Replacing HVAC Coils? 10 Common Ordering Mistakes

by Dan Jacobs, February 12, 2019

For those of you that do not regularly deal with replacement HVAC coils, here are some of the more common mistakes made that you want to avoid: 

  • When attempting to cross-reference a coil replacement within an Air Handling Unit, avoid using the Air Handling model number. You always want to use the coil’s model number because an Air Handling Unit might contain numerous coils with varying dimensions. 
  • Never go “big” on a dimension. Always error on the smaller side because even if smaller than intended, the coil is still useable. If you’re too big, your coil is essentially useless.
  • Avoid packing more Fins per Inch to try to get more performance out of the coil. Coils with added and packed Fins per Inch are extremely hard to clean, and the harder to clean, the less performance the coil generates.
  • Do not get hung up on small differences in performance. Coils are not tested with small tolerances, so generally, if you are within 3% (+ or -), everything will function as planned.
  • If you find that you have a corrosion issue, do not try to be economical. You will just end up replacing the same coil again within a year or two. Within the total context of a job, coil coatings and/or stainless steel casings are not too expensive. Do yourself the favor and spend the extra money upfront to make sure the problem is corrected sooner rather than later.
  • Stay away from running computer-generated performance without someone at Capital Coil running it as well. Coil selection programs have features and options that may not be relevant to your project, so we’ll help you to steer clear of those selections. We obviously want to make sure our results match up with yours, so working alongside each other helps ensure that.
  • Please do not try to “tweak” the program to increase one specific area. No matter what, there is always a cost and a counter-balance. The costs come in the form of pressure drops, additional rows, more Fins per Inch, etc. The central idea is to balance everything so that you have a selection that you can ultimately live with.
  • Do not think that connection locations can be matched up to ¼”, (+ or -). All coils require small offsets in the piping to accommodate new coils.
  • Steam coils only work well when the system and installation are correct. As such, do not install any steam coil without knowing everything about the system, valves, and controls around it.
  • Do not rely on just proposals and quotes to order your coil. Capital Coil & Air will always send over drawings for your records. Please look hard at these drawings for any revisions to be made prior to production. It’s all of our responsibility to make sure these projects are done correctly and on-time.

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 and has seen every issue to make sure your everything from the quote to the installation go smoothly! Give us a try on your next project!


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