The Most Obvious Signs That You Need to Improve Your Mechanical Insulation
Even though you don’t give it that much attention, mechanical insulation certainly deserves some of your time. This means that regardless of what title or job you have – be it a maintenance engineer, building manager or owner, or a facilities supervisor, you must accept the fact that mechanical insulation must be included in your to-do list.
You have to understand that insulation systems these days have become so advanced and complex that it is highly inaccurate to say that they’re just a standard part of the HVAC system. As for a mechanical insulation, there are quite a handful of benefits it gives when it works the way it is supposed to. But if there is even a slight problem with it, those benefits won’t be realized and the entire insulation system might eventually under-perform.
But obviously the biggest challenge for you is how to determine if there indeed is a problem with your mechanical insulation. Good thing though is that you don’t really need to be an expert to see the signs.
1 – You have an existing insulation that’s either damaged or missing.
The fact is insulating mechanical equipment leads to higher return on investment, but not a lot of people know that about 20% of all mechanical insulation is either damaged or missing. A damaged insulation includes but not limited to failing insulation supports, the presence of ice, mold, or substantial condensation, opening joints, and hot spots.
2 – You’re scheduling or already in the process of reevaluating your system’s needs.
In the event that you plan on reevaluating the processes as well as energy use in your building or facility, it only means that it’s the perfect time to do a mechanical insulation upgrade, too. The obvious reason why you need to plan an upgrade of your mechanical insulation is because the current installation you have will no longer be fit to the impending upgrades you are to make in your building or facility once the reevaluation is done.
3 – Your current setup is already over 20 years old.
Finally, if you have insulation that’s more than two decades old, it means you really don’t have any choice but to have it upgraded. You should know that even a properly installed and maintained insulation system will need an important and major upgrade. Old systems will naturally develop corrosion under insulation. This is a unique type of corrosion that occurs due to the buildup of moisture on the external component of an insulated equipment. The reason why this type of problem goes unnoticed most of the time is because the development of corrosion happens underneath the insulation material. The spread of the corrosion means you have a serious problem in hand and the only solution is a mechanical insulation upgrade.