Last month I wrote an article about a study that was done on the effects the Kigali Amendment would have within the United States. The study which was called the ‘Economic Impacts of US Ratification of the Kigali Amendment,’ was funded and sponsored by two groups: The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

This report was another attempt to convince the Trump Administration to send the Kigali Amendment to the Senate so that it could be ratified and turned into law. What was unique about this report is that it specifically focused on the number of jobs and and ancillary jobs that would be created if the US adopted the amendment. This report was geared towards Trump’s jobs jobs jobs push that he has been doing since last year. I am assuming that they figure by showing Trump that this treaty will actually increase jobs within the US that Trump would push it down to the Senate for ratification.

Well, this report came out a little over thirty days ago and there has been no news. It’s been crickets from the Trump Administration. They either do not believe the study, have not had time to review, or they did not plan to move forward with Kigali in the first place. In a new development, last week a grouping of thirteen Senators sent a letter to Trump advocating for the passage of the amendment. What was unique about this letter is that it was thirteen Republican Senators that signed. This amendment has bi-partisan support within the Senate and will pass without a problem if it ever gets there.

It’s funny almost. The letter, which can be found by clicking here, reads like a plug for all of Trump’s campaign promises. I’m not going to get to political here or get into politics in general but the letter is an obvious attempt at pandering. There are references to the Reagan Administration, hundreds of thousands of jobs created, billions in exports increased, balancing the trade deficit in the HVAC industry, and even the dumping of refrigerants from China. All of it reads like one of Trump’s campaign commercials.

The question now though folks is will this letter work? Has the Trump Team even read through the initial report from last month? Did they have a plan to kill this amendment from day one? Or, are they just slow walking this to death without a real answer? At this point it is very difficult to tell what will happen next. It’s unpredictable. If you were to ask me for my opinion at this point in time I do not see Trump moving forward with this. To be honest, I don’t even think it is on his radar. That’s why there hasn’t even been a firm yes or no answer yet. I do however feel that if they keep pushing him on this that he will get frustrated and may just reject it outright without diving into the facts of the matter.

Getting back to the letter, the Republican Senators that signed this letter that was sent to Trump are:

  • John Kennedy – Louisana
  • Johnny Isakson – Georgia
  • John Boozman – Arkansas
  • Susan Collins – Maine
  • Lisa Murkowski – Alaska
  • Todd Young – Pennsylvania
  • Lindsey Graham – South Carolina
  • Bill Cassidy – Louisana
  • Roy Blunt – Missouri
  • Jerry Moran – Kansas (The best state, in case you weren’t sure)
  • Marco Rubio – Florida
  • Lamar Alexander – Tennessee

Conclusion

The good news here though is that even if we do not pass the Kigali Amendment the Environmental Protection Agency is actively working on rewriting their HFC rules and future phase-downs. These re-writes will be in compliance with the Federal Court ruling and will still hopefully accomplish similar goals as to what their SNAP Rule 20 was aimed to do. There is not an exact timeline on when these rewrites will be done but I hope to see something relatively soon. While we wait for the EPA we also have another line of defense against HFCs: States’ Rights. California is a prime example as they have already enacted their own version of the EPA’s former SNAP Rule 20. While I am not aware of another state passing new regulations/laws I know that there are some looking at Californias’ changes as a template or baseline for their own.

I’ve said it again, and I’ll say it now as well. Whatever happens over this year and next I can assure you all that HFCs are going away. It is just a matter of time and HOW they are phased down across the country.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Sources

Hello and greetings ladies and gentlemen. It is another hot one here in Kansas City. Like my father always says, ‘It’s DAMN Hot!’ As I write this article it’s past eight at night and yet the sitting temperature is still hovering right around ninety degrees and that’s not even counting the humidity. Just yesterday I was out mowing the yard in this heat and let me tell you… it’s not a fun time. The only relief that I get from this excessive summer heat is coming into a nice cold air conditioned home. (I keep it at a crisp seventy-two degrees.)

I’m sure that this is something that you can all relate too especially those of you who in the hot states. There’s nothing like stepping into a nice climate controlled building after walking the streets and sidewalks during the peak heat of the day. Now when most folks enjoy their air conditioned homes or offices they are using the traditional split system air conditioner. A split system is your typical unit that you find outside and in your basement. These units route the cold air through the duct work in your home ensuring that every room is kept at a nice even temperature.

Here’s the problem though folks. Not everyone has access to a central air conditioning system. There could be a variety of reasons for this. They could be living in an older farm house that has no central ducts routed. They could be in an older apartment with no air conditioning. Or, it could simply be a question of money. Central air systems can easily cost over four-thousand dollars and for a lot of people this cost just simply isn’t possible.

So, what are people to do when looking for a relief from the heat but they don’t have thousands to drop on a new system? Well, I have my two go to solutions. Yes, there are others, but i won’t get into each and every possibility here. My two personal favorites are portable air conditioners and window air conditioners. In this article we’re going to focus specifically on one particular window unit: Frigidaire’s FFRA0511Q1 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner.

We’re going to go through all of the product features, the Pros, the Cons, and anything else that needs to be brought up on this air conditioner. Is this the unit for you? Is it going to fill your need, or should you be looking at a different product? Well, without further adieu, let’s dive in and find out!

Frigidaire

Whenever I do a product review or if I am just researching a product for myself I always like to take the time to research and learn about the company behind the product. Maybe I’m a bit obsessive. But I like to know who are they? How long have they been around? What is their brand?

Frigidaire Window Air Conditioners
Frigidaire Window Air Conditioners

A company’s brand can be a very powerful thing and if done right people will recognize the name instantly. A prime example of branding done right is Coca-Cola. Everyone knows what a Coke is. Everyone knows what to expect. They are world-wide. Now, if I was to offer you a Coke or an off-brand Cola, what would you choose? We all know the answer. This same logic can also apply when shopping for an air conditioner.

The company behind the FFRA0511Q1 is Frigidaire. To most of you this name may sound familiar. In fact, very familiar. There’s a reason for that. The Frigidaire company is one of the most prominent appliance manufacturing companies in the world. Chances are if you were to go into your kitchen right now and begin to look around that you would find Frigidaire appliances. It could be your oven, dishwasher, microwave, or even your refrigerator.

Speaking of refrigerators, did you know that over one-hundred years ago the Frigidaire company invented, patented, and began commercially selling one of the first self-contained refrigerators? Yes, that’s right back in 1916 they were selling refrigerators across the United States. Ever since then they have grown. Throughout that growth they have been inventing and innovating their products. They now have a century behind them and they are still going strong.

The Frigidaire company has a solid reputation when it comes to refrigeration and air conditioning. I would feel very comfortable purchasing a window unit from them as they have proven time and time again that they know exactly what they are doing.

Product Features

Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

Ok, folks, first things first. Before you can seriously consider any type of window air conditioner to purchase you first have to know exactly what sized unit that you need. If you purchase the wrong sized unit you could end up paying higher energy bills then you need to and end up with random hot and cold spots throughout your room. On the flip side, if you were to purchase a unit that is too small for your room then the unit will be running constantly which will raise your energy cost. This constant running will wear the unit faster and you still won’t even get completely cooled room. No, the best way to do this is to get that perfect sized unit. But, how do you know what size you need?

Air conditioners are sized by what’s called BTUs, or British Thermal Units. You may have noticed that this unit, the FFRA0511Q1, is rated at five-thousand BTUs. BTUs are the standard way on measuring the cooling capacity of an air conditioner. The higher the BTUs the more power a unit has. The usual rule of thumb that we see is around thirty BTUs per square foot of cooling space. So, in the case of our five-thousand BTU unit we can do the math:

Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 Control Dials
Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 Control Dials

5,000 BTUs / 30 Square Feet = 166 Square Feet.

So, we can now find out that the FFRA0511Q1 is rated to cool rooms at around one-hundred and sixty feet. Now, the official product description says one-hundred and fifty feet, but that extra sixteen feet won’t get you in trouble! If you do find that you do need a bigger air conditioner then I would suggest checking out our Window Air Conditioner Buyer’s Guide. This guide will walk you through every possible consideration that you need to take when purchasing a unit and it will also give you a sizing guide so that you can make sure to get the perfect unit for your situation.

The FFRA0511Q1 is a fairly bare-bones product, but it is also a very aggressively priced unit. So, you sacrifice features for price. Don’t get me wrong though, this unit will cool your room just fine, it just doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that other products would have. This unit comes with two turn-dial knobs.  The first knob lets you control the temperature by switching between seven different settings. The second knob allows you to control the fan speed. So, while you can’t set the actual temperature you can still choose between varying degrees of low, medium, and high.

When I was a teenager, so many years ago, I used to work for my father’s landscaping company. I remember at one particular job we were laying irrigation pipe and I was still pretty green at it. Something he told me, and something I’m sure you’ve all heard before: Measure Twice, Cut Once. It’s a saying we’re all used to and I can say that it definitely applies to window units. No, we won’t be doing any cutting. Let me explain. Before you purchase a unit for your window you have to measure your actual window to ensure that the product can actually fit. Otherwise, your product will show up at your door, you’ll go to install, and then you realize that it just doesn’t fit. (As your wife stands over your shoulder saying you should have measured first.) My point here folks is that you’ve got to measure! The FFRA0511Q1 can fit in windows with width range of twenty-three inches to thirty-six inches. Also, don’t forget height. You will need a minimum of thirteen inches of open space for your new FFRA0511Q1 to fit.

Most of the time this section won’t apply to you but since you are in the market for a window air conditioner I want to take some time out here and talk about the plug-ins that come with these units. Now, with the smaller units, like our 5,000 BTU friend here, you normally don’t have to worry. But, as you begin to go up in size you may notice that the standard one-hundred and fifteen volt plug-ins began to get replaced by a more heavy duty two-hundred and twenty volt plug. The one-hundred and fifteen volt is your typical outlet that you can find throughout your home. The two-hundred and twenty volt plug is rare to find in most homes. Typically, your oven and your clothes dryer uses these outlets. When buying please make sure you know what kind of plug-in you are getting. Also, with the FFRA0511Q1 you get a cord length of six and a half feet. This length should be long enough to reach an outlet. Most manufacturers do not recommend using an extension cord.

The FFRA0511Q1 comes with the refrigerant R-410A. 410A, or Puron, is one of the most commonly used refrigerants today. It can be found in most home and office split system air conditioners. While it does not harm the Ozone it does have a higher Global Warming Potential. The good news here is that it is relatively cheap right now so if you do need a recharge down the road you won’t be out too much money.

The last point that we’ll bring up here before moving into the Pros section is weight and size. This unit is a five-thousand BTU unit which means that it is quite small. However, this unit is even smaller then some of the other five-thousand units out there. It only comes in at thirty-five pounds. That means it’s going to be one easy install. Along with the light weight you also get a complimentary mounting kit that comes with your unit. Installing should be a breeze, but you may still want some help from a second person just in case. (You don’t want to drop it during install.)

Pros

The way I see it with this unit there are two big selling points. The first, which I’ve already mentioned above, is price. I challenge you to look around on Amazon.com and find a cheaper window unit out there. While the FFRA0511Q1  doesn’t have a lot of features it all but makes up for it when it comes to the price point. This unit is designed to be a budget air conditioner made for those people who are just looking for basic relief from the heat. If you want a remote control or digital display you may need to look elsewhere. Just be aware that you’re going to have to pay more. You can check out our premium five-thousand BTU units in the Conclusion section of this article.

Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 Energy Guide
Frigidaire FFRA0511Q1 Energy Guide

The second big Pro on this unit is that it comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty. While this may not seem like a big deal I can assure you that it is. Remember, we are paying a very low price point for this air conditioner and you are still getting a great one year warranty. So, if your unit does fail six months from now you can get support and help from the Frigidaire company. This warranty secures your purchase and gives you peace of mind that you will have a cooled room through out the season.

Cons

With air conditioners the Environmental Protection Agency has something called their ‘Energy Star,’ program. This program measures how efficient a product is. This efficiency is measured by a product’s Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER. The higher the EER the more efficient your system is. The EPA’s requirement to meet Energy Star guidelines is a 10.0 EER rating. Unfortunately, the FFRA0511Q1 only comes in at a 9.7 EER. So, while it is not Energy Star rated it is very close to that 10.0 threshold number.

When you purchase something online there is always the risk of it arriving to your home damaged. That risk increases with the bigger and heavier the package. On top of that, the risk increases even more when dealing with a machine like an air conditioner. Now, I’m not going to lie to you here. The chances of your unit arriving damaged is rare, but there is a chance folks. The good news though is that if this does happen you can always file a claim with Amazon.com and they will take care of the return process. Something that you’ll notice is that some of the ‘bad reviews,’ on this product are a direct result of the product arriving damaged to the consumer’s home. This is not Frigidaire’s fault and frankly shouldn’t be attributed to them.

The last Con to mention before we move onto our Conclusion is that in some cases after extended use the air conditioner’s fan can become loosened. While this doesn’t affect performance or overall safety of the unit it can lead to an increase noise or volume when the air conditioner is running. If it was me, I probably wouldn’t notice it, but there are others out there who are very sensitive to noise and may find that the extra noise of the fan slightly moving around can drive them crazy. Just be aware of this. It doesn’t happen to every unit so it may not even happen to you. These noise complaints made up the last of the negative reviews.

Conclusion

Alright ladies and gentlemen that about covers it for Frigidaire’s FFRA0511Q1. We’ve gone over all of the features, the Pros, Cons, and everything else. I hope that by reading this article that you were able to come to a informed decision on rather or not this is the unit for you. If you do decide that you wish to purchase this product then I recommend you purchase from our Amazon.com partner by clicking here.

However, if you are looking for something slightly different in this BTU range let me suggest to you two alternatives:

  • Friedrich’s Chill CP05G10B.
    • The Friedrich brand name is known to be top quality in the window air conditioner world. If you want the best of the best then this is your unit. Be prepared to pay a bit more though. Quality isn’t cheap!
  • hOmeLabs Window Unit
    • This is the cheapest of the cheap out there today on Amazon.com. It will get the job done. It will cool your room but it is going to come with the most basic of settings. If you’re looking to save a buck or two then this is the unit for you.

I hope this review was helpful and thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Important Links

 

 

It’s another hot one today folks. Over here in Kansas City the temperatures reached over ninety degrees. It was over one-hundred degrees if you were walking through a parking lot. The heat made my walk from the office to my car uncomfortable, but once I had my car on and the air conditioner going I was fine for the drive home. When I got home and stepped out of my car to walk to my front door I was blasted again with the heat.

For those of you who don’t live in a hotter climate let me describe it for you. You open your door and step outside and it feels like you’ve stepped into an oven and that’s not even factoring in the humidity. I swear there are times where it feels like you can swim through the air. I’m serious folks. It is not fun and the worst of the summer hasn’t even hit Kansas yet. We still have July and August slowly creeping up on us. I’m already anxious for Fall to get here.

Most of us deal with this heat through our car’s air conditioner and through our home air conditioner. The majority of homes nowadays come with a built in central air system. These are your standard split units that sit outside of your home and route through your duct work. (You know, the units that you barely realize are there until something goes wrong with it!) The problem though is that these wonderful central air conditioning systems just aren’t affordable for some people, or these peole may be living in an apartment with no air conditioning available. Over here in Kansas the thing I see the most are the old farmhouses that have no duct work routed at all. It’s too expensive to retrofit the home with duct work. These folks can’t go the traditional route. So, what does that leave them with?

Well, they have a few choices. Some of these alternative options are portable air conditioners and window air conditioners. Now, I’m not going to get into every one of these options and their features at least not in this article. No, instead in this post we’re going to focus our attention on one of these products: Frigidaire’s FFRE0533S1 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner. In this review we are going to take an in-depth look at the FFRE0533S1 and make the determination if this product is really right for you or if you should be looking for something else. Without further adieu, let’s dive in and take a look!

Frigidaire

Now before I began really looking at a product and all of the features that it offers I always like to take a look at the brand and company behind the product. I don’t do this for everything, but if I find that the product is going to be over one-hundred dollars or more I find that it makes sense to investigate and to do your research. After all, a brand name can be a very powerful thing. Don’t believe me? Just think of the most famous brands out there today. Would you rather have a Lexus or a Ford? I know, if I had the choice I would choose the Lexus. Sure, the Ford is great, but everyone knows that when they hear Lexus they think quality. That is directly because of the brand name and the recognition that has been built with it over the years. Lexus is a premium brand.

The Frigidaire company is behind the FFRE0533S1 and this is great news. Why you may ask? Well folks the Frigidaire company is by far one of the best and the brightest companies when it comes to appliances manufacturing. In fact, I bet that if you were to go into your kitchen right now that you would find at least one appliance from the Frigidaire company. It could be your oven, dishwasher, microwave, toaster, or even your refrigerator.

Speaking of refrigerators, did you know that the Frigidaire company was one of the very first inventors of the self-contained refrigerator? Not only did they invent it but they were also one of the first ones to commercially sell a refrigerator.  All of this was done over one-hundred years ago in 1916. Ever since that date Frigidaire has been growing, innovating, and inventing. I can safely say that their window air conditioners are of top quality and upon purchasing one you get the quality Frigidaire brand name as well.

Product Features

Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 5,000 BTU
Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 5,000 BTU

The first thing that needs to be taken into consideration when purchasing a window air conditioner is the size of the unit. For those of you who do not know window air conditioners are measured by the amount of BTUs, or British Thermal Units, that they contain. An entry level BTU unit would be around five-thousand BTUs whereas a very large unit would be over twenty-four thousand BTUs. BTUs are the standard way of measuring the cooling capacity of your air conditioner. The more BTUs, the more power that you will have.  Don’t be fooled though, more power isn’t always better. No, instead you want to find the perfect fitted unit for the room or area that you want to cool.

If you find yourself going to a much larger unit then necessary then you will be running up your electrical bills and you may also end up running into hot and cold spots due to the size of the air conditioner. On the inverse if you purchase a unit that is too small then the product will be running constantly. This will raise your energy bills and your room won’t even be fully cooled. To find the perfect sized unit the rule of thumb that most people use is the thirty BTUs per square foot of room. So, let’s say we have a twelve by twelve foot bedroom that we want to cool. Twelve times twelve equals out to one-hundred and forty-four square feet. In this example the five-thousand BTU would be rated to cool rooms around one-hundred and forty to one-hundred and sixty square feet. So, this Frigidaire unit would be perfect for bedrooms or small offices. If you find yourself needing a larger unit feel free to check out our window air conditioner buyer’s guide by clicking here.

While this Frigidaire unit is considered an introductory unit due to it’s BTU size I will have to say that I am pleasantly surprised by the amount of features and display options that this product has. Most of the time when you see a five-thousand BTU unit you see the typical turn-dial knobs with no real temperature control. Instead you just turn the knobs from high to low. This is not the case with the FFRE0533S1. With this product you get a digital temperature display that can be adjusted up and down by hand or with the fully functional remote control. Along with that you get extra features like sleep mode, energy saver mode, and a twenty-four hour on/off timer that allows you to program your unit to cool while you are home or while you are sleeping. (This is my favorite feature just for the customization. I like the idea of setting a colder temperature for sleeping and a warmer temperature through out the day.)

Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 5,000 BTU
Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 5,000 BTU

I remember as a teenager laying irrigation piping for my dad’s landscaping business. It was tough work. Something he always always always said was to ‘measure twice, cut once.’ (He didn’t want to waste any of that piping, it was expensive!) Now, I know this isn’t some wisdom that just my father came up with. I’m sure you’ve heard this expression before but my point still stands and still applies to window air conditioners. What are you measuring you may ask? Well, it’s your window! Before you purchase anything you need to make sure that your window is going to be big enough, or not too big, to support the air conditioner. The absolute worst thing you can do is to purchase the unit and then go to install only to realize that your window is too small. Luckily, we’re here to help! This Frigidaire unit can fit in windows with a width between twenty-three inches to thirty-six inches. That’s a pretty wide range but just make sure that you fall into it. Another measurement, which isn’t as important, is the height. Most of the time your window will be tall enough but just to be sure you will need an opening of thirteen inches.

This next feature may not even be seen as a feature but I would be amiss if I didn’t mention it. This Frigidaire product comes with a one-hundred and fifteen volt plug-in. This type of plug-in is your standard outlet that you can find all over your house. I only mention this as some of the medium or larger window air conditioners comes with a two-hundred and twenty volt plug-in instead of your traditional one-hundred and fifteen. An example two-hundred and twenty volt plug in your home is most likely your clothes dryer or your oven plug-ins. In this case with this Frigidaire product there is nothing to worry about, but I wanted to make sure you were informed in case you decide on a different air conditioner. Lastly on this section, the cord for this unit extends to six and a half feet. That should be more then enough to reach the nearest outlet.

The FFRE0533S1 comes with the HydroFluroCarbon R-410A refrigerant. 410A, or Puron, is one of the most commonly used refrigerants within the United States. Today it is used widely in residential and commercial cooling rather they be window units or traditional split systems. The good news here though is that because this refrigerant is so common the price is fairly low so if you need a recharge down the road you won’t be out too much money.

The last thing to mention in Product Features is the overall weight and size of this unit. As we mentioned above this is a smaller overall window air conditioner and with a smaller unit comes a smaller weight. Some of the bigger air conditioners out there can weigh as much or over one-hundred pounds. These heavier units can be very difficult to install as you have to not only insert the unit into your window, hold it in place, and then try to screw in the supports to ensure it is stable. Try doing that by yourself with a heavier unit! The good news here is that this Frigidaire unit only weighs forty-two pounds. While you may still want some help installing the overall install will be much easier with a lighter weight unit.

Pros

The biggest and most obvious Pro with this Frigidaire product is the price. Yes, I realize that this unit is only rated at five-thousand BTUs but the price point is worth taking a second glance at. It is not very often that you can find relief from the heat for around this price. (The exact price may vary, click here to get the latest price from Amazon.com.) Don’t forget that you also get the digital displays, extra features like sleep/energy saver, and a remote control to go along with it.

Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 Energy Guide
Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 Energy Guide

Also, please remember that this product is only rated to cool rooms or areas up to one-hundred and fifty square feet, so if you have a room bigger then that you may consider going up a size.

Something that I always look for when doing air conditioner reviews is if the product is Energy Star Certified with the Environmental Protection Agency. An Energy Star machine means that the product has gone through the EPA’s rigorous approval process and has come out on top. The EPA measures most units based off of their Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER. The higher the EER the more efficient a machine is and the less it will cost you in energy cost. In order to qualify for Energy Star the unit must be at or exceed 10.0 EER. The Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 has an EER of 12.2. That is a HUGE number and greatly exceeds the EPA’s required 10.0. This unit is only rated to cost you around thirty-seven dollars a year. That’s just over three dollars a month for a nice cool room to sleep in. I’d pay that much for comfort, what about you?

The last point that I’ll make before moving onto the Cons section is the warranty. This product comes with a one year manufacturer warranty from the Frigidaire company. While one year isn’t an extraordinary amount of time it is still a very nice benefit to insure you that in case your unit does fail you can get your money back or your unit replaced.

Cons

There aren’t a lot of cons on this product but there are a few points that I want to cover and emphasize again before you purchase. The first is that the Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 is rated at five-thousand BTUs and can only cool rooms up to one-hundred and sixty square feet. If your room is larger then that then it will make sense to increase your BTUs to accommodate the larger space. If you’re not sure exactly what size of unit to get please check out our window air conditioner buyer’s guide by clicking here. This guide will walk you through the selection process ensuring you get the exact right unit for you.

When you purchase something online there is always the risk of it arriving to your home damaged. That risk increases with the bigger and heavier the package. On top of that, the risk increases even more when dealing with a machine like an air conditioner. Now, I’m not going to lie to you here. The chances of your unit arriving damaged is rare, but there is a chance folks. The good news though is that if this does happen you can always file a claim with Amazon.com and they will take care of the return process. Something that you’ll notice is that some of the ‘bad reviews,’ on this product are a direct result of the product arriving damaged to the consumer’s home. This is not Frigidaire’s fault and frankly shouldn’t be attributed to them.

The last Con to mention before we move onto our Conclusion is that in some cases after extended use the air conditioner’s fan can become loosened. While this doesn’t affect performance or overall safety of the unit it can lead to an increase noise or volume when the air conditioner is running. If it was me, I probably wouldn’t notice it, but there are others out there who are very sensitive to noise and may find that the extra noise of the fan slightly moving around can drive them crazy. Just be aware of this. It doesn’t happen to every unit so it may not even happen to you. These noise complaints made up the last of the negative reviews.

Conclusion

Well folks that about covers it for Frigidaire’s FFRE0533S1. I’m hoping that this review was able to answer any and all questions that you may have had. My goal here was to provide a step by step review showing you each and every feature imaginable. The question now though is will you be buying this product from Frigidaire? If so, then I recommend visiting our Amazon.com partner by clicking here.

However, if you are looking for something slightly different in this BTU range let me suggest to you two alternatives:

  • Friedrich’s Chill CP05G10B.
    • The Friedrich brand name is known to be top quality in the window air conditioner world. If you want the best of the best then this is your unit. Be prepared to pay a bit more though. Quality isn’t cheap!
  • hOmeLabs Window Unit
    • This is the cheapest of the cheap out there today on Amazon.com. It will get the job done. It will cool your room but it is going to come with the most basic of settings. If you’re looking to save a buck or two then this is the unit for you.

I hope this review was helpful and thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Important Links

 

Well folks we are officially in the summer season yet again. Memorial Day weekend is already a few weekends behind us and the temperatures over here in Kansas City have not allowed us to forget what time of year it is. The past few weeks have been a constant ninety plus degrees with the ever present wet humidity. You walk outside and you can just feel the moisture in the air. I can’t stand the heat, I just can’t. You would think by now that I would move further north to escape this Kansas heat but here I am twenty plus years later still in the hot sun.

Well, not really in the hot sun. You see when the summer comes I tend to stay inside for most of the ‘tropical’ season. I enjoy the cool climate control that my air conditioner provides. The air conditioner that I use is your standard central system that most people across the country use. These are your outside units that route the cold air through your duct work. While these types of air conditioners are your most traditional they remain out of reach to a lot of people. This could be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps their home is too old and doesn’t have ducts routed through, or perhaps they are renting a home without a central system. Or, maybe those central air systems are just too expensive. (Trust me, they can get up there in price!)

Whatever the reason is we all should know that there are alternative solutions to the central air system. Some people opt for the portable air conditioner route, but I myself, prefer window air conditioners. I feel like they provide a more permanent solution and they are not in the way of the room. In this article we are going to take an in-depth look at one of these window air conditioners: Frigidaire’s FFRE0533Q1 5,000 BTU.

Now, there are many window units out there on the market. The question is will this Frigidaire unit be the right one for me? Or, should I be looking at a different product? Without further adieu, let’s dive in and take a look:

Frigidaire

Before I ever get into the details of a product I always like to take the time and do some research on the company and the brand behind the product. Maybe I am too thorough, but I feel that by gaining knowledge on the brand and company we can begin to understand the quality of the product at hand. Brand is important. After all, I’m sure you only buy specific brands of products. I’m betting you’re either a Coca-Cola or Pepsi fan, right? The same can apply for air conditioners. 

When it comes to window air conditioners the Frigidaire name is one my top picks for brands. In fact, Frigidaire was my runner up in my best branded window air conditioner article. There was a reason that I included them in that article. There name is everywhere, in fact, chances are that you already have a Frigidaire appliance in your home already. It could be a microwave, an oven, a dishwasher, or even your refrigerator.

Speaking of refrigerators, did you know that Frigidaire was one of the first EVER companies to invent, patent, and begin commercially selling refrigerators? Yes, all the way back in 1916 the Frigidaire company was selling refrigerators. That tells you just how much experience that they have when it comes to keeping things cool. Along with that one of the principal investors in Frigidaire was William Durant. Durant was one of the founders of General Motors and as we all know GM partnered with DuPont to invent and patent the trademarked refrigerant known today as Freon. Frigidaire has a rich and diverse history in the air conditioning world. I can proudly state that I can stand behind the Frigidaire name and their quality. They know what they are doing and have been doing it for over one-hundred years.

Product Features

Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 5,000 BTU
Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 5,000 BTU

First thing’s first folks the Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 is an introductory unit when it comes to window air conditioners. When I say introductory I mean that in a couple fashions. The first is that this unit has a very low and aggressive price point. There may be a few others out there that can beat this price but I can assure you that their numbers are rare. The second reason why this unit can be considered introductory is due to it’s size. You may have noticed that the FFRE0533Q1 has the five-thousand BTUs in it’s description.

BTUs, or British Thermal Units, are the standardized way of measuring the cooling capacity of your air conditioner. The higher BTU number the more power your air conditioner will have. But, don’t be like some folks who think bigger is always better. The smartest choice that you can do is to pick the perfect sized unit for the area that you desire to cool. If you pick a unit that is too small then your air conditioner is going to be running non-stop all day and night. Not to mention that your room won’t be completely cool as it could be. On the other side of the coin, if you pick a unit that is too large for your room then you will be wasting electricity and energy from a more powerful unit and you will also end up with hot and cold spots throughout the room.

Don’t be intimated though as picking the right sized unit isn’t a difficult task. In fact, all you have to do is find the square footage of your room. To do this you just need to measure the width of your room and the length of your room. When you have those two numbers you multiply them to get your square footage. As an example, let’s take a room that is twelve by twelve. If we multiply those numbers we get a square footage of one-hundred and forty-four. Now to determine how many BTUs most professionals recommend using thirty BTUs per square foot that you desire to cool. So, taking this Frigidaire unit’s five-thousand BTUs we can determine that it is rated to cool around one-hundred and sixty square feet. Please also note that there are not sizes available less then five-thousand so if you have a room smaller then one-hundred and fifty square feet then this unit will still be the right pick for you.

For this being an introductory unit I am pleased to state that you get a lot of higher end features. Some of these include a digital display, exact temperature control, four way air-flow, and a full functioning remote control. While these may not seem like big deals you don’t see these everyday on most five-thousand BTU units. On the other units you’ll see no remote control, no temperature control, and a basic turn-dial system for the controls.

Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 Digital Display
Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 Digital Display

Whenever I would work with my dad no matter the project he would always tell me to ‘measure twice, cut once.’ Well folks, the same thing applies when shopping for a window air conditioner. This may go without saying but I’m going to say it anyways. You NEED to ensure that the window you are aiming this product for will be large enough to accommodate the window air conditioner. There’s nothing worse then buying the unit and then going to install only to realize that it is not going to fit. The Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 can fit in windows with a width between twenty-three to thirty-six inches. The height is usually not an issue but just in case your window will need to be at or exceed thirteen inches.

This air conditioner comes with a one-hundred and fifteen volt plug-in. Some of you may be scratching your head at this comment but what you may not know is that a lot of the larger air conditioners actually come with a two-hundred and twenty volt plug. (Think of the plug-in for your oven or your clothes dryer.) Luckily, with these smaller BTU units it’s not a problem as the one-hundred and fifteen volt can plug in nearly everywhere. The actual cord on this unit comes in at six and a half feet so you should have plenty of length to plug in your air conditioner.

FFRE0533Q1 comes with the very popular HydroFluroCarbon refrigerant known as R-410A. The 410A, or Puron, refrigerant is one of the most popular refrigerants on the market today for home and office cooling. Chances are if you have a newer air conditioner it is using R-410A. The good news here is if you need a repair down the road and need to recharge your air conditioner the cost of 410A is relatively cheap when comparing it to it’s R-22 predecessor.

The last point that I’ll bring up on this product before I move onto the Pros is the weight and installation. As we are dealing with smaller sized unit the weight isn’t going to be too bad. This product comes in at around forty pounds. While that’s not very heavy it may still be a bit tricky to maneuver this into your window, hold it in place, and secure it all at the same time. I would recommend a second person to help you install just to be sure you don’t lose your grip and have the unit fall out your window.

Pros

Well folks the first and most obvious Pro on this product is the price point. This is one of the cheapest window units that you can find on the market today. The best thing about this though is you don’t have to sacrifice your features to achieve this great price. Remember earlier how I stated that you get a digital display and a remote control with the FFRE0533Q1? Well, that’s a big deal. Other units, say for example the Frigidaire FFRA0511R1, come with no displays and very basic turn-dial knobs. It’s a rare find to find this price level as well as the top-tier features.

While this unit is not Energy Star certified with the Environmental Protection Agency it is worth stating that the Energy Efficiency Ratio on this is rated at 11.2. The standard for EER set by the EPA is 10.0. So, this unit has exceeded the standard by more than a full point. That impressive number means that you are going to save money each month when using this product.

The last Pro that I’ll mention here is that the product comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty. That means if your unit gives out ten months from now that you are covered through Frigidaire’s warranty policy. This is reason right here is another example of why buying a popular brand name like Frigidaire is important. You get a company that stands behind it’s products.

Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 Energy Guide
Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 Energy Guide

Cons

There aren’t a lot of cons on this product but there are a few points that I want to cover and emphasize again before you purchase. The first is that the Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 is rated at five-thousand BTUs and can only cool rooms up to one-hundred and sixty square feet. If your room is larger then that then it will make sense to increase your BTUs to accommodate the larger space. If you’re not sure exactly what size of unit to get please check out our window air conditioner buyer’s guide by clicking here. This guide will walk you through the selection process ensuring you get the exact right unit for you.

When you purchase something online there is always the risk of it arriving to your home damaged. That risk increases with the bigger and heavier the package. On top of that, the risk increases even more when dealing with a machine like an air conditioner. Now, I’m not going to lie to you here. The chances of your unit arriving damaged is rare, but there is a chance folks. The good news though is that if this does happen you can always file a claim with Amazon.com and they will take care of the return process. Something that you’ll notice is that some of the ‘bad reviews,’ on this product are a direct result of the product arriving damaged to the consumer’s home. This is not Frigidaire’s fault and frankly shouldn’t be attributed to them.

I mentioned this above in the Pros section but this product is NOT Energy Star certified. While this means you don’t get the fancy EPA approval you still do get a quite high Energy Efficiency Ratio of 11.2. Also, the estimated yearly energy cost on this unit is only around forty-dollars. That’s a very small expense. (See Energy Saver screenshot.)

The last Con to mention before we move onto our Conclusion is that in some cases after extended use the air conditioner’s fan can become loosened. While this doesn’t affect performance or overall safety of the unit it can lead to an increase noise or volume when the air conditioner is running. If it was me, I probably wouldn’t notice it, but there are others out there who are very sensitive to noise and may find that the extra noise of the fan slightly moving around can drive them crazy. Just be aware of this. It doesn’t happen to every unit so it may not even happen to you.

Conclusion

Alright folks we made it. We made it to the conclusion. I hope that by now you are very educated on this product, what it offers, and what kind of benefits you can see from it. The question now though is will you be buying this product? Or, will you be moving onto something else?

If it was me I would say that this Frigidaire air conditioner is absolutely perfect for a bedroom, dorm room, or even a small office. You get the low-end price and you also get the extra features like temperature control, digital display, remote control, and more. If you are interested in purchasing this unit please click here to be taken to our Amazon.com partner.

However, if you are looking for something slightly different in this BTU range let me suggest to you two alternatives:

  • Friedrich’s Chill CP05G10B.
    • The Friedrich brand name is known to be top quality in the window air conditioner world. If you want the best of the best then this is your unit. Be prepared to pay a bit more though. Quality isn’t cheap!
  • hOmeLabs Window Unit
    • This is the cheapest of the cheap out there today on Amazon.com. It will get the job done. It will cool your room but it is going to come with the most basic of settings. If you’re looking to save a buck or two then this is the unit for you.

I hope this review was helpful and thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Important Links

Well folks we’re barely into June and it is nearly already too hot to bare. Over here in Kansas City we have had temperatures in the high nineties for the past two weeks. It has not been a fun time, let me tell you. As I’m writing this article it is late on a Sunday night and the temperatures have begun to cool but earlier this same day I was out mowing my acreage and sweating up a storm while I was doing it. After the yard was done and everything looked good I retreated back indoors to my nice cool home.

Now I don’t care where you are in the country there is nothing like coming inside from a hot summer’s day and feeling the nice cold air of your home air conditioner. I’ve never been one to deal with heat well and the air conditioner that I have installed in my home make sure I stay nice and comfortable. In my home I use the traditional central air system that most homes come with nowadays, but what do you do if you run into a scenario where a central air system just isn’t a possibility?

There are many people who do not have access to a central air system for a variety of reasons. The question now is what alternative solution is there? What can these people do? There are two quick and easy fixes to cool your room: Window and Portable Air Conditioners. Now, in this article I’m not going to dive into portable but instead we are going to review one specific window air conditioner: Frigidaire’s FRA052XT7 5,000 BTU. This product is perfectly sized to cool your small room or office. In fact, a lot of people use this unit to keep their bedrooms cool during the night. After all, there is nothing worse then waking up in the middle of the night sweating. It’s just not comfortable and, at least for me, it makes it difficult to sleep.

In this post we’re going to take an in-depth look at Frigidaire’s FRA052Xt7 and determine if it is the right product for your or if you should be looking elsewhere. Let’s dive in and take a look!

Frigidaire

When I am writing a review I never get into the Pros and Cons until I have successfully researched the company and the brand name. After all, the brand name has a huge amount of power and respect to it. If you doubt me just look at the brand name Coca-Cola. Everyone knows what that is and everyone knows what to expect. They know the quality, the flavor, and everything else about it. The same qualities of a brand name can be carried over to other products, in this case window air conditioners.

The Frigidaire brand and company were in fact one of my runner ups in my best brands article for window air conditioners. Chances are you have already heard of the Frigidaire brand name. In fact, if I was a betting man I’d bet that you already have a Frigidaire appliance in your home. It could be a refrigerator, a dishwasher, a washer/dryer, or even your microwave. My point here folks is that this company is all over your home and can be trusted with quality products.

When it comes to window air conditioners Frigidaire could be considered one of the experts in the industry. Why? Well they have been around for over one-hundred years and in fact were one of the original innovators of the air conditioning and refrigeration industry. Back in 1916 the Frigidaire company invented and also began selling one of the first self-contained refrigerator. What that meant was they were one of the first companies in the world to bring refrigerators to people’s homes. That’s a big deal. The Frigidaire company has a solid track record on all appliances and I can assure you that the Frigidaire brand name is top notch.

Product Features

Frigidaire FRA052XT7 5,000 BTU
Frigidaire FRA052XT7 5,000 BTU

Let me start this section off with saying that this Frigidaire unit is meant as a very basic entry level window air conditioner. That means that the price point is low but also so are the amount of features and benefits. First and foremost, yes, this will cool your room. But now, we need to look at what this product offers and if it is a good fit for you.

The first thing we should look at when dealing with window air conditioners are how many BTUs, or British Thermal Units, the product has. When dealing with air conditioning BTUs are a measurement of cooling capacity of your unit. The higher the number or BTUs the more power and the more ability your product will have to cool a room. However, that doesn’t mean just go big and go home. If you buy a unit that is too large for your desired area then you will be wasting electricity and will also end up with hot and cold spots around the room. If you buy a unit that is too small for your area then your product will be working overtime running up your energy bills and it will struggle to cool the room. The room you want to cool and the BTUs should be a perfect fit. The standard that is used throughout the industry is about thirty BTUs for each square foot of living area. So, in this case if we look at the five-thousand BTUs the FRA052Xt7 offers we can see that it is rated to cool rooms at around one-hundred and fifty square feet. That is about the size of your standard bedroom.

As I said above this unit is not going to come with a lot of bells and whistles. Instead you are going to get two turn dial knobs. The first is to control the cooling temperature and the second is to control the fan. You cannot set a specific temperature with this unit and there is not a digital display or a remote. If you are looking for something like that then I would suggest you purchase the Friedrich CP05G10B. You’re going to pay more for the Friedrich, but you get the extra features.

Remember that old adage our fathers always told us? Measure twice, cut once? Well, the same thing applies here for window units. The absolute worst thing you can do is to purchase a new unit without measuring your window. Just imagine buying it, having it arrive, and then going to install it only to find that it won’t fit… and at the same time you’re realizing this your wife is looking over your shoulder telling you that you should have read the directions. (That’s never happened to me, promise.) The FRA052Xt7  can fit in windows between twenty-three inches upwards to thirty-six inches in width. If your window is smaller then twenty-three inches then this product will not work for you. Most windows are taller or right about fourteen inches, but also please check this as well to ensure you get the right fit.

This Frigidaire product comes with a one-hundred and fifteen volt plug-in. This is your standard plug-in that you can find anywhere in your home. Now, you may be asking why I am mentioning this, but trust me, there is a reason. Depending on the size of the window air conditioner you purchase you may run into units sporting a two-hundred and twenty volt plug-in. (Think your oven or dryer plug-in.) Obviously, this can pose a problem if you buy a two-hundred and twenty volt and not realize it. Luckily, with this product we have a one-hundred and fifteen volt plug-in so there is nothing to worry about. Also, the air conditioner comes with a six and a half foot cord so you should be able to reach your nearest outlet without too much difficulty.

FRA052Xt7 uses the very popular HFC R-410A refrigerant. 410A is the gold standard right now when it comes to home air conditioning. Nearly all new air conditioners here in the United States are using R-410A. Down the road if your unit needed to be recharged with 410A the price tag wouldn’t be too bad as 410A is running around one-hundred dollars for a twenty-five pound cylinder and your unit would only need a couple of pounds of refrigerant for a charge.

The last product feature that I’m going to mention before we move onto the Pros section is installation. Since this is a smaller unit the install should be fairly straight-forward and easy. It is when you get to the higher BTUs that things become difficult. This particular product only weights about thirty-five pounds which means you very well could install this with just one person, but it may still be tricky as you have to hold the unit in place while also securing it. If you slip then the unit could fall out your window and break on you. Be careful!

Pros

Well folks the best and most important Pro on this product is the price. It is very rare nowadays to find a quality air conditioner for a decent price. Most of the time if you are in the market to purchase a window unit you are looking for a cheaper solution. You’re not looking to spend five-hundred or even a thousand dollars. Instead, you’re looking for a well priced product that will cool your room. I can assure you that the Frigidaire FRA052Xt7 is just that. You get the cooling capacity as well as a very low price.

Along with the low price point you also get a one year manufacturer warranty. This warranty will ensure you that if your product does fail within the first year that your investment is insured and that you will either get a replacement part or a replacement unit. While some other more expensive units have a two or even three year warranty again we have to realize that the FRA052Xt7 is a budget window air conditioner.

This product has seven different cool modes that can be switched back and forth with the turn of the dial. You also get a second control dial that allows you to change the speed of the fan. The vents can blow air in one of two directions and in the event of a power outage the unit will automatically restart itself when your power comes back on. This saves you the hassle of having to wake up to a hot room after only having your power out for a few minutes.

The last Pro I’ve already mentioned above in the Product Features section but I’m going to bring up again here. This unit is considered a ‘micro window air conditioner.’ What that means is that it is very small. It comes in at just around thirty-five pounds. That means that it is easily shipped and easier to install. As you get into the larger BTU air conditioners the size and weight go up as well. These larger units can be a beast to install but with this lighter weight unit the install should be a breeze.

Cons

The Cons section is always a little difficult especially when you are dealing with a well built product from Frigidaire. But, like with anything there are always flaws. The first and most obvious is that this unit is only rated at five-thousand BTUs. That means that if you’re trying to cool a master bedroom, living room, or any other larger space then this unit will most likely not work for you. You would need to calculate the square footage of your room and then go up a size in BTUs until you find the perfect fit. The five-thousand BTU units are strictly meant for bedrooms and small offices. If you’re not sure exactly what size of air conditioner to get please check out our buyer’s guide by clicking here.

Frigidaire FRA052XT7 Energy Star
Frigidaire FRA052XT7 Energy Star

When you purchase something online there is always the risk of it arriving to your home damaged. That risk increases with the bigger and heavier the package. On top of that, the risk increases even more when dealing with a machine like an air conditioner. Now, I’m not going to lie to you here. The chances of your unit arriving damaged is rare, but there is a chance folks. The good news though is that if this does happen you can always file a claim with Amazon.com and they will take care of the return process. Something that you’ll notice is that some of the ‘bad reviews,’ on this product are a direct result of the product arriving damaged to the consumer’s home. This is not Frigidaire’s fault and frankly shouldn’t be attributed to them.

One thing worth mentioning here is that this Frigidaire product is NOT Energy Star certified with the Environmental Protection Agency. The Energy Star program is a system to measure how efficient an air conditioner is. They use a number based off of the Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER. The higher the EER number the more efficient and the less energy the product will cost. The baseline to achieve the Energy Star certification is 10.0 and this Frigidaire unit comes in at 9.7. So, while it does not meet the Energy Star requirements it just barely misses them at that 9.7 number.

The last Con I’ll mention before moving onto our conclusion is that in some cases over time the fan can become loosened within the unit. While this doesn’t pose a safety or performance risk it can cause your air conditioner to become noisier then it once was. For some people this doesn’t bother them in the slightest, but for others it can drive them crazy. If it was me I can tell you that I wouldn’t even notice it, but I’m heavy sleeper and I’m also the kind of guy who gets used to his surroundings. So, if I have a new fan in my room going all night I might not sleep well for the first few nights but then something clicks and that fan becomes part of the sleeping experience.

Conclusion

Alright folks, we have gone over all of the product features on this Frigidaire product, the Pros, the Cons, and anything and everything else in between. The question now is this the product that is right for you? Well, I would say that if you are looking for a cheaper window air conditioner to cool your bedroom, dorm room, or small office then this is the exact product for you. If you are interested in purchasing please visit our Amazon.com partner by clicking here.

However, if you find that this isn’t the product for you for whatever reason then let me take some time here to suggest to you a few alternative five-thousand BTU models.

  • Frigidaire FFRE0533Q1 5,000 BTU comes with a digital display and a remote control.
  • hOmeLabs 5,000 BTU is a sister product to our featured Frigidaire product. This unit has a lot of the same features as the FRA052Xt7 but for a little bit of a cheaper price.
  • Friedrich CP05G10B 5,200 BTU is the premium, or the best of the best, when it comes to window air conditioners. Sure, you’re going to pay some more but you are getting a top quality product with all of the bells and whistles. This is a must buy in my opinion.

Important Links

 

Well folks, it seems that we’re having the opposite problem that we had last year. Around this time last year 410A was going for around two-hundred dollars a cylinder depending on who you were buying from. Many consumers and business owners alike were having sticker shock upon seeing the price on a cylinder of 410A. After all, 410A was supposed to be the ‘cheaper’ refrigerant when compared to R-22, right?

The large increase in price we saw last year was attributed to the shortage of the R-125 refrigerant. R-125 is one of the two refrigerants needed to make R-410A. The mineral Flurospar is a main ingredient when creating R-125 and unfortunately most of world’s Flurospar is mined in China. Just like how we used to be reliant on oil from the Middle East we are reliant on Flurospar from China. Towards the beginning of 2017 Flurospar saw a forty percent price increase and as a trickle down effect R-125 saw price increase of one-hundred and thirty percent. The cause of these price increase had to do with China enacting new environmental regulations on the Flurospar mining industry. These regulations caused a slow down which resulted in the price increase and the trickle down effect across the industry. All of these price increases were eventually passed down to contractors and consumers during last year’s summer.

This year we seem to be having the opposite problem, if you could call it a problem. I guess that depends on what side of the industry you are on. If you’re distributing refrigerant at a higher price point that means more margin for you, but if you’re a customer needing to pay for a repair you’re going to gladly take that lower refrigerant price. As I write this article you can buy a pallet of R-410A (Around 40-50 cylinders) for around seventy dollars per cylinder. Yes, seventy dollars. That is a HUGE decrease from last summer’s two-hundred dollar price. This price point is one of the lowest on R-410A that we’ve seen in years.

The European Union

While there were a couple surprises this year like the EPA’s SNAP Rule 20 being overturned I do not believe that the court’s ruling is what caused the price decrease. Instead, I believe these price decreases can be attributed to the European Union and their F-Gas Regulation. Most of you are aware of this already, but the EU is phasing down and in some cases phasing out HFCs entirely across all of their countries. The goal, like with most phase downs, is to slowly reduce the quantity allowed to be manufactured or imported into the European Union. While the start of these reductions began in 2015 the first real significant phase down was the beginning of this year, in 2018.

The first really big cut in HFC supply comes in 2018 – when there will be a cut of around 40%. It is likely that HFC refrigerant prices will rise sharply in 2017 / 2018 as there is potential for a significant refrigerant shortage. – Source: FDF.ORG.UK 

Because of this phase down in the EU the prices over there have been rising and rising. If you thought the price of 410A or 404A was bad here last summer then you should check out how much it goes for in France!  There has been a scrambled over there to retrofit existing applications away from the high GWP refrigerants and over to alternatives like R-32.  This cut in 2018 of nearly forty percent was huge and it’s going to be cut again significantly in just a few years in 2021. The demand in the European Union shrunk overnight once January 1st, 2018 hit.

Conclusion

Here is my theory. The low price here in the United States can be directly contributed to a mass amount of imported product from overseas. (China, mostly.) Now, why has this extra 410A been flowing into the US? Well, it goes right back to the European Union. I believe that the refrigerant producers in China didn’t properly forecast the upcoming cut across the EU. Because of this they now have a surplus of inventory that they are trying to unload and like with any supply and demand scenario the price has dropped and dropped until we get to that seventy dollar a cylinder price we are now at today.

The good news though is that if you are a contractor or a business owner there isn’t going to be a much better time to buy then now. As I said earlier this seventy dollar price is very rare, especially in the past few years. It is a great time to buy as no one knows for sure how long this price is going to last. If you are interested in purchasing please reach out to me via our bulk purchasing page or you can e-mail me directly at johnsonaelc41@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

I saw this news story come across my e-mail this morning and needless to say, I was surprised. It’s not everyday you see that Chemours and Arkema partnering up with one another. In fact, in the recent past they have been fairly bitter rivals going back and forth in HFC court battles. Arkema was one of the plaintiffs in the law-suit against the Environmental Protection Agency and their proposed HFC phase outs. (Chemours was on the losing side.) This back and forth battle all had to do with the new HFO refrigerant line. Arkema was trying to delay the transition away from HFCs while Chemours was pushing ahead as fast as possible.

Over the recent years Chemours and Honeywell have been very protective of their HFO brands Opteon and Solstice. In fact, they have patents on most of their newer HFO refrigerants which prevent the other larger manufacturers like MexiChem and Arkema from manufacturing their own versions. It makes perfect sense and it’s a good business decision, but it does pose a problem of too little competition in the market. More or less, Chemours and Honeywell have a monopoly on the developing HFO refrigerant market. They control the price and the marketplace.

There was a step forward announced yesterday between Chemours and Arkema on Chemour’s Opteon XP40 refrigerant. (R-449A) The two companies both sent out a press release stating that Arkema is now a certified distributor within the European Union. (For those who don’t know Arkema is a French based company.) This step allows Chemours to enter the European Union market with their newer XP40 refrigerant at a pivotal time. Across the EU companies are looking for alternative lower GWP refrigerants to be compliant with the F-Gas Regulations and that’s not even mentioning the sky-high prices that R-404A hit in the European Union last year.

Opteon XP40 was seen as a perfect fit as it is a near drop-in replacement product for R-404A and R-507A. This also gives Arkema a viable alternative option to all of their customers. They will be able to market this Chemours product under their own Forane brand name (Forane 449A), so many customers may not even know that it is a Chemours’ product. In most cases it will be seamless, but I do have to wonder if it is a bit awkward for Arkema. After all, they are used to being a manufacturer, not a distributor.

About Arkema

When I think of refrigerant manufacturers four names pop right into my head. Chemours, Honeywell, MexiChem, and Arkema. Now, obviously, the first two Chemours and Honeywell are the biggest. I like to think of these guys as our ‘gold’ manufacturers. We see a lot of innovation and new technologies from these companies and they have plants and factories across the globe. Chemours’ revenue in 2017 was over six billion dollars. Honeywell was forty billion.

Our ‘Silver’ refrigerant manufacturers are MexiChem and Arkema. These companies are very large producers as well and have very recognizable brand names across the industry. While they are not the size of Chemours or Honeywell they are nothing to sneeze at. MexiChem’s 2017 revenue was just shy of six billion dollars. (Keep in mind that includes plastics and other manufacturing.) Arkema’s revenue from 2015 was over seven billion dollars. (Again, more products then just refrigerants.)

Arkema is a French based company headquartered just outside of Paris. They are a fairly ‘new’ company having been founded in 2004. I say ‘new’ in quotations as Arkema is as new as Chemours was. (Chemours was just an off-shoot of DuPont.) Arkema was an off-shoot of the French oil company known as Total. Total is one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world.

Arkema has three main divisions: Coating Solutions, Industrial Chemicals, and Performance Products. They are one of the world’s largest producers of fluorinated chemicals under their brand name Forane. Their refrigerants and their Forane brand name can be found across the globe and are recognizable to most folks within the industry. Forty percent of their total sales take place within the European Union. Another thirty percent take place Americas. In fact, their operation sounds very similar to a Belgian based company that I work for during the day.

What is XP40?

R-449A, or Opteon XP40, is a new HFO refrigerant blend comprised of R-32, R-125, R-1234yf, and R-134a. This refrigerant, like Honeywell’s R-407F, was designed as a replacement product for R-22, R-404A, and R-507A. The difference here is that this an HFO refrigerant rather than an HFC. The XP40 is non Ozone depleting and has a GWP number of one-thousand two-hundred and eighty-two. That’s about five-hundred less then R-22 and two-thousand six-hundred and forty less than R-404A. That is a HUGE reduction in GWP on 404A applications. XP40 is non-toxic and non-flammable so safety is not an issue either. Along with that the Opteon XP40 is actually more energy efficient then CO2.

The best thing about XP40 though is that it is designed as a more or less drop-in replacement to R-404A. What that means is very little retrofitting work for the customer and for the contractor. XP40 can be used in supermarkets (Racks, walk-in coolers/freezers), food service, cold storage, food processing, chemical processing, and even in your local ice rink. I’ve written about XP40 in the past and it’s potential applications in ice rinks.

While I don’t see XP40 sticking around forever as it still does have a GWP of over one-thousand I can safely say that it is a definite stand-by and a step in the right direction. Once we move all of the higher GWP R-404A and R-22 systems over to a lesser GWP refrigerant like XP40 we can then begin looking at future refrigerants with even less Global Warming impact.

Conclusion

As I said in the beginning of this article I was surprised to see Chemours and Arkema partner together. I’m very anxious to see how this partnership works between them. Will Arkema welcome their new role as just a refrigerant distributor? Will Chemours also go through other channels to distribute their HFO line within the European Union, or will they stay loyal to Arkema? How does Honeywell view this arrangement? This will definitely be an interesting arrangement.

Oh, and I hope you liked the featured picture for this article. I took this last year when I was in Paris for work. You can see the Eiffel back there if you look hard enough!

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Sources

 

Greetings ladies and gentlemen! It’s Memorial Day weekend  and the official beginning of the summer season. Over here in Kansas City the weather has pushed over ninety degrees for nearly a week. That’s nothing though folks as the real fun begins in the July and August months. We routinely have weeks straight of one-hundred plus degree heat. It’s brutal and makes me thankful that I have an office job. If you’ve ever had to work in this type of heat you know just how miserable it can be. As my father likes to say, “It’s DAMN Hot!” With such encroaching temperatures everyone is looking for a way to get relief.

Now most people end up going into their office or their home and enjoying their traditional central air conditioning system. They don’t even really think about it. It works and that’s all they know. But what happens if you live in a place where a central air conditioner just isn’t an option? Or, what if it’s just not affordable? There are many examples of older apartments or older homes that just don’t have the duct work routed in order to accommodate a central system. The cost of adding and retrofitting duct work to an existing house is astronomical and that isn’t even taking into consideration the actual cost of the unit. For so many people these expenses are just not an option. I know I couldn’t afford it.

The best option that people are left with are window air conditioners. These miracle workers allow people from all walks of life to enjoy a nice cool breeze in the dead heat of summer. The beauty of window units is that you can get one and get your bedroom cooled for only a couple hundred dollars. Compare that with a central system where you’ll end up spending thousands. The question now though folks is what brand of window air conditioners should you be getting? Should you be looking at Koldfront or somewhere else? On top of that what sized window unit do you need? What features?

In this article we’re going to go over all of those questions and more. Our goal here at RefrigerantHQ is to provide you with the knowledge to make an educated decision on your new window air conditioner. After all, the worst thing you can do is impulsively buy something and then find out once you’ve installed it that it is not what you were looking for or that it simply won’t work for you.  (Trust me folks, I’ve done this before and it’s not fun to admit you made a mistake… especially in front of your wife!) Let’s dive in and take a look:

Koldfront Brand Name

Before you get into a product it is best to know the brand name, but not only to know it but to understand it and it’s history. After all, the brand name is a very powerful thing. If you think about it would you rather have a Coca-Cola or a Sam’s Choice Cola? I’m betting that most of you would pick the Coke. I know I would. That’s the power of a brand name. You know quality and you know what to expect. This same relationship between brand and quality is no different when it comes to window air conditioners.

The Koldfront name is a brand from the Livingdirect company. (Think of it like how Pepsi owns the Mountain Dew brand name.) Koldfront was originally founded back in 1999 by Rick Lundbom. While that may not sound like a lot of years of experience Rick and his company have made it their mission to provide new and innovative appliances and they have not relented over the years. Think about this for a second: Koldfront is competing with the names out there such as Frigidaire and General Electric. Two gigantic companies that have been around for over one-hundred years but yet Koldfront has thrived and grown since their 1999 beginning. That says a lot about the company right there.

While their brand name can be found on portable dishwashers, wine coolers, and other appliances their main focus and drive are window, wall, and portable air conditioners. With a Koldfront air conditioner you can count on three key factors: High-quality craftsman ship, affordability, and durability. Along with that you get their innovations and ingenuity. Remember, most of the time the big changes come from the little guy who’s hungry for business. The question to you now is do you want a new and upcoming business to make your product or do you want to stay with the tested and true names like Frigidaire or Friedrich?

Buying Considerations

Like with anything you purchase it is always best to weigh and consider all possible options and features before you purchase. This is even more so when looking at window air conditioners. If you buy the wrong sized unit you could end up with your unit overworking and costing you more energy, or you could end up with the unit running constantly resulting in a much higher energy bill and not having a fully cooled room. Along with that you need to make sure that the unit will fit in your window, will have the right outlet, and so much more.

BTU Size

Displacing Heat
Displacing Heat

In order to fully understand what kind and what size of window air conditioner that you need you first need to understand British Thermal Units, or BTUs. BTUs are the traditional measurement of heat. When looking at air conditioners BTUs are used to measure the cooling capacity of your window or portable air conditioners. The higher the BTU number the more powerful and the more cooling capacity your unit has.

Most people use a measurement of around thirty BTUs for each square foot of living space that you wish to cool in your home or office. If we use that same measurement we can do some math based on a seven-thousand BTU air conditioner. If we take that seven-thousand number and divide it by thirty we get an approximated square footage of two-hundred and thirty. So, in this case seven-thousand BTUs would have enough power to cool a larger bedroom or office. (Remember that square footage is just a calculation that can be done by measuring the width of bedroom and the length of a bedroom. Once you have that you multiply the numbers together and presto, you now have your square footage.)

Remember though folks that bigger isn’t always better. You want to ensure that you get the proper sized unit for the room that you are trying to cool. If you purchase something with too few BTUs then your unit is going to be working overtime trying to cool the room. If you purchase something that has too much BTUs then your unit is going to be costing you extra on your electric bills and you will also develop warm and cold spots throughout the room due to the larger sized unit.

Lastly, I will emphasize this one more time. BTUs are one of the most important decision you can make when purchasing a window air conditioner. Getting this number wrong or right will determine exactly how well your new window unit will perform.

Window Size

We all know that old adage, measure twice and cut once. Well the same rule applies to air conditioners. Always always always be sure to measure the width and the height of your window to ensure that the air conditioner that you will be buying will fit and will fit correctly. To get even more specific you may even take into consideration the depth of your new AC unit and see if there are any trees, shrubs, or anything else that could obstruct exhaust flow of your unit. Remember folks, that heat has to go somewhere and if there is something obstructing your exhaust your air conditioner isn’t going to have a good time.

As I said before it is best for you to measure the window so you know exactly what you are dealing with but I will give you this bit of advice. Most windows found in homes today range between twenty-four to thirty inches wide and forty-eight to fifty-six inches high. If you are unsure of the dimensions of the air conditioner you are wishing to buy either on Amazon or the manufacturer’s official product page will have the full details for you.

EPA’s Energy Star

The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency has a rating for window air conditioners. This rating is called Energy Star. The Energy Star program was founded back in 1991 and was originally designed to regulate and improve the energy usage of lighting in larger commercial buildings. (Think large office buildings or warehouses.) Since it’s found in 1991 the Energy Star program has changed and adapted over the years. Today it is one of the leading sources on finding out exactly how energy efficient a product is.

Koldfront WAC12001W Energy Saver
Koldfront WAC12001W Energy Saver

On the window air conditioning side of the world the Energy Star is measured by whats called Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER. For a window unit to qualify for the Energy Star program the unit must have an EER rating of 10.0 or higher. Now, I won’t say that every Frigidaire unit is Energy Star certified what I can say is that a good portion of them are.  Remember, that if your unit is Energy Star certified that means less costly monthly energy bills.

115 Volts VS 220 Volts

Most of the time this won’t apply to you but if you are going to be purchasing a larger window air conditioner then you should definitely stop and think before you purchase. What kind of plug-in does this air conditioner have? Does it come with a standard one-hundred and fifteen volt plug, or does it comes with a two-hundred and twenty volt plug?

I’ve seen this trip a lot of people up. The worst thing you can do is order a unit, have it come, get it installed, and then when you go to plug it in you realize that you don’t have the right outlet for it. I can just see myself doing this with my wife standing over my shoulder telling me I should have checked before I ordered. (I can’t be the only one, right?)

Koldfront Window Air Conditioner Products

Ok folks so now that we have reviewed the Koldfront brand name and what considerations that should be taken into account we can now begin to look at some of the Koldfront products that are out there. Now, when I shop I have to ask myself one question. Do I need the product right away, or can I wait a few days? Most of the time my answer to that question is that I can wait a few days. In that case I like to shop on Amazon.com. The reason that I do this is two fold. The first is that their website allows me to easily research the product. I can see reviews, questions and answers, and even product dimensions/weight. The other is that most of the time Amazon has a very competitive price that lines up with most of the other retailers out there. The best part about it is that I don’t have to leave the house and drive for a ways just to pick something up. (I live out in the country and driving to a store isn’t an easy venture.) Instead, I opt for having the product delivered to me.

Ok, enough about me. Let’s take a look at some of the Koldfront window air conditioning units and what they have to offer:

Koldfront WAC8002WCO 8,000 BTU
Koldfront WAC8002WCO 8,000 BTU
  • Koldfront WAC8002WCO 8,000 BTU
    • While most models from other brands start at around five-thousand or six-thousand BTUs the Koldfront model WAC8002WCO starts out at eight-thousand BTUs. It is rated to cool rooms up to three-hundred and fifty square feet. Depending on your home this could be your master bedroom or perhaps even your living room. This product is Energy Star rated by the EPA , comes with a remote control that works as far as sixteen feet away, and comes with energy saver modes such as sleep and dry mode.
  • Koldfront WAC8001W 8,000 BTU
    • The Koldfront WAC8001W is the sister product to the unit we mentioned above. The WAC8001W however has additional features such as a digital display and a built in electric heater as well as an air conditioner. It should be noted though that while this unit has a heater the BTUs on the heater are only rated at thirty-five hundred whereas the air conditioner is rated at eight-thousand. This heater is meant as a supplement to other heat sources. Like the WAC8002WCO this unit is rated to cool rooms up to three-hundred and fifty square feet.
    • If it were me I would choose the WAC8002WCO over this model and buy an infrared unit instead. The infrared will you give you sufficient heat and then you don’t have to pay the extra premium for the air conditioner/heater combination.

      Infrared Space Heater
      Infrared Space Heater
  • Koldfront WAC10002WCO 10,000 BTU
    • The Koldfront WAC10002WCO is the next step up coming in at ten-thousand BTUs. It is rated to cool rooms upwards to four-hundred and fifty square feet. This could be a living room or a two bedroom combination at the end of your hallway. Like other Koldfront models this unit is Energy Star certified by the EPA, it has a energy/economy saver mode, a twenty-four hour programmable timer, as well as a sleep and dry mode. This unit is still relatively light weight as well only coming in at around sixty pounds. Installation shouldn’t be too difficult.
  • Koldfront WAC12002WCO 12,000 BTU
    • The Koldfront WAC12002WCO comes in at twelve-thousand BTUs and can cool rooms or areas up to five-hundred and fifty square feet. This type of cooling power can be used to cool the majority of a second floor, a decent sized apartment, or a large living room. The product is Energy Star certified with the EPA, comes with an energy saver mode, a sleep and dry mode, and a twenty-four hour on/off programmable timer. Again, this is still a lighter weight unit only coming in at around seventy pounds.
  • Koldfront WAC12001W 12,000 BTU
    • Ok folks, if you are truly looking for a solid air conditioner and heater combination then the Koldfront WAC12001W is the unit for you. With this product you get twelve-thousand BTUs of cooling power and eleven-thousand BTUs of electric heating power. The WAC12001W is rated to heat/cool rooms up to five-hundred and fifty square feet. As I mentioned earlier, this sized room could be a large living room, a few bedrooms in your upstairs, or a decent sized apartment. One thing to mention here is that this unit DOES require a different plug-in then what you may be used to. Most units take a one-hundred and fifteen volt plug-in but this unit requires a two-hundred and thirty volt outlet. (Think of your clothes dryer and your oven plug-ins.) Lastly, this unit comes with a two year warranty ensuring you that your purchase and investment is secure.
  • Koldfront WAC18001W 18,500 BTU
    • The Koldfront WAC18001W is in fact very similar to the WAC12001W that we mentioned above. The WAC18001W is both an air conditioner and a heater the only difference here is that it is bigger! With this unit we get a total eighteen-thousand BTUs of cooling power and sixteen-thousand BTUs of electric heating power. The unit is rated to cool rooms or areas up to one-thousand square feet. I would highly recommend this product for cooling/heating an entire floor of your home or for cooling your entire apartment/condominium. This unit is NOT Energy Star certified with the EPA, but usually when you get this big in size an Energy Star product is hard to find. The Energy Efficiency Ratio is measured at 10.7, so still relatively efficient. Like the unit above this product requires a two-hundred and thirty volt outlet. Please be aware of this before purchasing.

      Koldfront WAC25001W 25,000 BTU
      Koldfront WAC25001W 25,000 BTU
  • Koldfront WAC25001W 25,000 BTU
    • Alrighty folks, we’ve saved the biggest for last. What’s that old ‘Home Improvement,’ motto? More Power? Well the Koldfront WAC25001W definitely has more power. It comes in at twenty-five thousand BTUs and is rated to cool rooms or areas up to fifteen-hundred square feet. That is the size of a medium sized home. Like the other units above this product also has a built in electric heater as well. The heater is rated at sixteen-thousand BTUs, so while it doesn’t have as much power as the air conditioner it will still keep your room warm. This unit like the other requires a two-hundred and thirty volt outlet. Also, this unit is very heavy coming in at one-hundred and thirty pounds. While that may not seem to heavy I want you to realize that you are balancing this thing on your window during installation. Can you balance one-hundred and thirty pounds all the while securing it to the frame? I know I couldn’t. You will need help to install this.
    • The last thing I want to mention on this unit is, are you sure this is the one you want? If it was me I would opt for a smaller BTU unit and buying a couple of them. That way you get your cool/heated air coming from multiple points of the house instead of one central point. This will allow the air to circulate more and to more evenly cool your home.

Other Brands

While we briefly touched on other brands in our Koldfront section I wanted to take some time to go over them again here. We are now familiar with the Koldfront name and how they have been doing business for nearly twenty years. They are a growing company and I am sure will be around for a while. First let me say this, Koldfront products have great quality and will accomplish exactly what you are trying to do, cool your home. You will not regret purchasing a Koldfront unit. The question now though is do you want to buy from a twenty year old company that is making innovations, or do you want to purchase from a century old company? Don’t discount the little guy, remember that Amazon.com is only twenty-five years old. These ‘little guys’ can topple giants.

As far as the other brands out there I want to mention two. The first is Frigidaire. Frigidaire has been around for over one-hundred years and was in fact one of the first inventors of self-contained refrigerator. Since this great initial product launch they have been innovating on refrigerators, window air conditioners, and many other appliances over the decades. Today they are a house hold name and if you look around your kitchen you will most likely find a Frigidaire appliance. It could be a dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator, or even an oven. My point here is that they’ve been around the block and they know what they are doing. To read about Frigidaire Window Air Conditioners please click here to be taken to our Frigidaire article.

Friedrich Window Air Conditioners
Friedrich Window Air Conditioners

The other brand that I wanted to recognize is the Friedrich Window Air Conditioners. Friedrich, like Frigidaire, is a one-hundred year old company. The difference here is that since the 1950’s Friedrich has been specializing in air conditioners and only air conditioners. What that means is that their sole and only focus is on their air conditioners. That means great attention to detail and production value. On top of that Friedrich uses commercial grade parts and equipment when constructing their window units to ensure that only the top quality is received. In my opinion the Friedrich brand name is the undisputed King of window air conditioners. They are top quality and have top features. The downside here is that you’re going to pay a pretty penny to purchase one of these products. For more information on Friedrich window air conditioners please click here to be taken to our article.

Conclusion

The decision is now up to you folks. Between all three brands that we have mentioned here which one will you choose? Will you go for the new up and coming under-dog, or will you settle on a century old company like Frigidaire or Friedrich?

If you decide on Koldfront I can assure you that you will receive a great product. However, if you do choose to go with a more experienced company will you opt for the top quality and high price of Friedrich, or will you go with the tried and true Frigidaire brand name? It all depends on you and your budget. If it was me though folks I would end up purchasing the Koldfront unit as the reviews are great and I like the idea of supporting a smaller business.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

 

Many homeowners heavily rely on their HVAC systems to regulate the temperatures of their properties for maximum comfort throughout all four seasons of the year. A good quality HVAC system can last anywhere from ten to  twenty years, but like everything else, the time comes around when they become aged, worn and start to fail. At this point, naturally many people start the hunt for a new HVAC system, but the reality is that this isn’t always a straight forward process, especially not for the layman. With this in mind, here are some of the most important questions to answer before you choose a new system for your property.

What is an HVAC System?

First things first, it’s important to be aware of what is meant by the term HVAC and from there you can understand what might be involved for your particular scenario. HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning and as a multi-component system it aims to control and regulate the temperature, humidity and air quality of your property to make it a more comfortable environment to live in.

The different components of the system are designed to work in relation to one another in order to respond to the fluctuations of temperature and humidity in a room, keeping it stable and controlling the airflow. The exact configuration of your HVAC system will depend on a variety of different factors including property size, local climate, seasonal fluctuations and budget. Typically, a complete system includes a heating component such as a furnace, an air conditioning system, a programmable thermostat and ductwork.

With that said, here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing the components for your HVAC system:

System Size

The first thing you need to consider when hunting for a new HVAC system is the size you’ll require to meet the demands of your property.

The main thing that will dictate this is the dimensions of your home and the frequency of the systems use.

  • If you select a system that is too big for your property you will end up having to frequently turn it on and off, resulting in you wasting more energy and exhausting the system before it’s time.
  • On the other hand, if you choose a HVAC system that is not large enough to meet your demands, it will result in the system being overused, resulting in increased energy costs and a system that requires maintenance and repairs much sooner than intended.

Heating

When determining which heating system is right for your property, two key measurements are used. The first is referred to as the heating capacity and it is measured in BTU (British Thermal Units), which in simple terms is defined as the heat required in order to increase the temperature of a pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. The second metric is called cubic feet per minute (CFM) and is a measurement of the how much air (in feet) can pass a certain point per minute. In combination, these two factors are used to determine the correct sized heating appliance for your particular property.

Cooling

The cooling capacity of air conditioning units are typically measured in tons and not BTU’s, with each ton being equivalent to 12,000 British Thermal Unit Per Hour (BTUh). The reason for this is an entire subject its own right and if you are interested you can read more about it here.

Just like the heating appliance you choose for your property, it’s important to choose a cooling appliance that will be the right size to meet your needs. A HVAC technician will be able to advise you on the types of appliances to best meet the demands of your property.

Noise Levels

Although in recent years many new systems have been released that are much quieter than those from yesteryear, it’s important you check the noise levels before you make a purchase. There’s probably nothing worse than installing your new system only to discover it’s creating a considerable disturbance to your sleep, study or ambience.

To ensure you secure a HVAC system that doesn’t create a disturbance make sure to ask a HVAC technician all of the necessary questions and ideally opt for a system with noise levels below 60 decibels (db).

Check the Ratings

If you are not familiar with the HVAC industry and haven’t had your system replaced in years, it’s likely that you haven’t kept yourself up to date with the latest innovations and industry ratings.

The thing to remember is that things move fast in the HVAC industry and to ensure you secure a system that is most efficient and therefore offers the best performance and energy savings, it’s a wise idea to opt for a system boasting the latest technology.

By checking the ratings you can be sure what the performance of the system is going to be like and how efficient it will be. The most common rating systems used include SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) for air conditioners; HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) for Heat Pumps and AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), for Furnaces and typically the higher the rating the better.

For instance, in 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) increased their minimum SEER requirement from 13 to 14. However, a rating from 14 o 22 is considered a system within the energy-efficient window, so try to at least acquire a system with a SEER rating above 14.

Consider Pairing a New HVAC System with a Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can really help you create a comfortable environment without having to lift a finger. All you have to do is set your HVAC system to start operating at a certain temperature and you’re done, you can also set it to only operate when you’re actually at home too. This means you will only be using energy when you actually need it, helping you to save money on your energy bills and live a greener lifestyle.

Even better is that there are smart thermostats available that allow you to make modifications from the comfort of your smart phone or other device. Although not essential, thermostats can help you run your home more efficiently, helping to save energy and money and lead a more convenient life.

Brand Reputation

With so many new brands releasing cheaper HVAC systems, it can be tempting to opt for these instead of those offered by more reputable brands that have been around for much longer. The major issue with this however, is that often new brands don’t stick around and in the event that your system faces issues or needs parts replacing, there is the potential for a lack of assistance and a real struggle to source replacement parts. This can mean having to replace the complete system, obviously not a great investment in the long term.

In terms of performance, trusted brands are often much better as they have something to prove to their customers and want their brand to be trusted well into the future.  Its well worth checking the user reviews and ratings of the most popular systems and you will soon discover the contrast between them.

Ductwork

If you are replacing an old system or you live in an old style home it’s likely that your ductwork will also need replacing, or at least checking over by a HVAC technician. This is because over the years, ductwork can experience serious wear and tear as a result of heat exposure and humidity.

Not many people realise this, but the condition and type of ductwork is actually responsible for much of the efficiency of the system overall. Poorly insulated ductwork and those with gaps and holes can result in a considerable amount of heat loss. Therefore, by ensuring your ductwork is in good health you will be ensuring your system is operating at maximum efficiency.

Conclusion

Selecting a new HVAC system doesn’t have to be a difficult process, you simply need to ask the right questions. A HVAC technician will gladly advise you to the best solution to meet your specific requirements and be happy to answer any questions you may have. A good technician will also help carry out necessary checks to ascertain the energy requirements of your property and make recommendations based on these findings. The bottom line is that there are numerous factors involved, so it’s essential to consider all of them before drawing a conclusion and making a purchase.

This is a guest post by Dave Miller, a HVAC tech who now dedicates himself to sharing knowledge on his website HeatTalk.com. Dave has worked for over twenty years in the industry and for the last five has run his own contracting business. Dave can be found on Twitter with the handle @heattalkcom and you can also find him on Facebook.

Thanks for reading folks,

RefrigerantHQ

Frigidaire Window Air Conditioners

As I write this article it is Memorial Day Weekend and here in Kansas City the temperature is going to be stuck in the high nineties for most of my three day weekend. In fact, I spent a better part of my morning setting up a pool for my girls to play in. But, here’s the thing, after my family was done with the pool we came inside to a nice seventy-two degree home. All of that is thanks to our window units that we have installed on each side of our home. These products can be a lifesaver especially if you are in a warmer climate like Kansas.

If you find that you are needing a window air conditioner either because yours finally died on you or it’s your first time purchasing one the same questions will arise in your head. What kind of window unit do I need? What brand do I need? What size do I need? In this article I aim to answer those questions and more. My aim is to guide you through the buying and decision making process.

Frigidaire Brand Name

Chances are you already recognize the Frigidaire brand name. In fact there is a pretty good chance that you could already find one of their appliances already in your home. It could be your refrigerator, your microwave, your dish washer, or even your oven. My point here is that Frigidaire is an appliance company and an appliance company that has withstood the test of time. In fact, the Frigidaire brand name has been around for over one-hundred years.

If we go back in time all the way back to 1916 we can find the Frigidaire brand name and it’s origin. During that year the Frigidaire company invented and began selling the first self-contained refrigerator. While a refrigerator and a window air conditioner may seem different to you I can assure you that they are in fact very similar. Think about it for a moment. They both cool and they both use refrigerant. The only difference here is that the window unit is cooling your room while your refrigerator is cooling the cabin. Besides that, the principals are the same.

Over the past century the Frigidaire company and brand has been innovating and improving their appliances. Today they are a respected brand name throughout the country and the world. If you see a Frigidaire name on your appliance you can rest assured that you are getting a quality and durable product. The same can be said with their window air conditioners.

Buying Considerations

Now before you decide to purchase a window air conditioner there are some considerations and other notes to go over. The worst thing you can do is ‘guess’ as to what kind of unit you need. Depending on the size of window air conditioner you purchase they can be quite expensive. When you purchase you want to make sure that you have the perfect unit for you. Let’s take a look at some of the buying considerations below:

BTU Size

Displacing Heat
Displacing Heat

In order to fully understand what kind and what size of window air conditioner that you need you first need to understand British Thermal Units, or BTUs. BTUs are the traditional measurement of heat. When looking at air conditioners BTUs are used to measure the cooling capacity of your window or portable air conditioners. The higher the BTU number the more powerful and the more cooling capacity your unit has.

Most people use a measurement of around thirty BTUs for each square foot of living space that you wish to cool in your home or office. If we use that same measurement we can do some math based on a seven-thousand BTU air conditioner. If we take that seven-thousand number and divide it by thirty we get an approximated square footage of two-hundred and thirty. So, in this case seven-thousand BTUs would have enough power to cool a larger bedroom or office. (Remember that square footage is just a calculation that can be done by measuring the width of bedroom and the length of a bedroom. Once you have that you multiply the numbers together and presto, you now have your square footage.)

Remember though folks that bigger isn’t always better. You want to ensure that you get the proper sized unit for the room that you are trying to cool. If you purchase something with too few BTUs then your unit is going to be working overtime trying to cool the room. If you purchase something that has too much BTUs then your unit is going to be costing you extra on your electric bills and you will also develop warm and cold spots throughout the room due to the larger sized unit.

Lastly, I will emphasize this one more time. BTUs are one of the most important decision you can make when purchasing a window air conditioner. Getting this number wrong or right will determine exactly how well your new window unit will perform.

Window Size

We all know that old adage, measure twice and cut once. Well the same rule applies to air conditioners. Always always always be sure to measure the width and the height of your window to ensure that the air conditioner that you will be buying will fit and will fit correctly. To get even more specific you may even take into consideration the depth of your new AC unit and see if there are any trees, shrubs, or anything else that could obstruct exhaust flow of your unit. Remember folks, that heat has to go somewhere and if there is something obstructing your exhaust your air conditioner isn’t going to have a good time.

As I said before it is best for you to measure the window so you know exactly what you are dealing with but I will give you this bit of advice. Most windows found in homes today range between twenty-four to thirty inches wide and forty-eight to fifty-six inches high. If you are unsure of the dimensions of the air conditioner you are wishing to buy either on Amazon or the manufacturer’s official product page will have the full details for you.

EPA’s Energy Star

The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency has a rating for window air conditioners. This rating is called Energy Star. The Energy Star program was founded back in 1991 and was originally designed to regulate and improve the energy usage of lighting in larger commercial buildings. (Think large office buildings or warehouses.) Since it’s found in 1991 the Energy Star program has changed and adapted over the years. Today it is one of the leading sources on finding out exactly how energy efficient a product is.Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 5, 000 BTU Energy Guide

On the window air conditioning side of the world the Energy Star is measured by whats called Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER. For a window unit to qualify for the Energy Star program the unit must have an EER rating of 10.0 or higher. Now, I won’t say that every Frigidaire unit is Energy Star certified what I can say is that a good portion of them are.  Remember, that if your unit is Energy Star certified that means less costly monthly energy bills.

115 Volts VS 220 Volts

Most of the time this won’t apply to you but if you are going to be purchasing a larger window air conditioner then you should definitely stop and think before you purchase. What kind of plug-in does this air conditioner have? Does it come with a standard one-hundred and fifteen volt plug, or does it comes with a two-hundred and twenty volt plug?

I’ve seen this trip a lot of people up. The worst thing you can do is order a unit, have it come, get it installed, and then when you go to plug it in you realize that you don’t have the right outlet for it. I can just see myself doing this with my wife standing over my shoulder telling me I should have checked before I ordered. (I can’t be the only one, right?)

Frigidaire Window Air Conditioner Products

Alright folks so we’ve now gone over the Frigidaire brand name and the various options that you need to consider before purchasing a window unit. Now that that is out of the way we can begin to look at the various window units that are on the market today. Personally, I buy everything online nowadays including the big things. In the section below I am going to provide a link to our Amazon partner’s web-page that shows you the product that we have discussed. These products are our top rated Frigidaire window units. Let’s take a look:

  • Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 5,000 BTU
    • The FFRA0511R1 is your very basic bare bones unit. This product will do exactly what it’s designed to do. It will cool your room. You may have noticed that the BTUs on this unit are only at 5,000. That is because this is a very small window unit only rated to cool rooms at one-hundred and fifty square feet. That square footage is about the size of a large bedroom. This Frigidaire unit is by FAR one of the most popular window units on the market today. That is mostly due to the Frigidaire name and the dirt cheap price. Go ahead, try and find a cheaper unit out there!
  • Frigidaire FFRE0633S1 6,000 BTU
    • The FFRE0633S1 from Frigidaire is the next step up from the previous model we looked at. This model not only goes up one-thousand BTUs but it also swaps out the turn-knob controls with a digital display and a fully functional remote control. The FFRE0633S1 is rated to cool up to two-hundred and fifty square feet, is Energy Star certified at 12.2 EER, and is still considered a ‘mini’ unit which means it only comes in forty-four pounds. If you were to ask me my opinion I would suggest this unit over the 5,000 BTU product we looked at earlier. You get better features on this product and you also get covered if you have a larger closet, bathroom, or other small additional square footage that you are wishing to cool.

      FFRA1011R1 With Turn Dial Knobs
      FFRA1011R1 With Turn Dial Knobs
  • Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 8,000 BTU
    • The FFRE0833S1 is rated to cool rooms up to three-hundred and fifty square feet. Depending on the lay out of your home this could be a large master bedroom, a living room, or kitchen. (Please note that if you are looking for a unit for your kitchen that you should always add at least one-thousand BTUs due to the extra heat coming from the kitchen oven.) This unit comes with a digital display and a fully functional remote control. The FFRE0833S1 is also Energy Star certified with the EPA coming in at a 12.0 Energy Efficiency Ratio rating. (Keep in mind that the baseline for this is 10.0.)
  • Frigidaire FFRA1011R1 10,000 BTU
    • The FFRA1011R1 is rated as ten-thousand BTUs and can cool rooms upwards to four-hundred and fifty square feet. Again, like before, this could be a very large master bedroom but most likely it could be a living room/dining room combination. Now, the FFRA1011R1 is the baseline model for ten-thousand BTUs. In other words, it is cheaper then the product I’m going to list below but that is because it does not have a digital display, it does not have a remote control, and it is not Energy Star certified. While this unit will work great I would still recommend the FFRE1033S1 over this. You still get ten-thousand BTUs but you also get the extra features and Energy Star qualifications.
  • Frigidaire FFRE1033S1 10,000 BTU
    • Just like the FFRA1011R1 above the FFRE1033S1 is also rated at ten-thousand BTUs and cool rooms upwards to four-hundred and fifty square feet. The big difference here though between the two products is that you get all of the ‘bonuses,’ with the FFRE1033S1. You get Energy Star EPA certification, you get, you get a digital display, and you get a remote control. All of these extras for not much more in price. If it was me I would purchase this one over the other ten-thousand unit.

      Frigidaire FFRE1033S1 With Digital Display
      Frigidaire FFRE1033S1 With Digital Display
  • Frigidaire FFRA1211R1 12,000 BTU
    • The Frigidaire FFRA1211R1 is similar to what we looked at with the ten-thousand BTU models. This unit comes in at twelve-thousand BTUs and is rated to cool rooms up to five-hundred and fifty square feet. When we get this to square footage I am thinking primarily of apartments or condominiums. Yes, this can still be used in your home, especially if you have a large open floor plan area. Just keep in mind that you don’t want to go too high or too low on your BTUs. As an example, let’s say your open floor plan is eight-hundred square feet. In that case this window unit will not work for you. You would be best moving up to a much higher BTU requirement. Now the FFRA1211R1 is a bare bones model like we discussed before. You get a turn-knob dial adjustment and no digital display or remote. But, the price is cheaper then on it’s sister product FFRA1222U1. If it was me though, I’d pay the extra price and get the FFRA1222U1.
  • Frigidaire FFRA1222U1 12,000 BTU
    • The FFRA1222U1 the sister product to the FFRA1211R1. They are both rated at ten-thousand BTUs and can cool rooms upwards to five-hundred and fifty square feet. The difference here is that with the FFRA1222U1 you get the extra features that the FFRA1211R1 simply doesn’t have. Some of these are the digital display and the remote control. While the remote control may not sound like a big deal to you now I can assure you that if you wake up in the middle of the night and find that the room is too warm would you rather reach over to your nightstand and grab the remote, or would you rather get up and walk across the room? I know what I would rather do folks.
  • Frigidaire FFRE1533S1 15,100 BTU
    • Ok folks now we are getting into the much larger sizes. The Frigidaire FFRE1533S1 is rated at just over fifteen-thousand BTUs and can cool rooms up to eight-hundred and fifty square feet. I remember my first apartment and it was just around eight-hundred square feet. This unit could cool the entire apartment without an issue. The other option is an entire floor. In some houses they have their bedrooms all upstairs. This unit would work great to cool the upstairs floor if you kept your doors open and had it installed in one of the bedroom windows. The FFRE1533S1 is EPA Energy Star certified at 11.8 EER. It has the digital display that I love and the remote control so you don’t have to get up to change the temperature.
  • Frigidaire FFRE1833S2 18,000 BTU
    • The Frigidaire FFRE1833S2 is the next step and gets us up to eighteen-thousand BTUs. It is rated to cool rooms upwards to one-thousand and twenty square feet. Again, this could be a larger apartment or condo. It could also be an entire floor rather it be your upstairs or main living area. One very important thing that I want to point out to you now is that as we get into these higher BTU window units that the electrical outlet requirements change. Everything before this product could use the standard one-hundred and fifteen volt plug-in. (These are your standard outlets you find all over your house.) However, as get into these larger units the amount of power changes and you need to actually go up to a two-hundred and thirty volt plug-in. (Think of your oven or dryer plug-ins.) This can deter a lot of people and can also upset some as they weren’t expecting this ‘surprise,’ when the product arrives and they go to plug it in. Alright, so now that that is out of the way let’s take a look at the Frigidaire FFRE1833S2. It is Energy Star Certified with the EPA at 11.8 EER, has the standard digital display that we’ve come to know, and comes with a remote control. This is a great unit but just be aware that the price point goes up quite a bit on these larger sized products.
  • Frigidaire FFRH1822R2 18,500 BTU
    • The FFRH1822R2 is in a class of it’s own. Yes, it has a very similar BTU as the previous model we just reviewed. Here’s the difference though, this unit comes with a supplemental heat-pump that is rated at sixteen-thousand BTUs. That means that not only you do you get your air conditioner but you also get a heater as well. (Please note, that the heater is a heat-pump and will not work when temperatures fall below forty-degrees.) The FFRH1822R2 is rated to cool rooms up to one-thousand square feet, has the digital display, remote control, energy saver mode, sleep mode, and many more options. This is a great product to purchase if you are looking to cool your entire condominium or apartment.
  • Frigidaire FFRE2233S2 22,000 BTUs
    • Alright folks onwards and upwards. The Frigidaire FFRE2233S2 is rated at twenty-two thousand BTUs and can cool rooms up to thirteen-hundred square feet. Think about that for a moment. That is the size of a small house or a large apartment. This product can cool your whole home without an issue! As I mentioned earlier this unit will require a two-hundred and thirty volt plug-in, so please be aware of that. Besides that, the product comes with your standard features such as digital display, remote control, and it is Energy Star certified with the EPA. (10.3 EER) One other thing to mention is that as you get into these larger units the weight and the difficulty of installation increases. This unit is over double the weight of the five-thousand BTU units that we looked at earlier. Please be careful when installing and gather as much help as you need to ensure the job is done right and no injury to you or your new air conditioner occurs.
  • Frigidaire FFRE2533S2 25,000 BTU
    • Well folks I honestly don’t know if you would ever need an air conditioner of this size but hey, I’m going to do a write up on it regardless. The Frigidaire FFRE2533S2 is rated at twenty-five thousand BTUs and can cool area up to sixteen-hundred square feet. That area is bigger then my last house, so rest assured you should be able to cool what you’re looking for. Please do keep in mind though that you don’t want to go to big for your room. If you do you could run into higher energy bills and hot and cold spots throughout the room due to humidification issues. The FFRE2533S2 is Energy Star certified with the EPA and is rated at 10.3 Energy Efficiency Ratio. Like with the other units, it comes with a digital display and a remote control. Lastly, remember two things: The first is that this unit requires a two-hundred and thirty volt plug-in. Second, this unit weighs nearly one-hundred and fifty pounds and may be difficult to install.

      Frigidaire FFRA2822R2 28000 BTU
      Frigidaire FFRA2822R2 28000 BTU
  • Frigidaire FFRA2822R2 28,000 BTU
    • But wait, there’s more! Ha! Seriously though, the Frigidaire FFRA2822SR2 is a beast coming in at twenty-eight thousand BTUs and it can cool areas up to nineteen-hundred square feet. This thing is a monster and should easily meet your cooling needs. It does require a two-hundred and thirty volt plug-in and it is heavy at nearly one-hundred and fifty pounds. It does come with the digital display and remote control but this unit is NOT Energy Star certified as it only has an EER rating of 8.5. Lastly, keep in mind that when purchasing a unit this big that the cold air is only coming from one point. If you are trying to cool your whole home with this unit I would recommend instead getting two or three of the smaller BTU units and place them sporadically throughout your home. This will allow you to have cold air coming from two or three points in the home instead of one central point. That way your cold air will be more evenly distributed.

Other Brands

While there are always other brands out there I can assure you folks that by going with a Frigidaire product you are not only getting a high quality product but also one that has an aggressive price point and that stays right in line with the competition. As a consumer I always like to look at my choices through the Good, Better, and Best approach.

What that means is that I do my research to narrow down my selection to three main products. I then determine which one of these products are a ‘Good,’ which ones are ‘Better,’ and which ones are ‘Best.’ Now a ‘Good’ product means that the unit does exactly what it is intended for. In this case, to cool your room. It may not have all the bells and whistles as a ‘Better,’ or a ‘Best,’ but it gets the job done and will not let you down. The ‘Better’ is similar to the ‘Good,’ but only with additional features, extended warranties, or something else that has caused it to stick out to me. Lastly, the ‘Best,’ is the top of the line unit. Nothing else out there beats it and you are getting absolute quality.

Friedrich Window Air Conditioners
Friedrich Window Air Conditioners

If I was to put the Frigidaire brand name up against this scale I would rate Frigidaire as a ‘Better.’ The Frigidaire names brings quality and effectiveness with their brand but there is another brand out there that outranks Frigidaire in the ‘Best’ category. That brand is Friedrich. Now, I won’t spend too much time here on this brand but the Friedrich brand is top quality. They ONLY make window air conditioners and use commercial grade parts to ensure a long lasting unit. You can read my write up on Friedrich’s air conditioners by clicking here. I will warn you right now that the Friedrich name is a premium name and with a premium name comes a premium cost.

Conclusion

The decision is now up to you folks. Do you want the ‘Better,’ or the ‘Best?’ If ‘Better,’ then I would suggest purchasing one of the recommended Frigidaire products we mentioned above. If ‘Best,’ then check out the Friedrich link that we provided above as well. Lastly, if you are looking for just a bare bones air conditioner, or a ‘Good,’ then you may want to move over to Amazon and purchase either a hOme or an LG unit.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

What Is It?

In order to fully understand what kind and what size of window or portable air conditioner that you need you first need to understand British Thermal Units, or BTUs. BTUs are the traditional measurement of heat. When looking at air conditioners BTUs are used to measure the cooling capacity of your window or portable air conditioners. The higher the BTU number the more powerful and the more cooling capacity your unit has.

Most people use a measurement of around thirty BTUs for each square foot of living space that you wish to cool in your home or office. If we use that same measurement we can do some math based on a seven-thousand BTU air conditioner. If we take that seven-thousand number and divide it by thirty we get an approximated square footage of two-hundred and thirty. So, in this case seven-thousand BTUs would have enough power to cool a larger bedroom or office.

Remember though folks that bigger isn’t always better. You want to ensure that you get the proper sized unit for the room that you are trying to cool. If you purchase something with too few BTUs then your unit is going to be working overtime trying to cool the room. If you purchase something that has too much BTUs then your unit is going to be costing you extra on your electric bills and you will also develop warm and cold spots throughout the room due to the larger sized unit.

Now that we know what BTUs are and how many BTUs you need per square foot the next step is to measure the square footage of your room. This is a relatively easy calculation that can be done with a tape measure and a little bit of time. All you need to do is measure the length of one wall and the width of the other wall. Once you have this measurement you multiply the numbers together and then you have square footage. One other thing to consider is does the room have a large closet or bathroom? If so, will the door be open or will it be closed throughout most of the day? Depending on your answer here you may need to go up in BTUs to accommodate the extra square footage.

The most commonly used BTU sized air conditioners are between five-thousand and eight-thousand BTUs. These are so common due to the fact that they are ideal for standard bedrooms, dorm rooms, or small offices. While there are other larger BTU sizes out there chances are you only need one of these size. Take a look below at our top recommended window units by BTU size. If you are looking to cool your bedroom during these hot summer months then I can assure you that these products will get the job done.

5,000 BTU

These units are rated to cool rooms at around one-hundred and fifty square feet. This could be a smaller bedroom. Our top picks are:

6,000 BTU

The 6,000 BTU units are meant to cool rooms at around two-hundred square feet. Again, this is the size of an average bedroom. Our top picks are:

8,000 BTU

The 8,000 BTU units are meant for a bit larger bedrooms and can cool up to two-hundred and fifty square feet. This could even be a smaller master bedroom. Our top picks are:

Conclusion

Regardless if you selected one of our picks above I hope that you have learned that BTUs can play a critical role when selecting an air conditioner. While we only selected models between five-thousand and eight-thousand the window and portable air conditioner market can go as high as twenty-four thousand BTUs. When it comes to the bigger sizes though you may want to consider purchasing a more traditional split air conditioning system.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

608 & 609 EPA Certifications

The future is looking very bright for those pursuing a career in the HVAC/R field as technicians, installers and electromagnetic engineers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, estimates industry growth of 15 percent through 2026. By all accounts, it appears jobs will be there for well-trained graduates of HVAC/R training programs.

However, the numbers are not all so rosy when it comes to gender diversity in the mechanical trades workforce. In fact, women only make up an estimated 1.2 percent of the industry workforce and only around seven percent of HVAC installation and repair companies are owned by women. 

By comparison, women are spending around the same amount or more on schooling for careers with a lower starting salary. For example, 93 percent of dental assistants are women and earn at least $10,000 less per year than HVAC technicians. 

Attracting Women to a Fulfilling Career in HVAC/R

There’s simply no excuse for the industry to be around 98 percent dominated by men. That’s why more trade schools and industry professionals are working to bring more women into the field. Increasing gender diversity in the field is a key goal for schools like RSI, The Refrigeration School in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Refrigeration School, and others like it throughout the country, are offering scholarships for women interested in the skilled trades and launching promotions campaigns to make more women aware of opportunities in the skilled trades.

Making the Case for Women in HVAC

Career stability and higher earning potential than women-dominated industries are only the beginning. Women pursuing a career in HVAC can expect a faster-track to the job market and more affordable schooling.

Hands-on and career focused: Educational programs provide hands-on, career focused training unlike traditional four-year institutions. Earning a diploma or certificate to become an HVAC/R technician typically takes between six months to one year to complete.

Growing job market: The need for technicians is growing across the country. The rate of growth is classified by the BLS as “much faster than average.” This means HVAC technicians can expect plenty of job openings, especially in the Southwest and warmer climates.

Affordable education: As noted in the resource below, four years at a public university costs about $112,000. A comparable education at a private college can run as much as $236,000! Trade school, on the other hand can be completed for around $16,600.

The Next generation of Leadership in HVAC/R

Entering a male-dominate field can have its challenges, but many women are finding success and enjoyment in the field. It’s time for more women to break into this rewarding field. From entry-level HVAC technicians to the corporate level, there is a huge need for female leadership.

Industry leaders say the reason women represent such a small portion of the workforce is because the industry needs to do a better job of reaching out and highlighting the opportunities available.

There’s lots of potential and opportunity for women looking to enter the heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration field. They will play a crucial role in building the industry, bringing new ideas and increasing gender diversity in an overwhelmingly male-dominate profession. Check out the infographic below as well provided to us by the RSI, The Refrigeration School.

For those of you who do not know, I am originally from Michigan. While I haven’t lived there for twenty or more years the state has always had a fond place in my heart. My extended family still live up there and I occasionally visit. It only makes sense for me to be a Red Wings fan. (If you couldn’t tell by the featured image!) After all, they are the only true hockey team out there…right?

Hockey, along with ice skating and curling, all depend on ice rinks. In the past ice rinks were rather isolated to colder climates due to the limits in technology but now over the years we can now find ice rinks as far south as Texas and Florida. The number of ice rinks have exploded, but what kind of refrigerants are they using today?

Depending on where you go in the world you will most likely find an ice rink using either R-717 (Ammonia) or R-22 (Freon). Here in the United States R-22 is most common and as all of you know it is being phased down and will be phased out in just over a year and a half. (2020 production/imports will stop.) The question now is what will all of these ice rink owners do if they need a repair or maintenance on their systems?

Most of the rinks out there today are older, some even as old as twenty or more years. In the past when a repair was needed they would pay for the parts and then a recharge but now with the rising price of R-22 even the smallest of repair can become a huge burden to the owner rather it be a businessman or a city. A lot of us cringe when trying to quote a homeowner for a few pounds of R-22. Now think about charging a customer for thousands of pounds of R-22. The price is just not feasible in today’s world and even if your customer could afford the recharge whose to say that they might not have a different problem months down the road and have to pay again for another recharge?

NHL & Chemours

The National Hockey League has launched a new initiate known as ‘Greener Rinks.’ The goal with this project is to provide more climate friendly ice rinks across North America. Today there are approximately forty-eight hundred rinks between the United States and Canada. The NHL’s initiative looks to tackle a variety of issues to ensure that their rinks are as climate friendly as possible. Some of these include replacing diesel run ice resurfacers with electric, replacing high intensity lights with LEDs, improvements to ice monitoring to ensure the proper thickness is met, and lastly refrigerants and refrigerant equipment.

It was announced today through a press release that the Chemours company (Formerly DuPont Refrigerants) is partnering with the National Hockey League in their Greener Rinks Initiative. This partnership isn’t just dedicated to the NHL’s arenas but instead to all aspects of hockey rather they be in community ice rinks or in large scale arenas like the Red Wings! The hope is to push these conversions and switches to all aspects of the country, not just to the big cities.

Chemours brings to the table eighty-five years of experience in the refrigerant industry. Some of you may not be as familiar with the Chemours name but I am sure you will recognize DuPont. Chemours is a split off from the original DuPont company and a lot of the same people that were at DuPont migrated over to the new Chemours Company. In fact it was often called the ‘Billion Dollar Startup.’

The goal of this partnership is to provide ice rink owners and cities the education and the possible alternatives to the expensive and dying R-22 refrigerant. When looking for alternatives business owners have a few key features that they are looking at:

  1. No Ozone depletion potential.
    1. Ozone depletion is the exact reason why we are phasing out R-22. Any replacement refrigerant would HAVE to have no Ozone depletion potential.
  2. Low Global Warming Potential or GWP.
    1. GWP is the new Ozone. In other words, now that the worry on the Ozone is gone there is a new concern about the GWP on all of these commonly used HFC refrigerants like R-404A. Any refrigerants with a high GWP are already being phased out or they are on the chopping block.
  3. Safety
    1. This is a big one as well as there are alternative refrigerants out there that may provide a great solution but may be either flammable or toxic. A great example here is R-717, or Ammonia. While R-717 is one of the most efficient refrigerants on the market it is also highly toxic and if a leak occurred things could get very messy and costly.
  4. Cost
    1. While we would all like to believe that these ice rink owners want to convert to alternative refrigerants out of the goodness of their hearts a lot of the time it’s going to boil down to cost. That’s exactly why there are so many R-22 rinks out there still today. Owners aren’t going to replace these expensive machines until they absolutely have to. Having a lower cost alternative refrigerant, especially one that can retrofit, is the perfect way to get these old units switched over to a more climate friendly refrigerant.

Chemours has committed to helping ice rink owners to finding the perfect alternative refrigerant for their needs. There are so many variables that have to be considered before selecting the proper refrigerant. How old is the equipment on sight? What safety standards are required? What performance or energy cost? I could sit here and try to go through everyone of these scenarios but it would serve you better to contact Chemours direct by clicking here. You can then be consulted by an expert who will guide you through exactly what kind of refrigerant you need.

Chemours’ Opteon XP40

One of the most popular alternative refrigerants to R-22 in ice rinks is the Opteon XP40. (R-449A) The reason for that is that older R-22 systems can be retrofitted over to accept XP40. That means significantly less cost to the business owner. I know if it was me, I would like to extend my current equipment as long as I could instead of having to pay millions for a completely new system.

R-449A, or Opteon XP40, is a new HFO refrigerant blend comprised of R-32, R-125, R-1234yf, and R-134a. This refrigerant, like Honeywell’s R-407F, was designed as a replacement product for R-22, R-404A, and R-507. The difference here is that this an HFO refrigerant rather than an HFC. HFO’s are the new lines of refrigerant being developed by Honeywell and Chemours.

The XP40 is non Ozone depleting and has a GWP number of one-thousand two-hundred and eighty-two. That’s about five-hundred less then R-22 and four-hundred less then Honeywell’s R-407F HFC. It is non-toxic and non-flammable so safety is not an issue. Along with that the Opteon XP40 is actually more energy efficient then CO2. The savings aganist CO2 is a big deal as that is one of the competing alternative refrigerants for ice rinks. While the popularity of CO2 ice rinks has not taken off yet the technology for Co2 refrigerant systems is evolving rapidly. (It has already been adapted for usages in automobiles in Germany.)

While XP40 checks most of the boxes that we mentioned earlier there is one downside that I want to point out. It’s the high GWP number. While, yes, it is lower then R-22 and other HFC refrigerants out there it is still relatively high. A high GWP number means that the refrigerant very well may be targeted for phase down or phase out.

Conclusion

Chemours’ partnership with the National Hockey League will benefit both companies greatly. Chemours will get their Opteon brand promoted across the NHL and the NHL will move closer to achieving their greener ice rinks initiative.

Converting all of the ice rinks over to climate friendly refrigerants is going to be a large endeavor. In the short term, especially as R-22 rises in price, I could see retrofits dominating the market. It is the ‘easy’ solution. Chemours is in a great position here with their XP40 product. But, as these current units age and eventually get to expensive to repair a new more permanent refrigerant solution will be needed. What will it be? Opteon? Solstice? Ammonia? Carbon Dioxide? Time will tell.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Sources

 

Anyone who’s been in the refrigerant industry rather it be through home, commercial, or automotive applications are familiar with the ever famous Montreal Protocol. The passage of this treaty across the globe has had a profound effect on the industry. No longer could companies use CFC and HCFC refrigerants. We all said goodbye to some of the most popular refrigerants ever used such as R-12, R-502, R-22, and R-11 in an effort to reduce Ozone depletion and to allow the Earth to heal.

While the most recent enactment of the Montreal Protocol is still being put in place today with HCFC refrigerants like R-22 the first phase of this treaty was passed and enacted in the early 1990’s. This first step targeted refrigerants with a ‘Class One,’ Ozone depletion potential. In other words, these refrigerants were doing the most damage to the Ozone and had to be phased out right away. The HCFCs could wait until the CFCs were out of the picture.

The CFC phase out was very aggressive. It started in 1994 and finished with a total phase out in 1996. Just two years! Compare that to how long this R-22 phase down/phase out is taking. While the United States met this aggressive goal the rest of the world was a bit behind. They committed to total phase out of CFCs by 2010 but most of the countries met their goal by 2006.

One of these CFC refrigerants that was phased out was known as Trichlorofluromethane, or R-11. R-11 was one of the first widely used refrigerants and is part of the refrigerants known under the DuPont Freon brand name. It was popular due to it’s high boiling point which meant that it could be used in machines with a low operating pressure. That meant less complexity for the machine and that meant less cost to build and less cost to do repairs.  It is also a non-flammable refrigerant and non-toxic which was hard to find in the early days of refrigeration. R-11’s use could be found small commercial buildings, factories/plants, department stores, and movie theaters.

CFC Emissions Mystery

With the phase out of CFC refrigerants complete scientists began to measure the emissions of CFCs in the Ozone layer over the years. The goal here was to watch for the emissions to steadily go down and if they weren’t going down then to sound the alarm. In the case of R-11 scientists saw a measurable drop each year between the years 2002 through 2012. Here is where things get a bit strange. After 2012 scientists noticed that the dropping emissions of R-11 began to slow down. This shouldn’t be the case at all as all production from across the world had been stopped. Yes, there would still be some emissions due to old units still out there but as those units aged and were put out of commission the amount of R-11 should shrink. This worrisome slow down of emission reduction continued through 2015 and into 2017.

At first glance of the data scientists began to look for logical explanations. Perhaps it was a natural phenomenon. Or, perhaps a larger weather pattern moved the R-11 emissions upwards to the Ozone. Through out all of these scenarios though they all came to the same conclusion. There were more emissions being generated. The question now was where and why. Where were these mysterious, and banned, R-11 emissions coming from?

In the past the bulk of R-11 emissions had come from the Northern Hemisphere. This was due to the Northern Hemisphere being more developed and having more first world nations. Over the most recent years the discrepancy between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres have increased. So, that means that somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere more R-11 emissions are being generated.

The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has reported that they believe the source of these increased R-11 emissions are originating somewhere in Eastern Asia. Now, I’ll warn you folks, but here is where I’m going to speculate. No one knows for sure where these increased emissions are coming from but I’m going to take a guess. I’m looking at my map right now and when I see Eastern Asia I see one country that pops out to me. North Korea.

Think about it. They are already quite a bit behind the times from the rest of the world. They don’t honor the world’s treaties or agreements. They are a hostile nation to nearly everyone. It would only make sense for them to manufacture, distribute, and use R-11. Remember what I said earlier folks, R-11 has a high boiling point which means a low pressure requirement and a low complexity for the machines. It makes perfect sense, at least to me.

“The findings of Montzka and his team of researchers from CIRESoffsite link, the UK, and the Netherlands, represent the first time that emissions of one of the three most abundant, long-lived CFCs have increased for a sustained period since production controls took effect in the late 1980s.” – Source

Conclusion

This is a big deal folks. Whomever is causing these increased levels in R-11 emissions is directly harming the Ozone layer and is actively resetting all of the work that was done in the past thirty years. The worst of it is that R-11 is the second most abundant Ozone depleting gas in the atmosphere. In other words, they couldn’t have picked a worse refrigerant to start manufacturing again.

The race is now on to find the source of these new emissions but it is tough to say what will happen if the perpetrators are found. Is it a rogue company that is operating behind their government’s back? If so, will the government take appropriate action? Or, is it a rogue state like I think it is? If it is, then how will the world handle?  If these new emissions aren’t put into check over the next few years then real and additional damage could be done to the Ozone layer.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Sources

 

Friedrich Window Air Conditioners

When it comes to window air conditioners there are a variety of different brands and makes out there. Some of the most common that you may recognize already are Frigidaire, LG, Whirlpool, and many others. While these names may have that brand recognition that we’re used too I wanted to take the time today and alert you to a much better brand on window air conditioners. The company, and the brand, is known as Friedrich.

Friedrich is by far one of the better, if not the best, manufacturer of window air conditioners out there today. In fact, I wrote an article the other day where I dove into what the best window air conditioner brand names were. Friedirch was on the top of my list. (Article can be found by clicking here.) Now, there are a few reasons why Friedrich rises above the rest of the competition. The first is that Friedrich manufactures air conditioners and ONLY air conditioners. Other companies, like say Frigidaire, sells air conditioners but also sells microwaves, toasters, and all sorts of other appliances. Friedrich is different. They understand what kind of difference specialization can do. The second and most prominent reason is quality.

Friedrich is headquartered out of San Antonio, Texas and can trace it’s roots all the way back to 1883. In fact, the founder, Ed Friedrich, was one of the first people to invent the refrigeration system. In the 1950’s they moved away from refrigeration and into the air conditioning market. Ever since they have been providing outstanding quality products. I really want to emphasize the word quality here. Friedirch uses commercial grade materials and components for their air conditioners. Because of this they provide a lasting and durable unit.

I will have to say that the price on Friedirch units are usually quite a bit higher then the competition units such as Frigidaire or LG. If you were to ask me though folks, I would say that the price is far worth the superior quality you receive with a Friedirch unit. Would you rather pay for a hammer that has it’s handle snap off after only a few uses or would you rather pay for a nice solid steel hammer that will last you forever? The same principal applies. You are paying for quality.

Considerations

Before you make the decision to purchase a window air conditioner there are some considerations and thought that needs to be taken to ensure that you are purchasing the correct unit for you and your family. Let’s take a brief look at some of these before move onto the various products from Friedrich. Also, if you find that you want a more in-depth explanation on how to buy a window unit then check out our window air conditioner buyer’s guide by clicking this link.

BTU Size

In order to find what sized air conditioner you need you first need to understand BTUs. BTUs are the traditional measurement unit of heat. In the air conditioning world BTUs are a measurement of the cooling capacity of your window air conditioner. The bigger the number of BTUs the more powerful and the higher cooling capacity of your A/C unit.  As a standard measurement an air conditioner needs around thirty BTUs for each square foot of living space that you wish to cool. If we use the example of a two-hundred square foot bedroom then we would need:

200 feet * 30 BTUs = 6,000 BTU Window Unit.

Window Size

We all know that old rule, measure twice and cut once. Well the same rule applies to air conditioners. Always always always be sure to measure the width and the height of your window to ensure that the air conditioner that you will be buying will fit and will fit correctly. To get even more specific you may even take into consideration the depth of your new AC unit and see if there are any trees, shrubs, or anything else that could obstruct exhaust flow of your unit. Remember folks, that heat has to go somewhere and if there is something obstructing your exhaust your air conditioner isn’t going to have a good time.

As I said before it is best for you to measure the window so you know exactly what you are dealing with but I will give you this bit of advice. Most windows found in homes today range between twenty-four to thirty inches wide and forty-eight to fifty-six inches high. If you are unsure of the dimensions of the air conditioner you are wishing to buy either on Amazon or the manufacturer’s official product page will have the full details for you.

Heater Option

Another benefit of Friedrich’s quality is that they offer models with built in heat options as well. You can choose between a heat pump or an electric heat option. The heat pump option works the same as a regular air conditioner except in reverse. Instead of removing the heat from a room they are removing the cold and supplying you with a supply of heat. Heat pumps typically work best  at temperatures of forty-five degrees or higher. If you get any colder then you will need a different type of heater. The electric heat addition to your window air conditioner is just like having a built in space heater. The electricity flowing into the unit heats the element and then a fan pushes the air against the element and into your room. As I mentioned before, electric heaters are meant more for your colder climates that routinely dip below forty-five degrees.

Friedrich Chill CP06G10B Energy Guide
Friedrich Chill CP06G10B Energy Guide

EPA’s Energy Star

The Environmental Protection Agency runs a program called Energy Star. This program began all the way back in 1991 and was originally designed to regulate the energy usage of lighting in commercial buildings. Since 1991 the EPA’s program has grown and grown to now become one of the leading sources on finding out exactly how energy efficient a unit is.

In the window air conditioning world the Energy Star is measured by Energy Efficient Ratio, or EER. In order for a window unit to be Energy Star certified it has to have an EER rating of 10.0 or higher. Since Friedrich is known for it’s quality and efficiency you will find that most units are at 10.0 or surpass it.

115 Volts VS 220 Volts

Most of the time this won’t apply to you but if you are going to be purchasing a larger window air conditioner then you should definitely stop and think before you purchase. What kind of plug-in does this air conditioner have? Does it come with a standard one-hundred and fifteen volt plug, or does it comes with a two-hundred and twenty volt plug? The worst thing you can do is order a unit, have it come, get it installed, and then when you go to plug it in you realize that you don’t have the right outlet for it.

Friedrich Window Air Conditioner Products

Ok, folks, so now we’re onto the good stuff. The products. Now, I’m not going to cover every single one of Friedrich’s products in this article. Instead, I am going to do a quick write up of their top selling products. It’ll be then up to you to decide exactly what unit you need, and remember to be thinking of the considerations we gave you above before purchasing anything.

Friedrich Chill CP06G10B 6000 BTU

The CP06G10B is a great introduction window unit for those of us who are looking to cool a small bedroom or office. It is rated at 6,000 BTUs and can cool rooms up to two-hundred and fifty square feet. It is Energy Star Certified with the EPA, comes with three cooling speeds, and even has an auto-restart feature in case you lose power in the middle of the night. The far side of my house struggles with cooling during the summer. In the winter I have a basic infrared heater that I plug in to keep my kids bedroom warm but in the summer I need that extra boost of cold air to ensure they have a cold place to sleep. This Friedirch CP06G10B does just that.

Friedirch CP08G10B 7,800 BTU
Friedirch CP08G10B 7,800 BTU

Friedrich Chill CP08G10B 7,800 BTU

The CP08G10B is the next size up. We’ve reached up to nearly 8,000 BTUs and at this size we are rated to cool rooms up to three-hundred and fifty square feet. This unit also comes with a bit more bells and whistles then the previous CP06G10B. With this we get a remote control, four different cooling modes including an energy saver, you also get a twenty-four hour programmable timer, and an automatic air sweep that helps circulate air around the room. One extra benefit on these smaller BTU units is that they are quite a bit lighter then the other units. That means that it is a lot easier to install as they typically only weight about sixty to seventy pounds.

Friedrich Chill EP08G11B 7,500 BTU With Heater

Ok folks, remember how we briefly went over some of these window units coming with a heater as well? Well the EP08G11B is one of them. With this unit we get a cooling capacity larger enough for a three-hundred and fifty square foot room and an electric heater rated to warm a room of up to one-hundred and twenty-five square feet. Along with that you also get an EER rating of 11.2 which means it’s cooling is very efficient, a remote control, a twenty-four hour on/off timer, and an automatic air sweep that aids in air circulation. This unit is a great year round at heating and cooling.

Friedrich Uni-Fit US08D10C 8,000 BTU 

Friedrich Uni-Fit US08D10C 8,000 BTU 
Friedrich Wall Mounted Uni-Fit US08D10C 8,000 BTU

While this unit is fairly similar in size to the two above products this one is different in how it installs and sits in your wall. Yes, I said wall. A lot of people don’t realize that window units can be installed through their wall as well as their window. Friedrich’s Uni-Fit line allows users to easily replace their existing wall unit with the Friedrich model. The idea is for it to pop right into an existing wall sleeve even if it is from a competitor. Along with the easy of replacing your old unit with this new Friedirch model you also get all of the benefits we’ve mentioned above like Energy Star certified, twenty-four hour on/off timer, remote control, and many other features.

Friedrich Chill CP10G10B 10,000 BTU

We’re getting up there in BTU size now folks. The Friedrich CP10G10B is at 10,000 BTUs and is rated to cool rooms up to four-hundred and fifty square feet. This is about the size of a large master bedroom or a good sized living room. This unit is Energy Star certified and has an Energy Efficiency Ratio of 12.2. That is a HUGE EER rating, remember that the EPA’s guideline is 10.0 or higher. Again, like with most Friedrich units, you get a lot of the same features such as remote control, twenty-four hour on/off timer, varying cooling speeds, and many more.

Friedrich Chill CP12G10B 12,000 BTU

This 12,000 BTU unit is rated to cool rooms up to five-hundred and fifty square feet. These units are great for an open layout living room/kitchen, a small apartment, or even a finished loft above your garage. The CP12G10B is Energy Star certified as well and it’s EER rating is 12.1. Again, remember that that 12.1 number is huge when comparing to the EPA’s required 10.0. Something else to note is that as get into these larger sized units the type out plug-in may change. I am glad to say that on this unit it is still a one-hundred and fifteen volt plug-in. This is your standard outlet you can find anywhere around the house. Like the other Friedrich unit this product comes with a variety of features such as an energy saver mode, a twenty-four hour on/off switch, a remote, and many more.

Friedrich Chill CP15G10B 15,500 BTU

Next on our listing is Friedrich’s CP15G10B 15,500 BTU air conditioner. This unit is rated to cool rooms up to seven-hundred square feet. Depending on the size of your home or house this could be the majority of a second floor area, it could be a larger apartment, or it could be a finished room above your garage. Like with most Friedrich units this product is Energy Start Certified and boasts an EER number of 11.9. Even though we are at 15,000 BTUs here the CP15G10B still comes with a one-hundred and fifteen plug-in. That’s a big deal for this BTU size. The usual features come with this Friedrich unit. One last point to mention is that with these higher BTU products they can weigh quite a bit more then what we’re used too. In some cases over one-hundred pounds.

Friedrich EP18G33B 18000 BTU
Friedrich EP18G33B 18000 BTU

Friedrich Chill EP18G33B 18,000 BTU

Alright ladies and gentlemen we are now on to the big boy! The Friedrich EP18G33B 18,000 BTU is a very large unit that is rated to cool up to one-thousand square feet. That could cover an entire floor of your home or a very large open area like a living room/kitchen combination. While this unit is not Energy Star Certified it is rated as an 11.2 Energy Efficiency Ratio. This unit also comes with an electric heater that has nearly 10,000 BTUs and is rated to heat rooms around three-hundred and fifty square feet. I will warn you now that this product does need a two-hundred and twenty volt plug-in.

Conclusion

Well folks, I hope that this short guide was able to help you understand the importance of the Friedrich brand, guided you in the right direction in buying your new unit, and answered any questions that you may have had. If you didn’t find the exact product you are looking for in our product listing above then click this link to be taken to Friedrich’s official Amazon store where you can search through all of their products.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQB

There is a very common misconception out there when it comes it air conditioners. I don’t care if it is an air conditioner at your home, your car, or even your office. A lot of people think that air conditioners need to be routinely recharged with refrigerant. I believe they see it almost like oil on a vehicle or tractor. Sure, on my tractor I have to check the oil a few times a month to make sure I’m not running low. Refrigerant in an air conditioning system is different.

Before your purchase any refrigerant either for yourself or from a contractor you need to realize that the refrigerant in your air conditioning unit is in a closed system. What that means is that the refrigerant is an endless cycle from gas to liquid from liquid to gas. This cycle repeats forever as shown in the below picture. It is a cycle. That means that there should be no leaks or draining of refrigerant.

Refrigerant Cycle in a Closed System
Refrigerant Cycle in a Closed System

If you find that your unit is low on refrigerant or is completely out do NOT just refill your machine with a new refrigerant. I repeat do NOT do this. Your system does not need a top off. It does not need just a little bit more refrigerant to get by. No. If you are running out of refrigerant that means that somewhere in the refrigerant cycle there is a leak. Your unit is leaking refrigerant and will continue to leak refrigerant until a repair is made. If you dump more refrigerant into it without fixing the leak you are literally throwing money down the drain. Potentially a lot of money too if yours is an R-22 unit.

I like to think of it as a above ground pool. If you get a puncture in the pool lining water will leak out. Sure you can always add more water but it’s not fixing the problem. Adding more refrigerant doesn’t fix the problem either. It’s just prolonging the inevitable and wasting money.

Reccomendations

Ok, folks so now that we got that part out of the way let’s take a moment and look at the two main applications where you will run into an air conditioner needing to be recharged. The first, and most common, is an automotive application. Right now, as I write this article, it is May and the temperatures here in Kansas City have been hovering around ninety degrees. If you car air conditioner is on the fritz then you’re not going to be having a good time. There are two solutions here to fix your car’s system. You can take it into the shop or dealership and have a repair done, but this may end up being very costly. The other option is to purchase an automotive air conditioner recharge kit.

Now, I know that I mentioned above that just putting in more refrigerant isn’t the best solution but when you are dealing with a car and a hot season a lot of people opt for these recharge kits. The reason that is is because they are cheap, especially when compared to a mechanic’s bill. The hope here is that the leak in your ac system is small enough that a simple recharge will get your vehicle through the hottest months without having to do a costly repair. However, if the leak is large and you are losing refrigerant like crazy then these recharge kits won’t do you much good. I will say that they are a great ‘test’ to see how bad your system is and if you should go to the shop or not. If you are not sure which recharge kit to buy I would highly recommend you visit our ‘Best AC Recharge Kits,’ article from earlier this year by clicking here.

The other side of the coin is dealing with a home air conditioner that is low on refrigerant. This is where things get quite a bit more tricky and where I would recommend consulting with a professional HVAC technician. Home air conditioning systems are much more involved and much more expensive if you were to make a mistake on recharging the unit yourself. (Not to mention the refrigerant is restricted for resale to laymen.) The good news here is if you pay for professional service from an HVAC professional that they will identify and find the leak of refrigerant, patch it, and then recharge your system. That means that the problem is solved and you won’t have to call them back in a few months to recharge it again.

Well folks, I hope this article was helpful and if you have any questions please let me know.

Thanks,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Well folks it’s been another few months into 2018 and there still has been no update or news on rather or not the United States will be adopting the Kigali Amendment. For those of you who don’t know, the Kigali Amendment was an addendum to the ever famous Montreal Protocol. While the Montreal Protocol focused on phasing out HCFCs and CFC refrigerants like R-12 and R-22 the Kigali Amendment has set it’s sights on the very popular HFC refrigerants such as R-410A, R-404A, R-125, R-134a, and many more. While the amendment was signed back in October of 2016 there are still some countries who have not ratified it yet, the United States being one of them.

At the time of the signing there were over one-hundred countries present in Kigali, Rwanda. As I write this article today there have been thirty-one countries that have ratified the amendment and begun to move forward with the phase downs and phase outs of HFC refrigerants. The latest of these countries to ratify was France back in March of this year. Just before them we had Ireland and the Netherlands.

The question now is will the United States move forward with this amendment? In order for this amendment to become law it has to be ratified by the United States’ Senate but before it can even get to the Senate the Trump Administration has to hand it off. At this time no action has been taken by the Trump Team. They are sitting on it for lack of a better term. Towards the end of 2017 an official stated that Trump was in support of Kigali but then a few months later into 2018 these remarks were walked back by another spokesperson. At this point no one knows for sure.

There is uncertainty in the air though folks. In the summer of last year the Environmental Protection Agency’s own HFC regulations were overturned by a Federal Court. Just a few weeks back the EPA announced that they were withdrawing their SNAP Rule 20 regulations. (I wrote an article about this which can be found by clicking here.) On top of that the Trump Administration announced a withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. The rumor around DC is that Trump will approve or deny something based on rather or not it will create jobs. The question is will the Kigali Amendment create jobs, or will it’s regulations hurt the industry?

Jobs Jobs Jobs!

There has been a big push from all over the industry to enact the Kigali Amendment here in the States. In fact the intensity of the push has only increased since the EPA lost their battle against Mexichem and Arkema and their SNAP Rule 20 program. Two groups that have been lobbying for the Kigali Amendment are the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute. (AHRI.)

Just last week these two groups published a study titled, The ‘Economic Impacts of US Ratification of the Kigali Amendment.’ Now before I get into what this study said lets first understand why this article came about. Everyone knows that Trump is for jobs rather they be coal, oil, or whatever. If it creates jobs then he’s for it. That is what got him elected. So, the people behind this study took this mindset to heart and set forth with the report.

The report states that the Kigali Amendment and all that comes with it will lead to job creation. It is said to strengthen our exports and weaken the imports. I take from this that they mean we will be importing less and less HFC refrigerants from countries like China and we will be exporting more and more refrigerant alternatives like the new HFO refrigerants from Chemours/Honeywell.

The other pro-job argument here is that by mandating the phase down of HFCs companies and leaders will have to adapt and innovate to more climate friendly alternatives. This innovation and discovery period will cause job growth. Within this report an estimated number of thirty-three thousand jobs are to be created by 2027 if the Kigali Amendment was adopted. If you count the indirect and ancillary effects of the amendment then the number of estimated jobs balloons up to one-hundred and fifty-thousand. On top of that there is an estimated twenty-billion increase in value added and over a ten billion increase in labor income. That’s a lot of numbers, but will they come to fruition?

Conclusion

Now we all know why this report came out. It is another attempt to get the Trump Administration to ‘see the light.’ The question now though is will this latest tactic work, or will Trump see it as a ploy to get him to move the Kigali Amendment forward? The report is still fairly new as it only came out towards the end of April. At this point it’s too early to tell if it will have any affect on Trump’s opinion or not.

If we do not end up ratifying the Kigali Amendment there are always alternatives out there. The EPA announced a bit ago that they were reforming their current HFC rules so that they would be in compliance with the court’s ruling. On top of that you have California, and soon other states, that have decided to move forward with their own HFC phase down plans. Regardless if we get the Kigali I can safely say that HFCs will be phase down soon either through a treaty, a law, a EPA regulation, or through States’ rights.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Sources

Hello everyone! And welcome back to RefrigerantHQ. Today, we are proud to offer our comprehensive review of one of our favorite 14,000 BTU portable air conditioners: the Whynter Dual Hose (ARC-14S). You may have noticed that we’ve expanded our knowledge base to include cooling units. This article is a fine addition to our growing collection of air conditioner reviews. Portable and window air conditioners are among the primary machines that use refrigerant. And, being the RefrigerantHQ, we feel as though our knowledge repository should also include the units that refrigerant is used in.

May just started and the temperature has already been over 100 degrees in part of the country. Even more, some of these hot areas were in the 50s only a few days ago! This whiplash-like change in temperature can catch many people off guard. For example, I’m sure there are people out there who have not prepared for hot summer days yet. When was the last time they checked their HVAC system? Does the cooling function even work anymore? Turning on the air conditioner after a long winter season could be a surprise to many people with older central cooling systems. Often times, these same people will opt to purchase a portable air conditioner at least to use for the short term. They are much cheaper than to replace an entire HVAC system. And this brings us to our current item of review.

What makes the Whynter Dual Hose so special? Are there any drawbacks to this portable air conditioner? What are its best features? We are going to answer these questions, and more. By reading a comprehensive review on this unit you’ll be able to have a better understanding of exactly which portable air conditioner you should buy. All of these units will work to cool your room. However, some of them are better for your personal taste. Features and benefits vary greatly with portable air conditioners. Our goal with this review is to give you the tools to help choose which portable air conditioner is the best for you. And, without further ado, let’s get started!

Whynter

Before we get to the Whynter Dual Hose, let’s learn a bit more about the company. Whynter makes more than portable air conditioners. As a matter of fact, they also sell portable ice makers, portable ice cream makers, deep freezers, and even cigar humidor coolers. The availability of these niche products goes to show that Whynter understands how cooling works. Whynter is pronounced “winter” for a reason: they’re products produce cold temperatures!

Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner (ARC-14S)
Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner (ARC-14S)

Whynter sells their products at many major stores. These include Home Depot, Best Buy, Sears, Wayfair, Sam’s Club, Target, and Brookstone. They even sell their products on Amazon. Speaking of Amazon, check out their amazing online Amazon Store. All of their products should qualify for free shipping. Furthermore, a quick glance at their products shows rave reviews. People love Whynter products! And that’s all the more reason we’re reviewing the Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner (ARC-14S).

The company was founded just over a decade ago in California. Their headquarter is actually located in Brea, CA. According to public records, the company employs just over 25 people. Customer support is one of the strongest traits of Whynter. They have an open line and are ready to assist with any customer inquiries. They also feature a comprehensive frequently asked questions area on their website. Additionally, they offer online troubleshooting, product registration, and warranty information on each product they sell.

Knowing a little about a company helps prospective buyers know what they’re getting into. And with Whynter, all signs point to great products and customer service. Let’s now take a closer look at the Whynter Dual Hose.

Product Features

The Whynter Dual Hose portable air conditioner is rated 14,000 BTU. This means it will comfortably cool a room up to 500 square feet. BTU is an acronym for British Thermal Units. 14,000 BTU is right around the middle when it comes to power options for a portable air conditioner. For a bedroom, you won’t need a unit with 20,000 BTU. You’ll also probably need more than 4,000 BTU.

The Whynter Dual Hose comes with numerous features. We mentioned some of them in our introduction list. For example, this portable air conditioner features eco-friendly CFC-free R-410A refrigerant. It also has lead free RoHS compliant components. This is important to many families who care about keeping their home safe from dangerous chemicals. One of the top features of this portable air conditioner is this: it has a dual hose function.

The unit has a dual hose which means it has one air intake hose and one air exhaust hose. This is important because the air intake hose brings air into the unit from the outside. This cools off both the compressor and the condenser coil. Portable air conditioners blow cold air. However, they also generate warm air while in operation. The warm air is removed throughout the exhaust hose and to the outdoors. It’s clear to see, then, how a dual hose portable air conditioner differs from one with a single hose. Dual hose technology provides fast cooling. Imagine this: you’ve been working all day and come home to a hot bedroom. You need to be in a more comfortable atmosphere. And you need it quick! Powering on the Whynter Dual Hose will give you instance coldness just when you need it.

Another feature of the Whynter Dual Hose is its advanced auto drain technology. Whynter loves this technology so much that it patented how it works. The portable air conditioner essentially recycles the moisture it collects during its cooling process. This means that it puts the moisture back to work. What does this mean for you? It doesn’t need to be emptied regularly. And this is a plus for many people who want a portable air conditioner to simply turn on and do its job. The advanced auto drain technology is how convenience for the owner of this product.

Additional features can be covered in the “Pros” section. We thought it was most important to separate the dual hose and advanced auto drain technology features since they are main staples of this product. But there’s much more! Keep reading to see what the Whynter Dual Hose can do for you.

Pros

On Amazon, the Whynter Dual Hose has over 1,500 reviews and over 600 answered questions about the unit. It’s a best seller! Just seeing how popular the unit is can be considered a pro. We even championed this unit as our favorite for those in the 13,000-15,000 BTU range. Like the main features, some of the main pros can be found in the introduction list of this article.

This portable air conditioner has three modes of operation. They are air conditioner, fan, and dehumidifier. For someone who is looking for added options, this would be a great choice. Furthermore, the fan has three speed options. Maybe the temperature in your home is currently satisfactory. Instead of cooling it anymore you might want to run the fan to circulate the air in the room. The Whynter Dual Hose is perfect for that.

The Whynter Dual Hose has an energy efficiency ratio (EEF) of 11.2. We came to this number by taking it’s BTU (14,000) and dividing it by power consumption wattage (1250). The higher an EEF number is the more efficient the portable air conditioner is. This is a relatively good number when it comes to efficiency with these units.

Another major pro with this unit is that it comes with an extendable exhaust hose. The hose can stretch up to 60 inches. Something so simple can make a big difference and you’ll only realize this once you unpack the unit. The portable air conditioner needs to be near a window or other opening to the outdoors. After all, the exhaust goes outside. This is important because a window may be on the far side of the room you want to cool. With an extendable exhaust hose, you can move the portable air conditioner closer to the area you want to cool the most, no matter where the window is. Many portable air conditioners do not come with an extendable exhaust hose.

Cons

There are many amazing benefits to this portable air conditioner. But what about some drawbacks? I think the biggest con is that the window adapter is only partially adaptable. After all, you need the exhaust hose to fit perfectly in your window. But if you have a home like most people, this shouldn’t be a problem. The adapter fits anywhere between 20 and 46 inches. If your window can make those dimensions you’ll be fine. Otherwise, you might want to look at another portable air conditioner.

Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner (ARC-14S)
Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner (ARC-14S)

The Whynter Dual Hose runs at a max of 56 dBA. Depending on your sensory perception this might not be too loud. However, there have been some complaints that the unit is louder than they thought it would be. Even so, many of these same people appreciate how cold unit makes their room.

One final con we’ll mention is that this unit releases cold air only vertically. In the big picture, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. However, some customers have expressed concern about air circulation. They say that, if the air only goes in one direction (up, in this case), the rest of the room will have uneven circulation. That being said, these same reviewers to appreciate that this portable air conditioner cools their room. And that’s exactly what this unit is meant for.

Conclusion

Because the Whynter Dual Hose is our favorite for those in the 13,000-15,000 BTU range we can’t recommend it enough. What do these features, pros, and cons mean to you? Are you able to forego some quiet in exchange for a quickly-cooled room on a hot summer day? You’re going to ask yourself these questions if you are seriously considering this model. The online reviews have overwhelmingly shown a positive liking to this portable air conditioner. If you want to cool a room that’s up to 500 square feet this unit might be a great solution for you.

Well, that covers our review of the Whynter Dual Hose. And we hope it was helpful for you. We are going to be releasing more portable air conditioner reviews over the next days, weeks, and months. So stay tuned! Visit us again soon here at RefrigerantHQ. See you next time.

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Important Links

It was announced late last month that A-Gas had made a new acquisition. This time they purchased a German based company known as Arthur Friedrichs Kaeltemittel GmbH. The company, headquartered out of Seevetal, has been supplying refrigerant and supplies since 1955. Arthur Friedrichs is a key player in the automotive market in both the aftermarket side and the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) side.

It seems that the automotive side of the business is kind of the forgotten brother to other refrigerant/air conditioning applications. When most people think of refrigerant or air conditioning their minds immediately go to home or commercial cooling. There is a whole other side of the industry on the automotive side. Heck, you even need your own certification to work on automotive applications. (609 Cert.)

A-Gas has already announced that they plan to open a new refrigerant reclamation facility at Arthur Friedrich’s Seevetal’s headquarters.  These acquisitions are becoming a tend. A-Gas also purchased a refrigerant company based out of the Netherlands late last summer. The company, known as BTC, is a specialist when it comes to refrigerant reclamation as well as disposal of refrigerant gases. This acquisition and the recent acquisition in Germany adds to the distribution power, but more importantly, the reclamation power and network of A-Gas. A-Gas is quickly becoming a dominant player in the global refrigerant distribution marketplace.

Over here in America they do have competition. Their biggest rival is Hudson Technologies who just recently purchased AirGas (Now Aspen) Refrigerants. These two giants are nearly neck and neck when it comes to revenue. Hudson ended 2017 with around one-hundred and forty million in revenue and A-Gas ended 2016 with one-hundred and sixty million. Both of these companies have been purchasing and expanding like crazy over the past few years. Time will only tell how much the market will consolidate in the future and who will come out on top.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

 

Sources

Are you ready for summer? You might have big plans and have also scheduled some downtime. Summer also means heat and humidity. Are you ready for that? There are a few ways people beat the heat. Some go to the beach and cool off in the water. Others might take a cold shower. But all of us want to live in a home that has a comfortable temperature and environment.

To meet this end, homeowners use air conditioners. But there are many types! Central HVAC systems, window units, and portable air conditioners are all valid solutions. In this article, we are going to focus on portable air conditioners. Recently, we’ve been talking a bit about air conditioners here at Refrigerant HQ. Hotter temperatures will soon arrive so we want to make sure you understand your options when it comes to cooling your home. Now, let’s dig a little deeper. We’re going to explain exactly how portable air conditioners work.

Knowing how portable air conditioners work has many benefits. You will know how to fix them. You will know how to maintain them. You will even know why a certain part fails in the system and how to prevent it. Knowing how a portable air conditioner works can allow you to choose the best unit for your needs.

In this article, we’ll cover topics such as why portable air conditioners need to be vented to the outdoors. We’ll also cover the proper ways to vent the unit. Portable air conditioners let out more than cold air. They let out moisture, condensation, and heat as well. We’ll go over how to control the extra exhaust. What about the different parts of the unit? We’ll cover the major parts such as the compressor, condenser, and yes, our very favorite topic, refrigerant. Portable air conditioners can lower your monthly energy bill! We’ll explain how. And before we finish, we’ll go over some frequently asked questions regarding the inner-working of portable air conditioners.

The operation of a portable air conditioner is very detailed. But we’ll make sure to go step-by-step. Are you ready to learn more about these units?

How to Vent a Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners require venting. Before we talk about why they need venting, let’s cover how they should be vented. For now, just know that these units have an exhaust hose that needs to go out of the home.

Portable air conditioners are famous for being able to be installed quickly. And on a hot day, you’ll be happy they do! After removing the pieces (there aren’t many) from the box you’ll put it together. The exhaust hose is one of the few major removal pieces. You already know that the hose needs to be connected to the outside of the home. Therefore, first, you need to decide what room you want to cool. Does the room have a window? If so, you found the perfect place to set up your portable air conditioner.

The unit comes with a venting window kit adapter. It is normally a rectangular-shaped piece of plastic that screws onto the exhaust hose end. This adapter is meant to fit securely in a sliding window. Your window may slide vertically or horizontally. It doesn’t matter which way your window slides as long as you can fit the window kit adapter in place. Here’s the good news: the window kit adapter is adjustable. Some adapters slide to become wider or shorter. Others are able to be cut to make them fit in the window. Once you find the right size, it’s time to secure it in the window sill.

The exhaust hose should be as straight as possible. It should not be tangled. This is so the exhaust from your portable air conditioner is able to move outside without being impeded in any way. If the exhaust hose is impeded or doesn’t work properly, the exhaust from the unit could stay in your home.

One last note is that the exhaust hose should not be lengthened in any way. The portable air conditioner may only be able to push the exhaust a certain distance. And that distance is probably not much longer than the exhaust hose. I understand that you might be to position your portable air conditioner in a certain part of your room. However, the unit must stay close to the window for it to work properly.

Why the Portable Air Conditioner Needs Venting

why it needs to be vented. And to know this, you have to know how these units work.
The easiest way to explain this (and we’ll get more detailed later) is that the portable air conditioner simultaneously removes warm air from the home (via the exhaust hose) and cycles cool air back into the room. This is the real reason these units come with an exhaust hose. If they didn’t, the warm air would simply stay in the room! It wouldn’t make much sense, then, to use one of these units without a way to get the warm air out of the home. Remember folks, that air conditioning isn’t about creating cold air but about removing the heat from the room.

The portable air conditioner releases more than just warm air. Moisture and condensation are also emitted from the machine. These are just two more reasons why an exhaust hose is needed. Excessive moisture and humidity can cause mold which brings another host of problems. Let’s take a closer look at how moisture and condensation play a role with the portable air conditioner.

Moisture, Condensation, and Draining

Portable air conditioners pull moisture out of the air in a room. They do this along with pulling out warm air. The moisture isn’t always exhausted through the hose and out of the home. Instead, many portable air conditioners come with a removable condensation or drip tray. Every so often, the tray should be removed and the liquid condensate can be poured down a drain. If the tray isn’t removed it will overflow. However, many units will notify you if the tray fills up too much.

Some of the higher end portable air conditioners do not have a drip tray that needs to be emptied often. These units have a condensation exhaust system which typically takes care of any moisture and condensation. They way it works is simple. The units remove water vapor which is collected during the dehumidifying and cooling process. These portable air conditioners are called auto evaporation units. An example of a higher end unit that does this is the Honeywell MN10CESBB.

Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

 

The Honeywell MN10CESBB is a unit with 5,500 BTU which will cool a room up to 450 square feet. This unit is perfect for bedrooms or rooms with a similar size. 80.1 pints of moisture are removed every 24 hours. If you want a portable air conditioner that runs by itself and requires almost no maintenance, the Honeywell MN10CESBB is the perfect choice for you.

Another option is the Honeywell HL14CHCS. This unit has 8,500 BTU which is enough energy to cool a room up to 700 square feet. An added bonus with this unit is that it doubles as a heater. You might live in an area with hot summer and cold winters. If so, this unit might be the perfect choice for you. This unit removes 111 pints of moisture every 24 hours.

What type of portable air conditioner do you prefer? Removing the tray is incredibly easy to do. On the other hand, some people prefer the auto evaporating units with almost no maintenance. The price difference between the higher end models and the standard ones is minimal. For a higher end unit, you can expect to pay another $100 or so. It’s also important to consider the additional features that higher end units have. Those might be worth the extra hundred or two hundred dollars.

How it Works

You know that you should vent a portable air conditioner. And you now know the proper way to vent it. You even know that these units emit moisture and condensation. Now, it’s time to take a closer look at the major moving pieces in this machine. How does it work? There’s a lot under the hood. Let’s get started.

First, you should know of the major components in a portable air conditioner. These include a compressor, condenser, refrigerant, condenser coils, evaporator coils, and blower. Each of these components has a job to do. Without any of them, the portable air conditioner would not work. Let’s start with refrigeration. After all, it’s our favorite topic!

Portable air conditioners work by removing humidity in the air. This helps to cool the room. Refrigerants play a key role in this process. The refrigerant is a gas or liquid depending on the state which can quickly move from a low pressure to a high pressure situation. It can also quickly change from a gas to a liquid and back to gas form. When the refrigerant cycles through the system it’s a cool, low pressure gas. The refrigerant first goes through the compressor.

The compressor quickly pressurizes the refrigerant. In doing this, the compressor converts the cool refrigerant into a heated gas. When the refrigerant is pressurized, it squeezes the molecules of the gas together. This helps to create the higher temperature of the gas. The closer molecules come together means the higher pressure the gas will become. Next, the gas will travel through condenser coils.

It’s time for the gas to be cooled down again. And that’s the job of the condenser coils. It’s also time for the gas to become a liquid! When the gas cools down it dissipates and become a liquid. This happens because the volume of the gas expands. It’s important to note here that the gas-turned-liquid still retains its high pressure. Before the gas moves on, it has to pass through a small, narrow opening. The high pressure of the liquid helps it push through this small opening. Next, it’s time for the liquid to lose some pressure. And that’s the job of the evaporator coils.

The evaporator coils quickly depressurize the liquid. In doing so, the liquid becomes a gas again. The condenser coils in the last step cooled down the gas. With the liquid going through the evaporator coils and becoming a gas, the gas cools even more. The evaporate coils are the last component the gas goes through before exiting the portable air conditioner.

When the cold air exits the portable air conditioner it mixed with the warm air in the room. Air, whether warm or cool, continuously cycles through the portable air conditioner. It does this even when the room is cold. Any excess moisture and condensation should go through the exhaust hose and to the outdoors. Remember, some units have a condensation tray. However, higher-end models are better at removing most moisture and condensation from the home.

How Portable Air Conditioners Lower Your Energy Bill

Knowing about the money you can save it just as important as knowing how a portable air conditioner works. Well, you’re in luck because we can talk about that too!
One of my favorite things about portable air conditioners is how efficient they are. What I mean is that they can cool a room within minutes. With a central HVAC system, it usually takes a bit longer to cool the room. That’s because the HVAC system is working to cool the entire home along with the room you want.

Even if you have an HVAC system, a portable air conditioner can save you money. Let’s say that you spend most of your time in one room in your home. Instead of running the HVAC system all day, you can run the portable air conditioner. By doing this, you will save energy you’d instead be using to cool the other rooms you aren’t using.

When HVAC systems get older they don’t work as well as they did when they were new. Older HVAC systems could take longer to cool a home which uses more energy. The more energy you use during the month the more expensive your monthly energy bill will be. Instead of replacing your HVAC system, which could cost thousands of dollars, you could buy a portable air conditioner for only a few hundred dollars. The unit isn’t necessarily meant to replace your HVAC system. However, it could be a great solution to supplement your central air system. These units are also a great solution to cool a garage, loft, or out building for your property. I personally use one of these for my workshop that’s a few hundred feet away from my home. I’ve got power routed out and a window. That’s all I need!

Portable air conditioners are easy to move around the home. They do require minimal installation when it comes to venting out a window. Some people choose to buy two units instead of one for convenience. Multiple units are also a good option for those who have limited mobility.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re considering buying a portable air conditioner you probably have a few questions. We’ve listed a few of them below to help you with your consideration. If you have additional questions feel free to contact us. We can help you choose the perfect portable air conditioner for your needs.

• Which portable air conditioner is good for a bedroom?

To answer this question you should know the square footage of your room. Portable air conditioners are sorted by BTU. For example, a bedroom should have around 7,000 BTU. You might want to read our article What Are The Best Portable Air Conditioners?. We’ve listed our favorite portable air conditioner choices for different rooms sizes based on BTU level.

EdgeStar AP12000S Portable Air Conditioner
EdgeStar AP12000S Portable Air Conditioner

• Should I choose a portable or window air conditioner?

Portable and window air conditioners are similar. They both cool a room have similar price points. Depending on cost, they might include a multitude of features. Portable air conditioners are more versatile than window units, which move sits tightly in place. To compare the differences between the two in greater detail you should read What Are The Differences Between Portable And Window Air Conditioners?.

• What is required to install a portable air conditioner?

Each portable air conditioner is different. That being said, you’ll need a window or other place to install your exhaust hose to the outdoors. Most portable air conditioners don’t require any additional tools. You may be required to cut a window kit adapter to make the hose fit perfectly in place. But many units also have adjustable window kit adapters. Before buying a unit, make sure you research the requirements of the unit and if any additional tools are required.

• Will the portable air conditioner cool multiple rooms?

This question can be answered if you know the total square footage of the rooms. The most important factors are the following: the square footage of the rooms, the BTU level of the portable air conditioner, how close the rooms are to each other, and where the unit is placed. A 7,000 BTU unit will cool a bedroom which is between two-hundred and fifty to three-hundred and fifty square feet. For two bedrooms of the same size, you’ll need to double the BTU level to 14,000. You must also take into consideration the placement of the portable air conditioner and any obstructions such as a wall. The best place for the unit to be would be in the middle of both entrances to the room. Otherwise, choosing a more powerful portable air conditioner should do the trick.

Conclusion

Let’s put it all together now. Knowing how a portable air conditioner work can help you appreciate what it can do for you. And here’s the most important part: it will cool your room!

It’s not hot and humid outside yet. But it will be. Will you be ready for the days when the temperature will be over one hundred degrees? Consider your HVAC system, if you have one. Depending on its age and how effective it is you may also want to consider buying a portable air conditioner.

The area you live in is also important. If you live in a warmer area closer to the equator you’ll probably only need a portable air conditioner. However, if you live in an area that has hot summers and cold winters you might want a portable air conditioner and a  portable space heater. The good news is this: you can buy units that have both features combined! This will save you money and space in the room you want to cool and heat. You can even leave the unit in the room all year since you’ll use it during opposing seasons. Our preferred pick is Black and Decker’s BPACT14HWT.
As it gets warmer we’ll make sure to write more about air conditioners and how they will benefit you most. I hope you enjoyed the article. Check back soon for more!

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ