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  • Writer's pictureSinan ACAR

What is an expansion tank used for HVAC ?

An expansion tank is a component used in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems to accommodate the expansion and contraction of water or other fluids due to changes in temperature. It is commonly used in hydronic heating systems, which use water as a medium to transfer heat.

The main purpose of an expansion tank is to maintain the system's pressure within safe and acceptable limits. When water is heated, it expands, and without an expansion tank, the pressure inside the system could become dangerously high, leading to potential damage to pipes, valves, and other components.

An expansion tank consists of a sealed container divided into two compartments by a flexible diaphragm or bladder. One side of the tank is connected to the HVAC system's piping, allowing the fluid to flow in and out, while the other side contains air or an inert gas. As the fluid expands due to temperature increases, it pushes against the diaphragm, compressing the air or gas in the other compartment. This compression provides the necessary space for the increased volume of the fluid, preventing pressure buildup.

Similarly, when the fluid cools down and contracts, the compressed air or gas in the expansion tank pushes the fluid back into the system, maintaining the desired pressure level. The diaphragm or bladder separates the fluid from the air or gas, preventing them from mixing.

Expansion tanks are essential for maintaining the efficiency and longevity of HVAC systems, as they help prevent pressure-related issues such as leaks, pipe bursts, and pump damage. They are typically sized based on the system's water volume and the maximum temperature differential the system is expected to experience.

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