Fan coil units (FCUs) are the heating and cooling systems most commonly used in Canadian high-rise residential units. They are critical to the quality of air flow in each individual unit. Old or dirty Fan Coil Units impact the entire central system and can draw more energy than they should, resulting in higher maintenance and energy costs. This means more money spent by your building as a whole. Fan coil units can also cause air to be pulled in from neighboring suites.
Fan Coil Units need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years. It is up to the individual residents, ultimately, to keep their Fan Coil Units maintained. Neglect to do so could cause damage as well as introduce health dangers into the air residents breathe. Even though they are technically responsible for their own maintenance, most residents do not check or maintain the inside of their Fan Coil Units themselves and are unaware of the potential danger of the mould spores, rust, fibreglass particles, or other particulates they are breathing in if the units get too old. For certain vulnerable residents, this can pose a health risk.
This is where your knowledge as a property manager or Board member comes in. Do you understand what your Fan Coil Unit does? Here’s a list of Fan Coil Terms to help you familiarize with the proper terminology. This knowledge will help you better understand how Fan Coil Units function, and the importance of proper maintenance.
Fan Coil Unit
A fan coil unit (FCU) is a device that uses a coil and a fan to heat or cool a room without connecting to ductwork. Indoor air moves over the coil, which heats or cools the air before pushing it back out into the room. It is part of an HVAC system found in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
The main parts of the HVAC system are a heating, ventilation, and an air-conditioning unit. Furthermore, modern systems include an air filtration and cleaning element as well.
Ventilation (the V in HVAC) is the process of exchanging or replacing air in any space to provide optimal indoor air quality. Ventilation removes smells and excessive moisture, introduces outside air, keeps interior building air circulating, and prevents stagnation of the interior air. Ventilation includes both the exchange of air to the outside as well as circulation of air within the building. It is one of the most important factors for maintaining acceptable indoor air quality in buildings.
PSC single-speed motor technology has been the standard in the HVAC industry. PSC motors are considered single-speed. Due to its design, there are some disadvantages in PSC motors. They are considered less efficient than other motors because they consume more watts. They’re not ideal for continuous fan operation because since they run close to full speed, they use more energy than what the function requires.
ECM technology is based on a direct current (DC) design that is more efficient and it runs cooler than AC PSC motors. They are, in fact, approximately 80% efficient compared to the 60% efficiency rating of PSC designs. In the case of a failure, the control or the motor can be replaced without having to replace the entire unit.
Heating or Cooling Coils
Coils are a critical component of a Fan Coil Unit. They are at the heart of many commercial and industrial applications. A fan draws the air in a space into the unit, and then blows it over a cooling or heating coil. The air comes out of the FCU either cooler or hotter than before.
Mould is a naturally occurring organism that plays a major role in the earth’s ecosystem. They are the most important part of nature’s ability to recycle. The insulation that lines the inside of the Fan Coil Unit (FCU) cabinets can, over time, become a breeding ground for different types of mould “colonies” as the “ideal” conditions of high humidity, no light, and warmth are all present inside the FCU cabinet.
Mould spores are tiny structures produced by moulds for reproduction purposes. As mould grows, it produces spores and the spores become airborne when disturbed or dried out.
Pan Overflow Detection Alarm
This is an audible alarm that will sound off to warn residents of water overflow. It will automatically shut down the system to prevent damage to your suite and neighbouring ones.
CDC Inc. provides excellent service to the condo sector. Call CDC today to assess the state of the Fan Coil Units in your building. If needed, we can replace aging ones with high-efficiency new units that save energy. For the process, please see http://cdcpro.ca/fan-coil-unit-services/ or call 905-712-1232.