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You are here : Home > Services > Focus Products CARLYNEWS > Heat exchangers fins
Heat exchangers fins

Clean and disinfect the heat exchangers fins

1) WHY do we have to clean and disinfect the heat exchangers fins?

Depending on their location and their environment, the heat exchangers fins can become quickly very dirty.
Heat exchangers located outside are subject to industrial dust, pollens and discharges of the surrounding processes.
Exchangers placed in the premises or inside air handling units are subject to industrial or food-processing processes discharges which can cause the development of micro-organisms.
In all cases, exchangers’ fouling has a direct negative impact on the operation of thermodynamic systems.
These deposits of pollutants act as an insolating barrier and reduce heat transfer.


a : The direct consequences of exchangers’ fouling are:

  • Decrease of thermal efficiency
    The fouling of an air-cooled condenser or a fluid cooler causes a reduction of the heat exchange.
    For example, the fouling of an air-cooled condenser which creates a condensing temperature increase of 5°C, generates about 7% power loss of the thermodynamic system and a 16% increase of electricity consumption.

    The fouling of an evaporator or of an air-handling units’ cooled coil leads to a decrease of the heat exchange which can make them icebound.

  • Risk of equipments failure
    • Burn out: The increase of the condensing temperature may provoke the compressors overheating and lead to their breakdown.
    • Slugging: The decrease of the evaporating temperature and the frost formation on exchangers can lead to a liquid fluid return at the compressors suction.
  • Increase of operating costs
    The exchanger’s fouling always causes a decrease in the efficiency of the thermodynamic systems, but also: 
    • A rise in operating costs (energy consumption ...) due to the increase of the operating length.
    • Growth of operating costs due to repeated maintenance operations.


b : The indirect effects of fouling are:

  • The fins corrosion
    When the heat exchangers are dirty, the fin’s corrosion is faster, on air-condensers for example.
  • A fall in the quality of indoor air
    The fouling of cold coils may contribute to the development of micro-organisms, causing either the fall of the air quality or the formation of fungus, sludge and/or algae.


2) HOW clean and disinfect exchangers fins?

  • Clean with
    • CARLYCLEAN : concentrated alkaline detergent, with no risk for the surfaces and for the exchangers fins. The product, ready to use, is especially suitable for very dirty exchangers.
      For more lightly soiled surfaces, CARLYCLEAN can be diluted (in 5 to 9 volumes of water)

    • CARLYNET : Degreasing solvent, ready for use, intended for the cleaning of small condensers mainly dirtied by fat (kitchens, restaurants, canteens etc...).

  • Desinfect with
    • CARLYBIO : Suited for disinfection, bacteria, mould, legionella, non aggressive for the surfaces (conform to standards NFT 72.150, 72.170, 72.200 and 72.301)



    • CARLYPRO : 2 in 1 Detergent and disinfectant, bactericide and fongicide, non aggressive for the surfaces. Particularly adapted for the evaporators. Conform to standards EN 1040, EN 1275 and EN 1276.
  • Protect against corrosion with
    • CARLYCOAT : This product, with a high covering capacity and a high content of aluminium pigments, assures a maximal protection of the aluminium and copper fins against oxydation and corrosion.



3) WHEN apply cleaning or disinfection products?

The frequency of cleaning or disinfection of the exchangers is to be adapted according to the environment and the speed of clogging. An air- condenser placed near woods must be cleaned more regularly in period of pollination than the rest of the year.

The maintenance of a slightly dirty exchanger is always faster and easier than that of a very soiled exchanger; it is therefore recommended to clean the exchangers as often as possible.

A regular cleaning increases the life of finned heat-exchangers

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