Air and dirt can undermine system performance
HVAC systems often struggle with problems caused by air contamination. Here we look at some of the causes.


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​Written by Antti J. Lagus

Continual service visits, blockages, leaks and even excessive noise are just a few of the problems associated with air ingress. They can be all but eliminated by investing in high-quality expansion vessels and air and dirt extraction solutions.

Mikko Lättilä, Technical Manager at IMI Hydronic Engineering Oy, explains how.

An efficient water cycle in property heating or cooling systems relies on the fact that no air or gas flows into the pipeline. At the end of the heating season or when systems are shut down, water temperature drops and its volume decreases. This also creates a subsequent drop in pressure that can allow gas to enter the system causing not just the problems mentioned above, but also the potential for corrosion within the system.

And corrosion is the last thing you want. Oxygen can react with the metals used in pipes and other system components to form magnetite and other contaminants. Over time, these residues can block valves, damage expensive system components like boilers, or even cause total system malfunction in the worst cases.

It's all about handling the pressure

Maintaining optimal system pressure is an essential part of the solution to all of these issues. High-quality expansion vessels can prevent air and gas ingress. They deliver the stable and accurate pressurisation needed for energy-efficient operation and system longevity. And it's all down to the industry-leading butyl rubber used in the construction of the IMI Pneumatex Statico expansion vessel.

Its unique material delivers unbeatable gas tightness – it has the lowest gas permeability in the world – and makes the Statico five times more diffusion resistant than other average vessels. It helps reduce maintenance demands, drives down cost as well as ensuring that contamination and corrosion are just one less thing to worry about.

Attention to cost

Jorma Kukkonen, IMI Hydronic Engineering Oy, Managing Director, thinks a shift in focus is needed. Lower cost alternatives to high quality solutions may save money in the short term, but over time they'll end up costing more. Research has shown that only one in ten HVAC systems are correctly pressurised, meaning those systems are prone to a range of performance issues that, as we've learned, are easily preventable.

Renovation – the perfect opportunity to make a clean start.

Many building HVAC installations are in need of major renovation. Installing leading-edge pressurisation solutions at this time will not only improve performance but end up more economical in the long term too. It's also the ideal opportunity to prevent dirt from causing problems further down the line by installing a high-quality dirt separation solution simultaneously.

The G-Force dirt separator from IMI Pneumatex uses ground-breaking cyclonic technology to deliver dirt separation capabilities that are up to nine times more effective than alternative technologies. Any air, dirt, sludge or magnetite is simply and efficiently separated from the system for easy removal via a drain valve, helping you maintain a clean and energy efficient HVAC installation with the minimum of fuss.

It's a simple concept really. All building infrastructure should be safe, easy to maintain and deliver the resilience needed to provide long-term performance and energy efficiency. Whether commissioning a brand-new installation or renovating existing infrastructure, high-quality solutions makes sense for occupiers, maintenance staff and the bottom line too.

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Air and dirt can undermine system performance