How Hydronic Automatic Air Vents Work

Written by vee enne
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Hydronics is a term used to describe the process of utilising water to transfer heat or cold via water in air flow systems. Hot water radiators are one example of a hydronic heating system. A common problem with hydronic systems is that air is easily trapped within an air system. Trapped air in a hydronic system causes blockage, reduced efficiency, corrosion and noise within the system. Automatic air vents help release trapped air.

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Automatic air vents are sometimes called automatic air release valves. As air breaks down within a hydroponic system, small air bubbles start travelling and end up in the water. The general idea of an automatic vent is that it remains closed when only water is present but will open to release the build-up of gases when air pressure builds within the system.

The correct installation of automatic air vents is important for efficient functioning. Automatic air vents should be accessible to repairmen in case of malfunction and should always be installed on the positive pump pressure side, which is the side which is creating the pressure. In addition, vertical pipes should not have the air vent installed on a bend. The air travels around the bend with too much force and will miss the vent and remain in the water.

Hydronic automatic air vents rely on the science of buoyancy to release accumulated air. A float, similar to a fishing bobber, resides in each automatic air vent. As water flows through the heating or cooling system, the float opens or closes the vent depending on the presence of air. When the heating or cooling system pipes contain only water, the float will rise and keep the vent closed. As air enters the system, the water level decreases, the float drops and the valve opens. When the vent opens, air escapes, causing an increase in water level. This increase then pushes the float upwards and closes the vent once more.

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