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The Importance of Preventing a Pressure Drop in Heat Exchangers

January 20, 2015 | Blog

Your Coastal Bend home likely contains at least two or more heat exchangers, as they’re crucial components of every HVAC system. Excessive pressure drops between the inlet and outlet may indicate a problem inside your heat exchanger that could reduce the life of your equipment and keep it from functioning efficiently. Fortunately, your HVAC pro can troubleshoot and repair heat exchanger problems, so you remain comfortable in your home.

The condenser and evaporator coils in your air conditioner are heat exchangers that carry refrigerant in a closed loop, which absorbs heat from your indoor air via the indoor coil and expels heat to outdoor air via the outdoor coil. Your furnace also has a heat exchanger that absorbs heat from burning fuel and transfers it to your indoor air, while keeping the combustion gases in the burner from mixing with indoor air flowing through your ductwork.

A small pressure drop is necessary to enable the fluids inside heat exchangers to move, but large pressure drops reduce efficiency and can cause premature equipment failure. The design of your equipment ensures that pressure drops aren’t too large under normal operating conditions. Sometimes adverse operating conditions cause restrictions inside the heat exchanger tubing or piping, which require expert attention.

Leaks in heat exchanger tubing are the most critical causes of excessive pressure drops. Leaks caused by manufacturing or installation errors are sometimes repairable, but leaks caused by corrosion might require a heat exchanger replacement.

If your HVAC technician determines that excessive pressure drops in your heat exchanger are caused by mineral deposits inside the tubing or coils, he or she may be able to clean the tubing using a brush and a high-pressure water or air hose. Stubborn deposits or coils that can’t be reached with a brush might have to be cleaned with a weak hydrochloric acid solution.

Call CCAC today if you suspect that a heat exchanger in your Coastal Bend home needs expert attention.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat exchangers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “mtkang/Shutterstock”

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