10 Things To Know About Chilled Water Coils

Chilled Water Coil

1. A water coil is a water coil. There is really no difference between hot water coils and a chilled water coils in construction. Hot water coils are usually 1 or 2 rows and chilled water coils are usually 3 to 12 rows deep.

2. The vast majority of chilled water coils are constructed from either 1/2″ OD tubes or 5/8″ OD tubes. A lot of that depends on the tooling of the original equipment manufacturer and what is more economical. Either size can be used and substituted for each other, which makes replacing your coil that much easier.

3. 1/2″ Tubes are on 1.25″ center to center distance. 5/8″ tubes are on 1.5″ center to center distance. For example, if a chilled water coil has a 30″ fin height, there will be (24) 1/2″ tubes per row or (20) 5/8″ tubes per row. The tube area of the coil is remarkably the same. They are almost interchangeable.

4. The quality of the coil often times is directly tied to the tube thickness. Many installations have water not treated properly or tube velocities that are too high. There are few perfect installations in real life. Increasing the tube wall thickness on a chilled water coil is a great way to ensure longer life.

5. Fins make great filters! Of course, they are not designed to be filters, but it happens. You can make any coil cheaper by making them 14 fins/inch with less rows rather than 8 or 10 fins/inch. Just remember that deep coils are very difficult to clean. Cheap is not the way to go most of the time!

6. Fins are designed for maximum heat transfer. They are much more complicated in design than they appear to be when looking at the chilled water coil. They are rippled on the edge to break up the air. They are corrugated throughout the depth of the fin. The tubes are staggered from row to row and the fin collars are extended. All of this to maximize heat transfer. Unfortunately, the byproduct of this is the fins can end up being great filters. Be careful in the design of any chilled water coil.

7. Fins are aluminum for a reason! They give you great heat transfer at an economical cost. You need a compelling reason to switch to copper fins as copper is very expensive, and you’re likely to double (or maybe triple) the cost of the coil. Coatings are popular for this very reason.

8. Many chilled water coils are built with 304 stainless steel casings. The casings are stronger, they last longer, they are stackable, and it’s fairly inexpensive. After all, what is the point of building the best coil possible and have the casing disintegrate over time around the coil? Sometimes, it’s money well spent!

9. Circuiting the coil is the tricky part of any coil. Circuiting is nothing more than the number of tubes that you want to feed from a header. There are two rules. You must keep the water velocity over 1 foot/second and below 6 feet/second. 3-4 feet/second is optimum. The second is the number of tubes that you feed must divide evenly into the number of tubes in the coil.

10. Replacing  your chilled water coil is easy. Rarely do you have to worry about the performance. When you replace a 20 year old coil, it is dirty and the fin/tube bond is not good. The coil is probably operating at 1/2 of its capacity at best. When you put a new coil on the job, your performance will automatically be terrific. Your main concern is now making the sure the coil physically fits in the space allowed. And always have this in the back of your mind: Smaller is always better than too large. Smaller you can always work with, whereas too large makes for a very ugly and expensive coffee table.

There you have it – everything you need to know about chilled water coils. Interested in learning more, please reach out to Capital Coil & Air! We look forward to the opportunity to be your coil replacement specialists!

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The Smart Approach to Buying HVAC Coils (and Saving Money)

HVAC coil replacement does not have to be cost prohibitive. As you are all aware, money is tight these days, and budgets for maintenance and upkeep are constantly being cut. People are asked to do more with less, so every dollar spent must be spent wisely. In our previous newsletters, we have outlined various reasons about why you should do business with Capital Coil & Air. However, one of the most compelling reasons is cost and how you spend your money.

We now live in an age where you can skip “middle men” and buy direct from a manufacturer or supplier. Think about your own life and how your own personal shopping habits have changed over the years. When was the last time you used a travel agent to book a trip? In 2020, you’re much more likely to go to Tripadvisor or an airline’s website and make travel reservations yourself. Greater access to more choices gives you the opportunity to save money in the process.

Spending money in business these days is no different. Consumers have access to more information than ever before. Consumer studies show buyers get 60% of their product information from a firm’s website before ever speaking with a sales rep. The days of an account manager or manufacturer’s representative being the sole source of information are over. Right now, you can access Capital Coil’s website and see our entire HVAC product offering, including dimensions, quick-ship programs, and our Coil Selection Program. With information at the press of a button, Capital Coil’s expert customer service will consult with you to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you need, when you need it. Working with Capital Coil & Air directly cuts out that “middle man’s” costly mark-up and saves you money without sacrificing quality. Avoiding the “middle man” and having a direct line to the manufacturer also ensures quick response times, and helps to make sure that no information gets lost in translation.

Capital Coil & Air does have a select number of exceptional representatives in a few areas, and because they are valuable assets in the HVAC industry, we are comfortable passing your project information along to those representatives. But if not in one of those areas, you are free to work with us directly.

At the end of the day, technology has allowed you as the consumer to buy smarter, faster, and cheaper. Aside from those previously mentioned “middle men” who does not want faster and cheaper? Capital Coil & Air would like the opportunity to be your “direct supplier” on present and future projects. Give us a call and test us out!

 

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TOP 10 FAN COIL FAQ’S

1. A fan coil is among the easiest units to understand in the HVAC industry.  Basically, there is a small forward curved fan, a coil, and sometimes a filter.  They are all direct drive units. Click HERE to see Capital Coil’s full Fan Coil Product Lineup.

2.  Fan coils run from 200 CFM to 2200 CFM, which is 0.5 ton through 5.5 tons.  Anything larger than these sizes requires a belt drive unit…which is really a full fledged air handler.

3.  The thing that differentiates fan coil units is where and how they are going to be installed.  Is the unit going to be hidden above the ceiling or maybe in a closet?  Or is it going to be exposed so that everyone can see it?  Will it be ducted or will it just pull air from the space where it’s located?  These are things that determine the configuration of the unit and which style of unit to choose.  But, every unit has 3 things in common:  fan, coil, and sometimes a filter.

Fan Coils4.  Some units have (2) coils.  One for heating and one for cooling.  Obviously, there is a separate supply and return connection for each coil and these units are known as 4 pipe fan coils.  Many units only use the same coil for both heating and cooling and these units are 2 pipe fan coils.

5.  Units are either horizontal or vertical depending on the orientation and flow of the air.  A typical fan coil in a hotel room is a vertical unit with a mixture of air coming from outside and the air recirculating in the room.  The air enters at the bottom of the unit and is drawn upward through the fan.  This makes the unit a vertical style.  Many units are horizontal with the air entering at the back of the unit and traveling horizontally through the unit.

6.  Almost all fan coils are 3 speed or infinite speed settings based on the controls.  The high speed gives you more BTU’s, but more noise too.  Because the unit is direct drive, when you dial down the speed, you also dial down the performance.

7.  Coils in the units tend to be 3 or 4 row deep coils.  3 row is typically used the most, but if you need the extra performance, 4 row is the way to go.  Performance is always governed by the cooling aspect.

8.  Fan coils sometimes have short runs of duct work and there is static pressure on the unit.  Static pressure reduces the amount of CFM and BTU’s that the fan coil can give you.  This is true of both horizontal and vertical units.  Most performances listed on charts that you will see are static free performances.

9.  The control systems for fan coils are often more complicated and more expensive than the units themselves.  There are balancing valves, isolation valves, unions, y-strainers, p/t plugs, air vents, ball valves, thermostats, condensate float switches, and disconnects.  Capital Coil & Air can do this at the plant, but it is much cheaper and easier to do it at the installation. 

10.  Just describe your installation requirements to a sales engineer at Capital Coil & Air and they will guide you to the right design and configuration of the unit for you.  It requires only a phone call or e-mail! We look forward to working with you!

 

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Coil Costs: What Will Make Your HVAC Coils More Expensive?

We get questions all the time about how we build our HVAC coils, and what will add costs and what will not. This post will address the many inaccuracies other “mass production” manufacturers Hot Water Coilshave put out there. It’s very simple. There are only three areas on a coil that will add costs: the casing, the tubing, and the fins. Now we’ll deal with the many inaccuracies that most manufacturers try and “upsell” to you.

  • Connection sizes: There should be no additional cost switching from a 2” MPT connection to a 3” MPT connection. Only on rare cases with a 4” or 5” connection, should you ever see an adder in price.
  • Pitching the casing in a steam coil: All steam coils should be pitched. There is not some mysterious adder you need to pay to have you coil built the right way.
  • Casing depth and dimensions: Whether you want your coil 4” deep or 8“ deep, or want a 2” flange instead of a 1” flange, there should be no cost associated with simply more sheet metal.
  • Distributors on a DX Coil. This is our favorite. We actually had a call from a contractor who asked how much extra it was to get a distributor on his DX Coil. Distributors come standard with DX coils!
  • Flanges for “stackable” coils. This is just standard practice to meet the needs of your customer.

Coil Casing Adders: Most HVAC coils we manufacture are built with 16 ga. galvanized steel casing. We offer 3 other options that are slightly more expensive, but it all depends on your application if any of them are actually needed. Stainless steel casings are used in a corrosive atmosphere and are the most expensive option (even then, it’s only 10-15% more). 14 ga. galvanized steel casings are used primarily in coil banks where you might have between 2-4 coils stacked on one another. This adder for 14 ga. casing is only roughly 2-3% per coil.

Tubing Adders: There are many materials options in tubing and we offer all of them. Whether you need stainless steel, carbon steel, cupro-nickel, or standard copper tubes, we can build exactly what you need. Like any product, the more unusual the material, the more expensive the cost is. For most jobs with just copper tubes, adding a thicker tube wall will add only 10-15% in cost to the job and could double the life of your coil. For just a couple hundred dollars, that coil that would last 10 years could last 20. Some applications, like high pressure steam coils, require a thicker tube wall or more durable material or the life span of that coil will be extremely short. You’d be surprised at how many other manufacturers’ coils we’re asked to rebuild with the correct materials.

Fin Adders: Most coils are offered with aluminum fins with a thickness of .006”. The adders to go up in fin thickness are not much, but always remember, the thicker the fin, the more air pressure drop it’s going to add to your coil. The most costly adder you can do to a coil is adding copper fins. It will double the cost of your coil, and in some cases, be 2.5 to 3 times more expensive. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago, but the price of copper has risen over the last few years. We usually recommend coating your coils instead. It’s far more economical and only adds a week to the lead time.

Capital Coil & Air understands that people do business with you like and who you trust. Coil manufacturers should be an open book with this information. Unfortunately, most try and prey on what you don’t know. Hopefully, this helps with any confusion. Capital Coil & Air looks forward to working with you!

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