Proper maintenance and leak management should be a priority as it ensures optimal system energy performance while saving money and the planet.
Regular inspections and testing will detect leaks and should be repaired immediately. Systems should have logbooks for recording any refrigerant additions and removals, dates for leak tests and actions taken by technicians. For larger systems, automatic leak detection equipment should be installed. Internet-based leak monitoring systems can help identify risks at an early stage. Technicians should be trained in leak detection, know where they are most likely to occur and know how to use an electronic leak detector.
Dirty filters, condensers and evaporator coils reduce air flow and hence cooling capabilities. Layers of dirt on evaporators and condensers prevent heat convection, leading to lower heat transfer efficiency and higher energy consumption. Cleaning of coils and condensers should be part of a system’s regular maintenance schedule.
The efficient running of a compressor is dependent on many other components including duct, refrigerant piping, motors, metering devices, filters and the refrigerant itself. Compressors are expensive to replace, so it is important to uncover any potential problems and address them during a regular maintenance check.
End of life care of cooling equipment is critical to avoid additional refrigerant emissions. Not only is this damaging to the environment but in many countries it is a crime. All gases within equipment must be captured and either recycled, reclaimed or destroyed at end of life. Fridges often contain insulation foams which also can contain F-gases or ozone depleting substances and must be correctly disposed of.
Despite the existence of regulations controlling the disposal of old HVACR equipment in many countries, improper disposal of old equipment is common. Often companies operating outside the law offer customers reduced disposal prices, as they do not invest in the necessary equipment and procedures. Always be sure to ask for a detailed explanation of how your equipment will be processed and that disposal companies have the necessary permits.