Fresh Air - air conditioning tips for your boat

Last updated 11:50 01/03/2012

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Driveline diagnostics Beat the Pong - marine toilets 101 Fresh Air - air conditioning tips for your boat

No boat owner wants to find themselves mid-cruise in 40 degree heat without a functioning air conditioning system so here's a three-point checklist to ensure smooth running of air conditioning systems.

One of the world's leading suppliers of marine air conditioning systems, Dometic Marine, called upon its expert engineers and team members to provide some basic preventative tasks that boat owners can carry out to avoid unforeseen problems mid-cruise and the possibility of large repair bills.

Leisure boaters can enjoy hassle-free family days out on the water if basic maintenance tasks are carried out regularly. Not only will this frequent upkeep prolong the operational life of the A/C unit, but help to avoid a complete system shut-down in the most inconvenient of situations - worst case scenario, but expensive should it occur.

To ensure a pleasantly cool on-board environment as well as mould, dampness and rot reduction, self-contained A/C units needs a little tender loving care from time to time and summer is the most logical time of year to give the system a thorough check.

As owners prepare to use their boat more frequently during the summer, it is important to ensure everything is in good working order to prevent unlikely system failure. The most common cause of an A/C system failure is blocked water and air flow but fortunately, this is easily preventable with our three point checklist.

1. UNBLOCK
If the seawater circuit is not properly maintained, the amount of heat transferred will be reduced and this can create the same condition as purchasing a system that is too small to cool the space. To avoid this, the seawater strainer should be checked for debris that may have been brought in by the raw water and removed. On average, the A/C unit should be checked monthly during the summer months, but this will vary depending on the quality of water that a boat sails or cruises in.

2. CLEAN
Inspect and clean your return air filter which is located on the blower/evaporator assembly. There may also be an air filter built into the return air grill assembly. This will need cleaning as well. Lastly, use fresh water to test that a full condensate pan on the blower/evaporator assembly will drain away within 30 seconds.

3. SECURE
All of the systems fixings and electrical connections should be checked and tightened if needed to make sure they are secure. It is also important to check the hoses, coils and other piping for leaks and repair if necessary.

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For more information contact: The Marine Air & Cruisair New Zealand & Pacific Island Service & Sales company Whiting Power Systems 09 358 2050 www.whitingpower.com

- © Fairfax NZ News

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