You may already understand the importance of conducting regular fire truck maintenance.
But have you remembered to check the air conditioning system?
Don’t wait until the dog days of summer to find out if the air conditioning works, especially with the risks associated with heat-related illness! Early spring is a great time of year to have your fire apparatus air conditioner inspected and complete any needed repairs.
Here are some important things to include in your fire truck inspection checklist of the air conditioning equipment in all of your apparatus:
- Refrigerant. Your technician should be familiar with the safety and potential environmental impact of different types of refrigerant.
- Compressor. The deadly combination of excessive heat plus low refrigerant can damage or kill your compressor. Most compressor failure occurs because of improper oil balance, so make sure you have the correct type and amount of oil for your compressor.
- Compressor clutch. This is what cycles the AC on and off and is composed of an electromagnetic coil, pulley, and driven plate. A lack of sufficient voltage will damage the clutch.
- System leaks. If your AC isn’t cooling like it should, the most common cause is a system leak. Among other things, your technician should check for refrigerant oil stains at fittings, the condenser, compressor hose fittings, and shaft seal. Test the system after maintenance to make sure leaks were properly repaired.
- Evaporator. When the evaporator gets clogged with dust, dirt, hair, lint, or other pollutants, it reduces your air flow and results in low or no cooling. It can also exacerbate allergies among cab occupants. Installing intake filters can help resolve this problem. Your technician should also check the evaporator blower motor and condensate drainage — the latter is especially important in humid climates.
If you’re involved in the design of a new apparatus, consider AC design for easy accessibility for maintenance and repair.
Do you have questions or concerns about fire truck AC maintenance or equipment in your fire apparatus?
Contact us at Jon’s Mid America at any time for information about fire apparatus AC inspection, maintenance, and repair.