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5 Signs to Replace Your Steam Coil in the Heating Season

by | Oct 17, 2023

Steam coils play a critical role in heat transfer within HVAC systems, ensuring comfortable temperatures during the colder months. However, as winter approaches, it’s important to be aware of potential issues that may arise with steam distributing and standard steam coils, which can lead to decreased efficiency and higher operational costs. Before considering HVAC coil replacement, it’s crucial to understand the type of coil you have and what signs to look for that may indicate it’s time for a replacement.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Steam Coil

When it comes to steam coils, damage or wear can occur due to a variety of factors, including harsh winter conditions and improper maintenance. As temperatures drop and heating systems are put into use, you may run into the following steam coil issues.

Erosion & Corrosion

Steam HVAC coils, like everything else, can get worn out over time. Two big problems to watch out for are erosion and corrosion.

Erosion is when the inside of the coil starts to wear away. This can happen if the steam inside isn’t very good quality, or if it’s moving too fast. This makes your coil less effective and could cause it to break down sooner than expected.

Corrosion is another issue. This happens when unwanted gases are trapped in steam coils can lead to oxidation and carbonic acid. This can cause serious damage, causing pin-hole leaks over time. By utilizing thermostatic air vents and proper piping, you can effectively eliminate these gases, safeguarding your steam coils and significantly enhancing their performance.


Both standard steam coils and steam distributing aka “non-freeze steam coils” are susceptible to freezeing. Steam coil freeze-ups can lead to serious system failures, often occurring due to issues like improper installation or maintenance. Two main culprits behind freezing steam coils are the steam trap and the vacuum breaker, essential components for removing condensate. If not installed correctly, condensate can accumulate within the coil, leading to inevitable freezing when exposed to outside air. Similarly, a faulty steam trap can cause condensate to build up and result in reduced heat transfer, ultimately leading to a replacement.

Steam coils equipped with Cooney Freeze Block technology offer a robust solution to freezing concerns. This advanced technology is designed to release excess pressure in the event of a freeze-up, preventing the coil from bursting. Therefore, it ensures the longevity of your coil and provides peace of mind throughout the frosty winter months.

Improper Coil Selection

Selecting the wrong coil for your system can result in diminished performance and increased susceptibility to corrosion. It’s crucial to choose a coil that aligns with your specific system and duty requirements. By trusting coil selection experts to help you make an informed selection, you can dramatically boost the efficiency and longevity of your steam coils.

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Reduced Heat Transfer

One of the most significant warning signs that your steam coil may need replacing is reduced heat transfer. If you notice that your heating system is struggling to maintain desired temperatures or takes longer than usual to do so.

Reduced heat transfer can also be caused by dirt & debris caught in the coil’s fin pack. This blocks the full flow of conditioned air through the coil and that adversely affects the coil’s performance. Clogged and dirty fin packs lead to higher energy costs as the AHU fan struggles to pull conditioned air through the coils with an exceeding high air pressure drop. Clogged fins can accelerate coil fin degradation through corrosion and pitting. Care should be taken to provide a properly maintained air filter bank in front of the steam coils.

Improper Installation

Lastly, improper installation can also cause your steam coils to fail prematurely. Typical issues include lack of coil pitching towards the return main and the absence of a vacuum breaker. Ensuring correct installation is crucial for preserving the efficiency and lifespan of your steam coil.

The Cost of Replacing a Steam Coil

The cost of replacing commercial HVAC coils can vary, influenced by factors like size, material, and labor. However, investing in a high-quality replacement coil, can lead to substantial long-term savings. By choosing a quality product, you ensure longevity and optimal performance, reducing the chance of future breakdowns and related costs.

Unseen Expenses: The Price of Ignoring Needed Steam Coil Replacements

Ignoring the need for a steam distributing coil or steam coil replacement can lead to a significant financial burden. When a steam coil fails, it doesn’t just impact the efficiency of your heating system – it can lead to expensive repairs and even a complete system shutdown.

Consider the costs associated with a malfunctioning steam coil. There are the immediate repair expenses, of course. But there’s also the loss of productivity, the potential for damage to other components in your heating system, and the increased energy consumption due to inefficient operation. Moreover, when a steam coil is not functioning correctly, it can cause freeze-ups, leading to extensive damage and costly repairs.

Don’t Compromise – Choose a Quality Steam Coil Replacement

Our replacement hvac coils offer an efficient and effective solution to these problems. By investing in a high-quality steam coil replacement now, you can avoid these costly consequences down the line. This is not just a purchase – it’s an investment in the longevity and performance of your entire heating system.

Why wait until the damage is done? With Cooney Coil & Energy, you get more than just a product. You get free site visits, the expert knowledge of our coil selection and engineering team and expedite options all backed by our form, fit and function guarantee.

We’re not just experts in the field – we’re your partners in maintaining a robust and efficient HVAC system. Act now, and secure the future of your heating system with our top-tier HVAC coil replacement.

Steam Coil

Steam Coils

Steam distributing (“non-freeze” coils) and standard steam coil

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Freeze Block

Rupture Proof Fluid and Steam Coils 

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