capital Coil considers reliable. If a coil supplier promises you a ship date and ships (2) weeks late? Once again, not reliable. Do any of the above issues sound familiar? It is easy to make extravagant promises, and companies do it all of the time. However, Capital Coil’s success rate on meeting and exceeding shipping schedules says more than any promise we can make. We believe in under-promising and over-delivering, not the reverse!

  • Capital Coil responds quickly to all inquiries for pricing, general information, and engineering assistance
  • Capital Coil manufactures high quality equipment in the U.S.A. and is AHRI Certified
  • Capital Coil’s years of experience will help you quickly pick the correct product for the correct application
  • Capital Coil provides accurate shipping dates, real-time tracking and common carrier information after your order has left our factory

We do all of the above to make everything in your life easier. Capital Coil holds itself to the highest standards for both reliability and customer service. In short, we want your experience with us to be professional and simple. Please call or email our sales department for any job – no matter how large or small. We greatly look forward to the opportunity to work with you on your next project.

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Tips on Hand Designation & “Counter-flow”

Are your water coils right hand vs. left hand?  Is it looking into the face of the coil or with the air hitting you in the back of the head?  What exactly is counter-flow and why is it important?  Are you completely confused by why right hand vs. left hand even exists?  Most manufacturers probably do not know or understand the technical reasons themselves.

First, let’s figure out what coils even need a hand determination.  Chilled Water Coils, Direct Expansion (Evaporator) Coils, and Condenser Coils are the only coils that need this figured on almost every job.  Hot Water Coils, Booster Coils, and Steam Coils rarely need this determination.  The reason for this is when the coils are only 1 or 2 rows deep, they can be flipped over.  When a chilled water coil is 3+ rows deep, hand determination is much more important because it needs to be counter-flow.  Most suppliers determine hand designation with the air hitting you in the back of the head….do you want the connections on the right or left?

Chilled Water CoilsYou’ve probably heard the term “counter-flow” countless times, but here’s the simplest explanation.  For peak performance, you want the air and the fluid traveling in opposite directions through the coil.  Is it the end of the world if your coils are not counter-flow?  The short answer is no, but you will lose anywhere from 12-15% of the output.  So if your coils are piped incorrectly, don’t expect to get the full performance.  Steam and hot water coils are 1 or 2 rows deep, so counter-flow is pretty much irrelevant.  However, it can make a big difference with any chilled water or direct expansion coils (3-12) rows deep.

We also get asked many times “what is the proper way to pipe coils?”  Put simply, steam coils should always be fed on the highest connection and the return on the lowest connection.  Water coils should always be fed on the lowest connection and returned on the top connection.

Hand designation and counter-flow are two pretty simple concepts when they are properly explained.  When dealing with a HVAC coil manufacturer, partner up with one who will walk you through the engineering and explain it along the way.  Capital Coil & Air has well over a decade of experience in handling pretty much any scenario that you may come across, so we want to be your coil resource for any and all projects. Please give us a try on your next job!

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