7 Preventative Maintenance Tips for Your Air Con

During the summer heat, your vehicles air conditioner would be working overtime trying to beat that Australian heat. If you sweated your way through last summer and had to spend a lot of cash for repairs, you may be wondering how you can extend the life of your vehicles air con and stay cooler for […]

9 Need Know Tips About Air Con Regassing

Having a working air conditioning system in your vehicle is fairly essential in Australia. There is few things as frustrating than getting in your car on a hot summer’s day only to be greeted by warm stuffy air, despite the air conditioning being on full.

Regular maintenance of your vehicle air conditioning (AC) system will improve performance and ensure you stay cool on those sweltering hot summer days.

Your vehicle AC unit is a sealed system and depending on your vehicle it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. However, refrigerant gas can leak from the system resulting in the air-con not blowing as cold.

Here’s What You Need To Know About Car Air Con Regassing:

  1. Will regassing make it cool? 

Maybe for a short period. Your vehicle AC system is sealed. If your air conditioner system loses refrigerant gas, this is an indication that there is a fault with the system. A thorough inspection of components are required to ensure they are free from corrosion and leaks before fresh gas and lubricant are injected back into the AC system.

  1. Is vehicle air con gas environmentally friendly?

There are several gasses used today around the world. R-134a, the refrigerant gas used in most vehicles in Australia, is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. That’s why it’s essential to have a licensed technician perform a thorough inspection on your AC system rather than just regassing and harming the environment and your back pocket.

Due to the risks, there is legislation in place to ensure all AC technicians have a Refrigerant Handling License from ARCTick. This ensures they are fully trained in the requirements and risks associated with handling the refrigerant.

  1. Can AC refrigerant gasses be mixed?

There are a few types of refrigerants used vehicles. It depends on the age of the vehicle and service history. Mixing refrigerants can cause some serious damage to AC system components and even cause a dangerous chemical reaction. The safest option is to fully evacuate the system and replace with new refrigerant suitable for the AC system.

Stay clear of M30 refrigerant, a hydrocarbon-based gas. It is cheaper than R134a refrigerant, but these hydrocarbon-based refrigerants are potentially lethal. M30 is highly flammable making it very dangerous to yourself, passengers or a technician working on it.

  1. What should a technician look at when regassing?

An AC system that is leaking or requires regassing is a good indicator your unit is well overdue for a service. In some cases it’s normal not to detect a leak prior to re-gassing which is why a regular services is essential.

During an AC service in your car, the following should be inspected:

  • Drive belts and pulleys.
  • Operation of valves and thermostats.
  • Hoses and components.
  • Leak test system lines and components with an electric leak detector.
  • System evacuated and refrigerant recovered.
  • New refrigerant oil added.
  • Condenser temperature checked.
  • Suction line temperature reading.
  • Check air vent temperature.
  • Check receiver drier and filter
  1. How does leaking gas affect my AC system?

A leaking system will have a direct impact on the environment and contaminants can leak into the AC system. Things like dirt, dust, leaves and mould can build up inside your AC system. These can clog up the filters, evaporator and other vital components in your AC. Even water can cause some serious damage such as corrosion and deterioration of internal parts.

  1. How often should I service my AC?

Depending on environment and vehicle your AC system should be serviced every 1-2 years. Some cars can go 5+ years without needing to be re-gassed, but even the most efficient AC systems will lose around 10% of their gas annually.

  1. Does the AC system affect my vehicles performance?

Keeping your vehicle air conditioner in good working condition will reduce the load on the engine and improve fuel economy. It also means you will exert less wear and tear on AC components.

  1. Can the AC system affect driver performance?

Musty odours, build-up of bacteria and even mould can flourish in your AC systems. This can lead to headaches, allergies and even increase rate of fatigue and clarity.

9. Do dirty filters affect performance?

An air conditioner filter can come in the form of aluminium mesh, foam, woven polypropylene, non-woven polyester or non-woven polyester with activated carbon. Filters are available in a variety of types and efficiencies.

  • Energy and fuel saving by 5% – 15%
  • Better cooling and performance
  • Cleaner air improving protection from allergens, contaminants and breathing problems
  • Protects and extends the life of your evaporator coils and other parts

It is recommended to clean or replace your air conditioning system’s filter on a regular basis. Filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use or subjected to dusty conditions.

Lyons is one of the largest suppliers and installers of OEM and custom air-conditioning, filtration and pressurisers in WA. Our team of specialised air-conditioning and filtration experts are inducted, approved, and preferred on most major sites. Call us now on (08) 9259 7777 or email enquiries@lyons.com.au and speak to one of our experts today.

MERV vs. HEPA What does it mean and what suits you?

As cabin filtration becomes more of a necessity that a luxury it is important to understand how filtration works and what is necessary for you. One of the most common queries asked is how does filtration work and what level of filtration is needed for your job site.

Sy-Klone, the world leaders in cabin and engine filtration used throughout Australian mining and construction provide some clarity.

How Air Filters Work

Filter media is made up of many criss-crossed fibres layered in random directions. When particles from the working environment enter the air intake port, the particles are impacted and intercepted onto the filter fibres. These particles are subjected to specific filtration mechanics and are dependent on the size of the particle and airflow velocity.
Here is a list of the filtration mechanics and their respective definitions:

1. Inertial impaction – Occurs when a particle encounters a filter fibre due to the inertia of the particle.
Example: A large dust particle is unable to change direction of flow due to its inertia, so it impacts the fibre and becomes attached to it.

2. Interception – Occurs when a particle follows a gas streamline that happens to come in contact with the surface of a fibre.
Example: An intermediate dust particle that readily follows the airflow stream comes in contact with a filter fibre.

3. Diffusion – Occurs when particles do not follow gas streamlines as readily and are governed by random particle motion (Brownian motion of small particles) Example: A small particle, such as certain exhaust particles, encounter filter fibres at random.

4. Electrostatic attraction – Occurs when an electrostatic charge on the filter fibres are present. Example: Static charge on a fabric creating static cling.

*In terms of filtration, the most important filtration mechanics pertaining to everyday use are: 1) Inertial impaction and 2) Interception.

The larger particles that encounter the engine filter tend to impact onto the exterior surface of the filter media. The smaller particles that follow airflow streamlines tend to impact and intercept within the depth of the engine filter media. For smaller particles, the filter fibres act as branches that catch harmful engine contaminants passing through the filter. Thus, when a Cab Air Quality System utilises a pre-cleaner, such as the RESPA-CF2, HVAC life is extended and down time is reduced as fewer contaminants are reaching the filter.

A complete Cab Air Quality system is comprised of three parts:

  1. Fresh Air Pre-cleaner/Filter/Pressuriser
  2. High-Efficiency Recirculation Filtration
  3. Pressure Monitor

How Complete Cab Air Quality System Works:

  • Fresh air and debris are pulled into the powered pre-cleaner/filter/pressuriser (RESPA-CF2 shown).
  • Debris is separated from the airflow and ejected.
  • Cleaned and filtered air is delivered to the machine’s HVAC unit without added restriction by the powered RESPA unit. This creates a positive pressure, which prevents dust sucking into the cab.
  • Clean, filtered and conditioned air flows through cab.
  • Monitor alerts operator to loss of positive pressure in cab and when to change RESPA filter.
  • High-efficiency recirculation filtration (powered RESPA-CFX or non-powered RESPA-FFX2) continuously removes dust from cab, minimizing settled dust accumulation. Clean, filtered air flows back to HVAC plenum.

Note: Sy-Klone’s MERV 16 filter media has special patented properties that shed most particles.

MERV Filters

What is the definition of MERV and what does MERV mean when buying an air filter? MERV is an acronym for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value”. The MERV rating on an air filter describes its efficiency as a means of reducing the level of 0.3 to 10 micron-sized particles in air which passes through the filter. Higher “MERV” means higher filter efficiency. The purpose of the MERV standard is to permit an “apples to apples” comparison of the filtering efficiency of various air filters.

Air filter efficiency refers to the relative ability of a filter to remove particles of a given size or size range from air passing through the filter. If a filter were 100% efficient, none of the particles in a given size range would escape the filter and air which has passed through such a filter would contain zero particles.

The MERV Efficiency Rating Scale ranges from 1 to 16, with 1 being the lowest efficiency and 16 describing the highest efficiency. The particle size range addressed by the MERV scale is 0.3 to 10 microns. A logical inference is that if an air filter is removing particles down to 0.3-10 microns, it is certainly also at least that efficient at removing larger sized particles. Sy-Klone’s patented high-efficiency MERV 16 filters have unique properties, as the filter media sheds most dirt rather than the particles being embedded in the filter.

HEPA Filters

HEPA air filters are not MERV rated as they exceed the ASHRAE test protocol 52.2 used in determining the MERV ratings. In fact, HEPA air filters are the ONLY mechanical air filters that are tested and certified to meet a specific efficiency at a specific particle size. All HEPA air filters must meet a minimum efficiency of 99.97% at 0.3 microns. ASHRAE or MERV air filters are tested using the Dust Spot tests that incorporate some fine dust, powdered carbon and some cotton linters. The Dust Spot test particle size range is from 0.3 microns to 50 microns in size with an average size of approximately 20 microns in size.

HEPA air filters are tested using DOP, Mineral Oil and other materials that generate a mono-dispersed particle that are all .3 microns or smaller in size. In essence, if 10,000, 0.3-micron sized particles are blown into a HEPA air filter, only 3 particles are allowed to pass through. Thus, you get the 99.97% at 0.3-micron rating. If you were to use the HEPA test on a 95% ASHRAE air filter they would be about 50% efficient on 0.3-micron sized particles once they loaded up with dust. So, HEPA air filters are at least 50% more effective at removing respirable sized airborne particles than any of the ASHRAE air filters previously available on the market.

Selecting the best RESPA® Filter for your environment:

Where can you use the RESPA Air Quality Systems?

  • Operator Cabs
  • Control Rooms
  • Trailers
  • Electrical Cabinets
  • Caravans
  • And more!

MERV 16 Filter:

Recommended for uses where airborne contaminants place operator at risk, including contaminants such as Beryllium, DPM (Diesel Particulate Matter), and RCS (Respirable Crystalline Silica). We highly recommend this filter as it represents the best mix of high efficiency filtration and economy.

For more information contact Lyons the experts in air-conditioning and filtration on (08) 9259 7777 or email enquiries@lyons.com.au. Lyons can help you make the right decision first time, every time!

HEPA Filter:

Recommended when the very highest level of filtration is needed, OR where HEPA filters are necessary due to regulatory requirements. Refer to ISO23875 Cabin Filtration standard for more details

* The original article can be found on Sy-Klone website. Lyons are a direct solutions provider distributor of Sy-Klone International

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