Mistakes That Can Hurt the Efficiency of Your HVAC System

HVAC system floor ventEvery home or business owner wants an HVAC unit that operates properly and keeps their home or office at the right temperature. However, most people also want a system that can do the job properly without burning a hole in their pocket. To ensure a system that works efficiently, here are some things to look out for that could be bad for your heating and cooling unit.

Leaky air ducts
Leaky air ducts have been found to be the biggest fault when it comes to wasting energy. They can be especially damaging in hot or humid weather, as occupants will usually lower the thermostat and waste even more money. Luckily, leaky air ducts can easily be tested and fixed.

Using the wrong air filter
Some people assume that the higher the number listed on an air filter package, the better it will perform. Others will reach for whichever HVAC air filters in Richmond are the least expensive. Rather than going by the manufacturer’s marketing or price tag, check your HVAC manual for recommendations or speak with a professional.

Blocking air return vents
While vents aren’t the most attractive element in a home, attempting to hide them beneath furniture will prevent your HVAC system from running efficiently. Keep vents uncovered and dust them often for a healthier and more efficient HVAC system.

Improving Compressed Air System Efficiency

air compressorCompressed air systems represent about one-tenth of the total energy a manufacturing plant consumes. Here are some strategies to pursue for improving compressed air system efficiency without undergoing a full system replacement.

Choose the Right Component Sizes
Oversized valves don’t just waste energy, but they limit the real estate in machine and system designs. Choosing the right valves can reduce electrical costs. You can also use straight fittings wherever possible instead of elbow fittings to minimize pressure drops.

Vacuum Less
It’s not uncommon for systems to apply pressures up to 100 psig for vacuum cups that only require 70 psig. Addressing this will result in noticeable savings. We also recommend looking for air economizing vacuum solutions that allow turning the vacuum off when parts aren’t present.

Add an Air Preparation System
Clogged filters result in increased maintenance costs. Visual and electrical sensors detect pressure drops as filters become dirty. An experienced industrial filter supplier in Richmond can help recommend a “smart” air preparation system that will ensure sufficient airflow.

Locate and Stop Leaks ASAP
In some plants, up to 30% of a compressor’s output can leak away through loose or faulty hoses, fittings, valves, etc. An ultrasonic acoustic detector can help track down these leaks so you can repair them sooner.

Maintaining a Clean and Efficient Hydraulic System

Hydraulic systemAside from human error, the most common source of hydraulic system failure is fluid contamination. In fact, it is estimated that up to 90% of hydraulic failures result from contaminated fluids. Contamination can exist as solid particles, water, air and reactive chemicals – all which can negatively affect fluid functions in one way or another. If any of these functions are debilitated, the system will not perform as it should, and sudden, catastrophic failures become possible. The repairs needed and resulting downtime can easily cost a facility thousands of dollars.

This being considered, an effective program to minimize and remove contaminants must be implemented. We suggest that you perform an oil analysis to determine what types of contaminants are present in your fluid. Keep in mind that you must collect samples from each piece of equipment, as types of contaminants can vary from one another.

To maintain a clean hydraulic system, perform a complete flush of all systems before initial start-up. You should also contact a hydraulic filter supplier in VA to ensure you are using the best-quality elements in all filter housings, and that you are changing them as often as recommended. You should also make sure to use a quality breather on your reservoir, and repair any leaks as soon as possible.

Is Your HVAC System Ready for Summer?

hvacCooling season is just about here, and it’s never too early to start preparing. Even if the weather hasn’t been particularly warm just yet, it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning. Part of your regimen should include preparing your HVAC systems to run at peak performance when it comes time to run your air conditioning. Keep reading for some important steps to take before summer arrives.

Change your filter
HVAC filters should be changed at least once a season. If you haven’t changed it recently, springtime is a great time to do so. You’ll also have a fresh filter to capture all those pesky spring allergens – something your employees are sure to be thankful for.

Clean away winter debris
Debris left over from the winter season, such as trash and yard waste, can restrict airflow. When your HVAC system works harder to overcome the restricted airflow, it commonly leads to increased utility bills. Keeping the area clear of debris and overgrown plants will ensure a properly functioning system.

Schedule preventative maintenance
Contractors are less busy in the spring versus the summer. By scheduling an inspection now, any potential issues regarding your HVAC air filter housing can be identified before they have the opportunity to cause havoc in the summer.

Uses for Oil Water Separators

oil water separatorOil water separators are crucial pieces of equipment that are invaluable for a wide range of industries and applications. By removing suspended solids and oils from wastewater before they enter the municipal wastewater system, oil water separators in North Carolina play an essential role in protecting the environment. The following are the most common applications and situations where an oil water separator (or multiple) would be needed.

Industrial
Certain industries and their facilities create large quantities of contaminated water on a daily basis. If this contaminated water was allowed to enter the wastewater stream directly, it would wreak havoc on the environment. An oil water separator can remove harmful petroleum and other contaminants from the water so it can enter the municipal wastewater system both safely and legally.

Food industry
Water waste created by restaurants is contaminated with grease, oil and suspended solids. These contaminants must be removed by an oil water separator system; otherwise, they would lower oxygen levels in waterways, seriously affecting local ecosystems.

Stormwater
If stormwater flowed directly into the environment, it would cause erosion due to excess runoff. Oil water separators play a crucial role by releasing the water at a pace that allows it to be properly absorbed by the soil, thus preventing erosion.

Tips for Storing Industrial Process Filters

Lifetec filtersWhen searching for industrial filters, Donaldson Lifetec Process Filters are an excellent choice. However, it’s possible to damage our filters before we even install them. This can cause harm to your machinery, shorten product lifespans, and waste money. Here are a few habits to keep in mind for your company’s industrial filters.
Even if your replacement filters are individually wrapped and sealed, be sure to secure the box you’re storing them in before placing them on a shelf or storage room. This simple habit can keep contaminants out and prevent your filter from transferring debris to your machine.

Ensure that product labels, including manufacturing dates and product names, are visible when selecting from the shelves. Also, keep note that metal shelves can cause condensation to form around the product, resulting in rust.

When it comes time to use your replacement filters, select the oldest inventory of filters first. Handle with care and wipe away any dust or debris on the box before opening. This will help prevent debris from prematurely coming in contact with the filter.

By storing your industrial filters properly before installation, you can prevent unnecessary maintenance and avoid losses. Handling and storing your filters properly will also ensure they will make a quality product for your machinery.

For questions on Donaldson filters and other industrial filtration products, call the leading Donaldson filtration distributor in VA at Greenleaf Filtration. Our experts have the answers to your filtration questions.

What to Consider When Seeking a Quality Contamination Control Breather

Air Sentry breatherContamination control breathers (or desiccant breathers) continue to be at the top of the list of essentials for preventative maintenance and attacking contamination. They are low cost option that proves a significant return on investment. Today, there are many variations to choose from; here are a consider when choosing a quality breather.

Headspace
It’s important to understand how much the headspace of a system can fluctuate. For example, the headspace in a splash-lubricated gearbox will fluctuate less than that of a hydraulic system reservoir, where there are large volumetric changes within the sump. This volumetric flow rate must be within the capabilities of the breather, or it may cause a pressurization condition inside the component.

Environment
If you’re working in severe environments (such as those with large amounts of dirt), choose a breather than can withstand the expected amounts of contamination. Consider a breather with a check valve or bladder assembly to help prolong its lifespan. Our Air Sentry Breathers in North Carolina feature an isolation check valve, which isolates the absorbent from exhaust air.

Construction
Tritan® is a material highly resistant to impact and chemicals with a broad range of operating temperatures. This means a longer life for your breather and your equipment.

Clarification & Prefiltration in Beverage Processing

food and beverage processingYou may already know that food and beverage processing creates complex liquids that require specialized steps for filtration. Typically, the first step is removing larger particles and sediment. Whether the beverage is raw juice, fermented wine, beer or even spring water, it carries sediment and particulates that must be removed in order to create products that are both flavorful and safe for consumption.

Nearly all clarification filtration applications are performed using depth filtration media. Cartridge filters, for example, use two forms of depth media. The standard depth filter is a self-supporting tube made with a polymer (usually polypropylene), and the tube is formed using the melt-blown or nano-spun process. The other form of cartridge depth filter uses pleated flat sheet media. These are typically made with polypropylene or fiberglass.

It’s not uncommon for custom filtration systems to be designed for new applications and to solve challenges in a manufacturer’s existing process(es). As one of the leading Donaldson filter distributors in VA, we will work with you to design, build and install a system that is cost-effective and meets your needs for excellent beverage filtration. Contact us or visit our page on industrial process filters or Donaldson’s new Lifetec® process filters for more information.

Oil Interceptors vs. Oil Water Separators

oil water separatorThe terms “oil interceptor” and “oil water separator” are often used interchangeably. However, these units are very different.

Oil Interceptors
Oil interceptors are designed for use in drain lines where oils, sediment and other liquids are intercepted. They are usually steel, fiberglass or poly boxes, and include a baffle plate (designed to restrain the flow of a fluid), a solids bucket, and a separation area. As the water enters the interceptor, the baffle plate then diffuses the flow, which reduces the turbulence of the incoming water. Depending on the flow of the water, some debris and sludge are stopped by the baffle plate and collected in the solids bucket.

A low flow rate and low turbulence allows the oils to rise to the surface of the water through the interceptor, thus producing water that is relatively oil-free for discharge.

Oil Water Separators
Oil water separators are used in applications where there is a potential for a higher volume of water and oil (industrial wash operations, military installations, etc.), as they have a much more sophisticated design. An oil water separator is a tank containing an inlet compartment, baffles system, sludge chamber, separation chamber, and clean water outlet chamber. When water enters the inlet compartment, the oil separation process begins and solids drop out. The water passes through coalescing media, removing essentially all free and dispersed emulsified oils to an effluent concentration of less than 5 ppm.

Due to this design, oil water separators in North Carolina are associated with enhanced efficiency. In comparison to oil interceptors, significantly smaller units are needed for higher volume applications.

Why You Shouldn’t Re-Use Disposable Air Filters

industrial air filters richmond VAPermanent and semi-permanent models of air filters can be cleaned as a regular part of HVAC system maintenance, and then reinserted to the unit for continuous use. However, disposable filters simply don’t work the same way. Despite an urge you may have to save money, we have several reasons why re-using disposable industrial air filters in Richmond, VA isn’t a good idea.

They Aren’t Designed to Get Wet
The only air filters that are meant to be washed and re-used are made from materials than can get wet and dry again without forming mold or mildew. Because mold is an obvious IAQ issue, a moldy filter is the last thing you’ll want to put in your HVAC system.

They Can Get Damaged
While cleaning a disposable HVAC filter with a vacuum or your hands may seem like an easy way to conserve resources, a filter can also be damaged if it’s handled this way. If you tear a hole in the fibers or loosen their density, your air filter will simply not work as well as before.

Even Vacuuming Isn’t Effective
While using a vacuum may make the filter appear cleaner, particles of dirt and dust are still trapped within the layers of material. Even if you keep the fibers intact while you clean the filter, a vacuum simply isn’t enough to get it clean again.