Leak cause

Despite its huge benefits, refrigerant gas found in HVAC does include inherent risks. Shaun Evers, Managing Director of Stonegate Instruments, discusses possible leak causes, what things to consider and the clear benefits from the most advanced technology

UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS

The increased loss of refrigerant gas could cause one’s body to cool inefficiently and battle to produce adequate air-con, not forgetting the irreversible harm to your machine’s compressor also to the ongoing health of one’s employees.

As coolant leaks from your own system it rapidly evaporates right into a lethal gas that may cause asphyxiation. Additionally, it could cause difficulty breathing, headaches, vomiting and nausea, eye and skin irritation, and coughing. If contact with the gas is prolonged it could result in other life-threatening medical ailments.

Throughout a leak one’s body is working harder to pay which increases electricity consumption as well as your monthly energy bills. In accordance with several studies, a leaking air conditioner consumes 20 % more electricity when compared to a fully functioning one almost.

To place that into context, it’s been suggested a small continuous leak, left unrepaired for 90 days, could use a supplementary 10kW in electricity – equal to £1 approximately,400 in energy bills – after the leak becomes critical.

LEGALISATION AND COMPLIANCY

In early 2020 the European Commission earned fluorinated gas (F-gas) regulations within an insurance plan to combat climate change. The program would be to phase down the CO 2 equivalent emissions from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 79 % (in accordance with 2015) by 2030. Because the UK has left the EU now, the united kingdom government has specified that businesses must obtain a new GB HFC quota while they follow exactly the same CO 2 phase down as was specified by the European Commission. As HVAC and refrigeration manufacturers invest in developing environmentally compliant products without compromising on performance also, they are seeking to address safe practices concerns.

These regulations place a larger focus on undertaking regular gas leak checks on systems. Operators of stationary equipment, heat pumps and ac units which contain F-gases in levels of 5 tonnes CO 2 equivalent, or even more, must be sure that equipment is monitored. For apparatus without gas leak detection installed, the time between mandatory gas leak checks lessens obviously.

RECOGNISING THE FOUNDATION

Continually utilizing an air conditioning system, following a leak is rolling out even, can put excessive strain on the compressor along with other components. The compressor can break and cost a lot more to replace compared to the cost of identifying the leak previously and repairing it.

One of the most common leak causes is corrosion. This is a factor which has plagued the HVAC industry for quite some time due to the contact with fluorides and chloride in water supplies and cleaning chemicals. Another common cause is poorly connected control connectors or valves which have not been cleaned properly before joining. Similarly, soldered fittings can simply result in a refrigerant gas leak poorly.

Additionally it is worth noting that mechanical damage could be a cause. The refrigerant lines in one’s body move the gas between your condenser and evaporator. Because you can expect, refrigerant lines passing through the surface of the machine are vunerable to damage particularly, producing a leak.

DEALING WITH TECHNOLOGY

Nothing can replace the accuracy and efficiency of using technology to recognize a gas leak, however there are many simple things to consider in the event that you suspect a leak.

In the event that you suspect your unit isn’t working properly look for the pungent smell of the gas. The leak may possibly not be in exactly the same room because the main unit which means you would need to check the complete system. Also checking all pipes for stains and listening for a ‘humming’ sound via your thermostat pipe are other basic checks that you can do.

These checks are frustrating and fraught with human error. The individual checking may not check all of the pipes, they could have impaired sense or hearing of smell leading to it not getting detected, the leak getting having and worse drastic results.

For facilities managers, self-contained single fixed gas sensors, which tend to be more suitable for target R32 gases connected with HVAC units mostly, are becoming commonplace quickly. The clear great things about detection sensor technology are why some leading detection systems available on the market have a successful return-on-investment of just 2 yrs, which is without considering the expense of repairs to a preexisting faulty system. In addition to leak detectors, sophisticated refrigerant sensor equipment can be acquired with signalling alarms, LED lights that indicate the status and presence of every sensor and in addition audio/visual alarms to alert staff.

As knowing of the dangers of leaks and great things about market leading technology circulates further among facilities managers, so when businesses are more accountable when it comes to safety and health, using the latest detection and alert technology is paramount.

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