Your Questions About Antifreeze Answered!
It's that time of year again, when all you want to do is cosy up in your caravan, heating on and a cup of tea in hand. Then you remember... Oh no! Do I need to change the Antifreeze?!
There's all sorts of advise and tips out there and all the colour antifreeze's of the rainbow. It's enough to make your head spin! Luckily, we're here to help to make things a bit clearer for you by answering the most popular questions regarding Antifreeze and to tell you all about Alde G13 Antifreeze.
4 Things that Antifreeze Does for Your Heating System
1. Antifreeze: it does what its name suggests and prevents your system from freezing over, working down to temperatures of -37°c.
2. Corrosion Inhibitor: hot surfaces in the heating system can corrode over time. This prevents that from happening.
3. Keeps Your System Clean: The Antifreeze is also a biocide that prevents bacteria from growing in your heating system.
4. Coolant: Protects your system by stopping it from overheating.
Why Are There Different Colour Antifreezes?
Contrary to some advise out there, colours are not a sure fire way of telling apart different types of Antifreeze products. There is a basic guide along the lines of:
Blue: Usually Silicate based and common in UK market heating systems.
Orange: Mainly OAT (Organic Acid Technology) based and used mainly in Europe, specifically in caravan and motorhomes.
Pink: Usually Ethylene Glycol or glycerine based. G12++ and G13 antifreeze comes in pink.
Green: Used in older heating systems and should not be used any more.
There are no industry standards when it comes to the colour of antifreeze so always read the label when purchasing. However, colour can be useful when trying to figure out when to change over your existing fluid.
Can I Top-Up My Antifreeze?
If the fluid level in your heating system dips too low, your system will need topping up. If your system has the wrong liquid level, it can invalidate your warranty or damage the system so its worth double checking!
You can top up the ethylene glycol in the expansion tank. You can do this manually or by using Alde’s top-up pump, (this fills and vents the system). Top up manually by slowly pouring the ethylene glycol mixture into the expansion tank. When the heating system is cold, the level should be approx. 1 cm above the MIN line. You then need to bleed the system and if the level falls during bleeding, top-up again. In newly filled heating systems, it is recommended to bleed the system at regular intervals.
If you find that you are having to top-up your system a lot, you may have a leak so get your system looked at by your local caravan dealer.
Changing The Antifreeze in your Van
Older types of antifreeze require you to change your fluid once every two years but the G13 antifreeze can be changed every 5 years. If you are unsure what type of fluid has been used in your van, then it is recommended to change the existing fluid to G13 after 2 years of purchasing it (it is highly recommended to do this if your fluid is not pink in colour).
When filling the tank with the new anti-freeze, ensure that the liquid is free of floating debris and does not smell strongly of vinegar or fish. When filling the tank, make sure that, if the liquid is cold, the level is approx. 1 cm above the MIN line. If you are doing a complete change of the fluid, you will need to purchase quite a few litres to do so. Each van will need a different amount depending on the system you have but the average amount needed to replace all the fluid is between 12-15L.
It is possible to change the antifreeze in the van yourself but it can require certain equipment that you might not have and can be tricky for some people. To avoid any mistakes or for your own peace-of-mind, it is highly recommended to reach out to your local dealer who will be able to fully change the antifreeze in the system for you for a fee.
Can I Mix Different Types of Antifreeze?
It is NOT recommended to mix different types of antifreeze but Alde do say that, should you need to or want to, you can mix G13 antifreeze with the blue antifreeze found as standard in most UK systems. This is because the G13 antifreeze is back compatible. However, it is always best to do a complete changeover.
The main thing to ensure is that the antifreeze you are using has the same type of corrosion inhibitors and that you don’t mix anti-freeze containing silicates with anti-freeze containing non-silicate-treated OAT.
If you are diluting your own antifreeze, make sure that you aim for a 50:50 ratio of glycol to water. Do not use more than 50% glycol and do not go below 40% or you may damage the system. Preferably, used deionised water to mix with.
What is Alde Premium G13 Antifreeze?
The Premium G13 Antifreeze by Alde is a ready-to –use solution that keeps your heating system working as it should. Antifreeze is found in your van heating system and radiators and your system cannot work properly without it. For the best results in your Alde heating system, it is recommended to use the more modern G13 type antifreeze that has been made by Alde themselves.
Why use Premium G13 Alde Antifreeze?
Alde has designed this Antifreeze specifically for their heating systems so you know that, when you use this, you will be using the best product for your Alde heating system. Unlike most of the older antifreeze types, the G13 Antifreeze will last up to 5 years before it needs to be changed, saving you money, time and effort.
The G13 Antifreeze is also pre-mixed with 50:50 ratio of ethylene glycol and deionised water so you can rest assured that the solution is strong enough and you will not have to dilute it yourself.
Alde have been making heating systems since 1966 so when buying an Alde product, you know that it will have been made by experts. Save yourself time and worry and switch to G13!