What is refrigerant and why does it need to be recovered?
A refrigerant is a substance used for refrigeration in commercial cooling devices. It is what keeps your food cool in your fridge and keeps you cool in your car and home. However, according to the law, you should recover the refrigerant from your cooling devices regularly to prevent them from leaking into the atmosphere and causing greater damage. Recovering refrigerant is also economical for you because you can keep experiencing the same amount of cooling at considerably lower costs.
Here we bring you the best refrigerant recovery machines to have a look at and decide the best one for you:
Best HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine Reviews
1) Appion G5TWIN Twin Cylinder Unit
This refrigerant recovery machine is one of the most compact and lightweight models that can get the job done effectively. It is capable of taking care of the demands of commercial refrigerant recovery. Weighing only 26 lbs, it is tiny and lightweight.
- Its twin cylinders and twin condensers allow the refrigerant to be recovered faster
- It has a crankcase that is isolated from the refrigerants, thereby removing any possibility of bearing contamination
- It can pump both R410A liquid and vapor, making it more effective against different kinds of refrigerants
- It also doubles as an exhaust fan
- It has a 10 blade turbine fan that is 7 inches long, rotates at 3000 rpm, and gives out 600 cfm of cool air over the two heads and two condensers
- It is a little louder than other models, but it does the job very well
- It does not work very well while recovering solvents. Butane will cause the pistons in the unit to degrade. It also deposits metal flakes in the finished product, contaminating it
2) Robinair RG3 Portable RR Machine
This refrigerant recovery machine review tells you all about the benefits of the Robinair model. Because of its easy to use functionality, it is a great option for any small cooling machine, like a residential air-conditioner. It can recover both liquid and vapor refrigerants and work efficiently even under harsh weather conditions.
- This RG3 model is very lightweight, weighing just 18 pounds. It is also packed in a very sleek and compact manner, making it very portable and much more convenient.
- It has a compressor that does not require oil to work. Even without oil, it can recover the required refrigerant from every machine.
- This model of refrigerant recovery machine can recover almost all refrigerants, including the usual refrigerants like CFC and HFC.
- It implements a cross flow design with an improved efficiency. The layout of the fan and condenser in this model gives you shorter cycle times while using it, which means more refrigerant is recovered.
- It also contains a high-pressure safety switch, which automatically turns off the machine if the pressure of the machine goes higher than 550 PSI.
3) CPS Products TR21 Pro-Set
This machine claims to use an innovative ‘vacuum pump’ design that is portable as well. The fit-ins used with this machine are made of a lead-free brass so it can perform a better and more effective job of recovering different kinds of refrigerants. However, there are a few disadvantages to it, namely that this machine is not the spark-proof version as is shown online. This refrigerant recovery machine also gives you a 1-year warranty that protects you against any manufacturing defects in your machine.
- This machine implements a distinctive filtration system- in the form of a 100 – mesh screen that comes integrated with its suction port. The mesh screen is cleanable so you can reuse the screen for a longer period as compared to other recovery machines.
- This machine also uses a thermally protected motor to protect against overloading of the machine.
- This refrigerant recovery machine contains a feature in itself which allows it to shut down this machine when the pressure goes higher than 550 psi.
- The compressor in this machine is a reciprocating compressor which works on positive displacement. The compressor contains two cylinders, giving you faster results.
4) Yellow Jacket 95762 RecoverXLT with Sensor
This Yellow Jacket refrigerant recovery machine is one of the best refrigerant recovery machines because it operates automatically. An additional feature of this tool is that it can change the state of a refrigerant from vapor to liquid, thanks to the control given by a single valve.
- The constant pressure regulator (CPR) valve present in this machine helps in passing on the refrigerant within the machine
- It has an oil-free compressor that runs at 3425 rpm. The compressor also has precision valves
- This machine is built to shut off recovering the refrigerants when it reaches the level of 13″ of vacuum. If the pressure keeps going up after that, the machine will restart automatically. Once the recovery is complete, the indicator on the machine says “recovery complete”.
- The machine runs smoothly and quietly. The compressor is also quiet by itself because it is oil-less.
- The filter used with this machine is reusable and made of mesh particulate. It is kept in the suction port to protect it. So when you are cleaning the machine, a simple cleaning removes the need to get a replacement of the filter due to clogging
- The fan given with this machine is highly effective because it keeps air from moving across the condenser for cool air even in hot weather.
5) Robinair 34788NI-H Premier R-134A
This review will help you know more about this machine that handles recovery, recycling, and recharging of refrigerants. It features a new design with a bigger display. Other new features also include automatic refill of refrigerant and much more.
- It has an inbuilt program that can recover refrigerants and charge itself without the use of any valves.
- This machine also has a reminder that shows you to empty the container showing the amount of oil to replace.
- The machine has an alarm which can visually and audibly notify you when any service is completed, or if any problem has occurred.
- This Robinair machine has an automatic refrigerant refill feature that maintains a customizable amount of refrigerant in a vessel inside the machine. It also lets the user know when it’s time to change the supply tank.
Now that you know the importance and benefits of replacing your refrigerants regularly, we are sure our refrigerant recovery machine reviews will help you in selecting the best one for your needs.
How to choose the best refrigerant recovery machine?
When you decide to buy a refrigerant recovery machine, you should first know about its type and which machine will suit your requirements. So, let’s find it out.
Types of refrigerant recovery machines
There are three categories in which the refrigerant recovery machines are distributed:
If you want a machine for automobiles, window AC, wall-through ACs, or any other small HVAC system, then go for the small-sized recovery machine.
For the central AC units which are installed in small homes, you should go for the residential type of recovery devices.
The commercial refrigerant recovery machines are ideal for large HVAC systems. Like the AC system in restaurants, shopping malls, central Air Conditioning units in the high-rise buildings, superstores, etc.
Things to consider when choosing the best refrigerant recovery machine
There are many things that essential while you buy a recovery unit. A few things must be there in the equipment to make it usable in some regions, especially in the United States. Check what you should check on the machine you are going to buy.
The equipment should comply with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standards. So, you should always make sure that the machine you are buying is certified with such criteria.
2) Refrigerant type
Some machines can recover the liquid refrigerant; some can recover vapor species, while some can recover both types of refrigerants. So check which type of refrigerant the machine recovers and what are your needs.
3) Cylinder capacity
The recovery machine either comes with a single cylinder or twin cylinders. Obviously, the twin-cylinder unit will be more powerful recover fast than the single cylinder machine. So, if you have a professional job, then it is recommended that you think of the more powerful and efficient one. The double-cylinder machines are costlier than those which come with a single-cylinder design though.
Old recovery machines were built with the hermetic compressors mostly. But, the modern units come with the oil-less compressors which are better in a few ways. For example, you do not need to maintain the oil levels; you can perform liquid recovery directly, and also you can recover different types of refrigerants with the same machine. All these results in a better recovery rate and low maintenance than the older models. Check the compressor type of device at the time of purchase.
This factor does matter most when you have to go here and there with the machine in your hands. You may need to carry it on the ladders for the AC units fitted outside or take them with you over the fence or passing any other type of obstacles. So it is required that the machine should be light in weight.
A few years back, machines had about 50 pounds weight which made them a bit heavy to carry. But, today’s refrigerant recovery machines come with around 20 pounds of weight which satisfies the term portability. Check the weight of the machine and your capability to carry it with other equipment at your work.
This is also an important thing to consider. Standard brands like Robinair, Yellow Jacket, etc. provide good warranty periods with a good machine build and adequate customer support. Buying the product from the third party sites like Amazon or using the credit card also can help to have another level of protection in warranty. Check the manufacturer’s website or description on the platforms like Amazon for the exact time of warranty and its ifs and buts.
Last but not the least, the price of the product does matter. It’s a fact that no any recovery unit will come cheap. You may have to pay anything from $350 to $8000 depending on the manufacturer and specs of the product.
The price range has such a variety due to different types of usage and demands of the machine. For example, for occasional users, a relatively cheap and single-cylinder machine is enough which does the job, although it requires much more time and efforts. While on the other hand, if you are running a commercial business, then you may need to buy the top machine to recover the refrigerants quickly and send the HVACR technician on the very next call. For such purchase, the price is not a big factor to consider.
Hope this quick guide will help you choose the real value for money product. One thing you should keep in mind that a refrigerant recovery machine is a unit that will last for at least 15-20 years. You may have to use it daily if you are a professional HVAC technician.
Check your business or personal need, what are the specifications of the machine, what and how much it recovers, its price, and then select the most suitable for you.