Ready or Not, Cicadas Are Coming for Your Cooling Towers

photo: a mass of cicadasDuring each spring season, it’s important to prepare for the re-emergence of insects. That’s because bugs have a notorious reputation for getting trapped in air filters and causing major HVAC disruptions. This year, however, an even bigger problem is coming. Brood XIII, the periodic cicadas set to blanket Northern Illinois, Eastern Iowa, Southern Wisconsin and parts of Indiana, will break their 17-year cycle and emerge in the billions in May/June 2024. Cicadas spend most of their lives underground while they develop into adults. When they emerge to the surface, they can achieve astounding population densities of up to 1.5 million per acre. While their rhythmic chorus and unique life cycle may captivate nature enthusiasts, the havoc they can wreak on your HVAC system is enormous.

photo: a cicada infestation of Marley cooling tower coils without Permatron's Prevent systemThe Buzz on Cicadas and the Threat to Cooling Towers

As cicadas infiltrate cooling towers, they become a menacing threat. Their impact can be substantial as cooling towers propel air from chilled water over vented sheets, and cicadas get stuck in the honeycomb-shaped heat transfer surfaces. The cooling tower fans exacerbate the situation by drawing cicadas in, where they die or crawl through, clogging strainers and contaminating the water. Cleaning efforts, such as reversing the fans to dislodge the bugs, may inadvertently cause damage to the fill material as well, as cicada legs can get entangled during the process. Some facilities use remote sump pits connected to cooling towers, but bugs entering these pits can interfere with general operations. Despite being just two inches long, periodic cicadas can result in significant costs and immeasurable stress.

Cicadas can also wreak havoc on air handlers and other fresh air intakes that have air filter banks. They can crawl into the unit openings and accumulate on the pleats, blocking critical airflow. Removal is time-consuming, and scraping isn’t feasible because of the deeply pleated design, resulting in the frequent need for total filter changeouts and expensive repairs. In light of these challenges, finding a reliable solution for bug-related HVAC problems is imperative to keep systems running and prevent costly disruptions.

photo: exterior view of Permatron's Prevent system protecting against cicada infestationPermatron Systems Keep Bugs at Bay

The PreVent system from Permatron is a reliable defense against bug-related HVAC problems. These air intake filters are custom-made in the USA to fit any outdoor air intake, effectively preventing bugs from infiltrating A/C units, cooling towers and chillers. Larger wire inlet screens are common in cooling towers, but adding PreVent polypropylene air filter screens on top provides an extra layer of protection against smaller bugs and debris. The filters are installed on the outside of the unit, to prevent clogs and damage caused by insect infiltration. The best part? Maintenance is a breeze – simply brush or hose off the bugs and clean your filters with zero downtime. Installing the PreVent system is quick and hassle-free with Permatron’s secure and patented MagnaMount® earth magnets. No drilling or tools are required, ensuring seamless integration with your existing HVAC setup.

Prevent Chaos from Cicadas and Other Insects with Permatron

Don’t let bugs compromise the efficiency of your cooling towers and other HVAC systems. With easy installation, minimal maintenance and reliable protection, Permatron’s PreVent system ensures that operations remain uninterrupted even in the face of a historic cicada brood.

Get the best air filter defenses against cicadas and other insects with Permatron. Contact Us now before it’s too late.

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