Humidity control and the importance of humidifier maintenance
With ever-increasing demands placed upon Building Maintenance Contract Companies, it is inevitable but not unavoidable that humidification plant equipment is at best mismanaged, or at worst forgotten about.
Whilst advances in humidifier technology is reducing the labour downtime required for humidifier maintenance, it is still the most beneficial way of reducing long to medium term running costs. It is in this management of Planned Preventative Maintenance that by routinely monitoring the performance of the humidification systems that common faults can be avoided before they occur.
Although, tougher Health and Safety Legislation and the introduction of the Climate Change Levy highlighted the necessity for PPM Management in the remaining components of the Air Conditioning Plant, the humidifier is still often left to it’s own devices. The humidifier is only considered when it has become apparent, either through increases in electrostatic charges, associated health problems or production difficulties that it has broken down. This delay in maintenance can become increasingly costly both for service labour time and parts required for the repair work. Both hot and cold-water humidification systems are susceptible to faults occurring if the manufacturers service recommendations are disregarded. Following these guidelines and implementing a PPM Managed Schedule to each individual unit can reduce the running costs and extend the life of the humidifiers, whilst maintaining the level of humidity to which the humidifiers are serving.
To fully understand the importance of humidification maintenance, the importance of the humidifier itself should be established:
Artificial humidification can often be required whenever room humidity drops below 50%. Dry air in rooms can cause electrostatic charges and in some cases more importantly sore eyes, dry mouth and throat, colds and flu and general discomfort. Not only are humidifiers used to keep computers and data centres free from electrostatic problems and maintaining good working environments, but also to increase industrial and commercial productivity. In printing web presses, paper handling is assisted by reducing paper breaks. The textile process can benefit from stronger, more elastic fibre and yarn, and again less breakages. Automotive manufacturing, wood, tobacco and packaging can all benefit in similar ways.
HumiTech believes that it is important to consider humidification maintenance when initially purchasing the humidifier. In cases where the system is already in use, then a PPM Management Schedule should be implemented immediately.
HumiTech offer a comprehensive range of humidifer service and maintenance contracts, along with advice and support at the tendering stage. This gives our clients the added advantage of calculating and making the necessary allowances for future running costs. All our service maintenance contracts are tailored to individual sites and are regularly monitored to accommodate any changes in maintenance intervals that may be required.
Richard Johnson, HumiTech