Spirotech: Air and dirt removal

Spirotech: Air and dirt removal

Dave Goodyer, Area Sales Manager at Spirotech, discusses the important role that water treatment can play in maintaining performance.  

According to a survey carried out by Spirotech in 2022, over 85% of homeowners were concerned about rising energy bills, with over half of respondents having already kept their heating turned off for longer or turned it down to a lower temperature to save energy (54% and 51% respectively).  

As such, it’s more important than ever that heating engineers are educating their customers about the small changes they can make to their heating system to help keep costs down. However, one step that is still often forgotten is to look at the quality of the water running within a system’s pipework. Despite most boiler manufacturers now stipulating that a dirt separator must be included as part of the system for the warranty to remain valid or to obtain longer warranties, only 2% of respondents in the survey were aware that they had a dirt filter and/or air separator installed.   

Signs of poor water quality 

A key sign of a contaminated heating system is radiators that don’t heat up fully. Radiator cold spots can be caused by both air and dirt, with cold spots at the bottom indicating a build-up of dirt and cold spots at the top indicating trapped air, which many homeowners currently try to remedy by regularly bleeding the radiators. 

Higher than expected energy bills can also be a key indicator of a contaminated system, as the boiler is forced to work harder to deliver the required levels of heat. Other symptoms include noisy pipework and parts failing prematurely.  

Achieve good water quality  

For homeowners to see long-term improvements, they should consider fitting a deaerator and dirt separator to provide long-term ongoing water treatment.  

Flushing alone will only remove a certain amount of dirt and debris, which is where a dirt separator, such as the SpiroTrap MB3, comes in to provide ongoing protection. Fitted on the return, a reduction in flow velocity facilitated by the Spirotube, together with a laminar “no-flow-zone” and external magnet, ensures that any magnetite caused by corrosion, along with non-magnetic particles, are captured and removed before they can enter the boiler and re-circulate around the system. 

However, for the best results, installers should instead look at how to treat the root cause of the issue, which trapped air in the system, as prevention is ultimately better than finding a cure.   

If left untreated, air in the form of microbubbles will eventually be reabsorbed into the system water, where the oxygen will then react with any ferrous internal surfaces and gradually corrode the system, creating the magnetite collected by dirt separators.  

Over recent years, installers have begun to recognise that an automatic air vent (AAV) cannot remove these microbubbles and that fitting a deaerator, such as the SpiroVent RV2, is the only route to effectively and continuously remove microbubbles from a heating system. Utilising specialist tube technology, a Spirotech deaerator fitted on the flow pipe, at the point in the system with the highest temperature and lowest pressure, will create the right conditions for microbubbles to rise upwards out of the water, before being released by an automatic valve at the top of the unit. 

Efficiency gains 

With the right water treatment solutions, homeowners can expect to see efficiency improvements that will help to offset ever-increasing energy bills. For example, when installed together, the SpiroVent RV2 and SpiroTrap MB3 help to improve efficiency by up to 13%. 

With low awareness of the benefits of these technologies as seen in the results of our survey, it’s clear to see there are still many energy saving measures that homeowners are not yet familiar with. This is why Spirotech created the Better Heating hub, a toolkit designed to help heating engineers educate and encourage homeowners to adopt this efficiency-improving technology that will help to reduce energy bills and protect the financial investment they have made in their boiler for the future. 

New for 2023, installers can also register to become a Spirotech Approved Installer and have their business details listed on the new Find an Installer tool, helping to connect them with potential customers in their area looking to learn more about air and dirt removal. 

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