The trend of recent years continues folks. Just a few days ago on February 26th Andrew Wheeler, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, signed a rule on 608 refrigerant management regulations known as ‘Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Revisions to the Refrigerant Management Program’s Extension to Substitutes.’

This version signed by Wheeler is not the final version, but there is little expected to change. It was sent to the Federal Register for final verification and once verified will be published for all to see. The draft rule can be found in our ‘Sources’ section at the bottom of this article. This announced change is not instantaneous. The leak detection and record keeping rules will change thirty days after the final version is published by the Federal Register.

The initial rule for leak detection on HFCs was announced by the Obama Administration’s EPA back in 2016. In essence, they copied the rules that were already on file for CFC and HCFC refrigerants such as R-12, R-502, and R-22. These new HFC rules applied mostly to commercial applications or businesses such as super markets, plants/factories, large refrigerated warehousing, ice rinks, and any other large scale operations.

With the repeal of this rule businesses across the country are estimated to save around twenty-four million dollars per year. (Source) That is a significant amount but another factor, that is very difficult to measure, is the overall peace of mind of these business owners and managers. They no longer have to worry about compliance or the threat of the EPA breathing down their neck. Let’s take a look at exactly what will change once the Federal Register has published the final rule:

Today, the following rules have to be followed for any appliance that holds fifty or more pounds of HFC refrigerants (Source from Hydrocarbons21.com):

      • Conduct leak rate calculations when refrigerant is added to an appliance.
      • Repair an appliance that leaks above a threshold leak rate.
      • Conduct verification leak tests on repairs.
      • Conduct periodic leak inspections on appliances that exceed the threshold leak rate.
      • Report to Environmental Protection Agency on chronically leaking appliances.
      • Retrofit or retire appliances that are not repaired.
      • Maintain related records.

Reading the above requirements can really illustrate just how many hoops and regulations that these business owners had to go through to stay compliant. Don’t get me wrong folks, I am not entirely against having these regulations. What I am against though is how they came about. Any of you who have read my posts in the past know exactly how I feel about this. But, for those who aren’t as familiar with what I am talking about let us review.

The EPA and the Obama Administration used the Clean Air Act as their basis for authority when it came to phasing down and the regulation HFC refrigerants. Herein lies the problem though. The Clean Air Act sections that they were referencing strictly refers to Ozone Depleting Substances. These are your CFC and HCFC refrigerants such as R-12, R-22, R-502 that we all saw get phased out over the past thirty years.

Here’s the thing though… HFC refrigerants do not harm the Ozone. Not in the slightest. HFCs do harm the environment though, just in a different way. HFC refrigerants are known as super-pollutants or greenhouse gases. They directly contribute to Global Warming when they are vented or released into the atmosphere. So, they do cause a problem… but they do not cause any problem to the Ozone.

This reasoning is what the current EPA used when repealing the Obama era regulations. They claimed that the EPA overstepped its authority when introducing these HFC laws. I agree with them. While their intention was good back in 2016 it was NOT the right way to go about it. It was an overreach of the government. Just like with everything though, there is an opposing argument. This argument comes from those who are in support of the 2016 leak regulations. Their argument is that the Clean Air Act authorized them to regulation Ozone depleting substances AND their replacements. Those last two words are where the debate comes from.

I am not going to get into who is right here and what side should win. Let us instead just look at the facts. The EPA is entirely biased depending on what administration is in control. It was biased for Obama and now it is again for Trump. So, the real question is will we see all of this change again after this year’s election cycle? Who knows…

Purchase Restrictions?

When the EPA originally announced last year that they would be looking at rescinding the HFC leak regulations there was also talk that they may rescind the Obama era purchase restriction on HFC refrigerants. I am sure everyone remembers when anyone could go out and buy a cylinder of R-134a or R-410A and keep them on hand for those just in case situations. On January 1st, of 2018 the option to purchase HFC refrigerants without being either 608/609 certified with the EPA went away.

No longer could anyone purchase refrigerant cylinders. They could still purchase smaller quantities like cans, but the option to purchase those large cylinders was gone. This was again an example of the EPA moving the original regulations on CFCs and HCFCs over to HFCs. Overall, I think this had a positive effect on the industry itself. Yes, there was less demand but the contractors who were selling refrigerant to their customers could enjoy that extra mark-up without the risk of the customer purchasing their own cylinder.

I am in favor of removing the purchase restriction. It opens the market back up and, to be honest with you, before the restriction I was selling quite a bit individual cylinders on this website. It’d be nice to have that revenue stream open back up again! Regardless of my opinion though, it is looking like the purchase restriction may be rescinded as well. After all, if they removed the leak detection requirements why not remove purchasing as well?

Conclusion

The announcement of this rule change by the EPA is only going to fuel the United States Climate Alliance. The Climate Alliance is a grouping of states across the country that was formed a few years ago when the Trump Administration announced that the US would be pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord. This alliance is dedicated to all forms of climate protection but one that has seen recent activity are regulations on HFC refrigerants.

With the removal of the EPA’s SNAP Rules 20 and 21 the Climate Alliance stepped up to the plate and began announcing their own HFC phase down laws. California, as usual, was the first of these states. It all began a domino effect though and we are seeing more and more states either pass HFC phase down legislation or announce that they are working on their own version. Just a week or so ago it was announced that Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are all working on their own version of regulations. In most cases the phase down laws closely mimic the original EPA’s SNAP Rules 20 and 21 but there are some states, like California, who went for a stricter approach.

One thing is certain, the Federal Government and the States are heading towards very different goals. If we keep seeing these EPA regulations repealed then we will begin to see more and more states announce their own plans and all of these Federal changes won’t mean squat. But hey, at least the states are going about this the right way and not trying to circumvent the law by using the Clean Air Act as a cover.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Sources

Update

During the summer of last year I wrote an article on the most recent anti-dumping petitions to be filed on HFC refrigerants. Anti-dumping petitions are nothing new to the refrigerant world. In fact there have been a slew of petitions filed over the past ten years. These range from R-134a, R-410A, R-404A, and other common refrigerants. Last year’s petition focused on the actual blending process on tariffed refrigerants. Most recently, just last month, another petition was filed this time on the HFC R-32.

There are now three major anti-dumping petitions out there. The first is a potential duty being installed on the blending process of common HFC refrigerants such as R-410A and R-404A. The duty would apply if the required refrigerants were imported from China and then blended within the United States. This would prevent the circumvention of already established duties on completed HFC blended refrigerants. A final ruling is expected on this petition by April 7th, 2020. I would highly expect the Trade Commission to rule in favor of anti-dumping duties on this. It is the logical decision based on their previous rulings.

Unfinished Blends

The second petition is similar to the first only it targets ‘unfinished blends’ being imported in from China. The term unfinished blends is rather ambiguous, but it basically means HFC blended refrigerants that are either already fully blended or are partially blended. This can get rather shady. What classifies a blended refrigerant as unfinished or finished?

There was a refrigerant distribution company that was importing blended refrigerant from China but labeling it as ‘unfinished blends.’ (I will not state this company’s name within this article.) It was unclear exactly what this company was doing to the product once it had reached the United States. How did it go from an unfinished blend to a finished blend? Was there a process involved at all, or was this just a clever way of skirting around the previously ruled anti-dumping duties on blended refrigerants?

The other refrigerant distributors out there were importing R-32, R-125, R-134a, R-143a refrigerants into the United States. Once there they would blend the refrigerants themselves to come up with R-410A, R-404A, R-407A, R-407C, etc. While this was still using a loophole from the previous rulings it was not a flat out deceit such as importing unfinished blends was.

The company involved in this petition declined to comment on a questionnaire that was sent to them. Because there was no reply the International Trade Commission announced a preliminary ruling on the case last week. Their ruling stated that:

“The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that imports of unfinished blends of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) components R-32 and R-125 from the People’s Republic of China (China) are circumventing the antidumping duty (AD) order on HFC blends from China. As a result, imports of blends of HFC components R-32 and R-125 from China will be subject to suspension of liquidation effective June 18, 2019. We invite interested parties to comment on this preliminary determination.”

“For the reasons described below, we preliminarily determine, pursuant to section 781(a) of the Act, that imports of unfinished blends of HFC components R-32 and R-125 from China are circumventing the Order.”

The final ruling on this case is expected in April as well, but at this time it looks like the International Trade Commission will be ruling against these unfinished HFC blends. Hopefully this is the last of the ‘unfinished HFC blends’ being imported into the United States.

R-32 Petition

Finally, the last and third petition is the most recent one. I touched on this one earlier but this petition was announced just last month and it focuses on the HFC refrigerant R-32. R-32 is a critical component when it comes to some of the most popular HFC refrigerant blends. As an example, R-410A is fifty percent R-32. If this petition is ruled in favor of we can expect to see a significant impact to the cost of refrigerant throughout the US market.

Within the petition it was stated that in the year 2018 there was an estimated twenty-one and a half million dollars worth of R-32 imports brought into the United States. I would say that nearly all of that imported refrigerant is being blended into HFC refrigerants that have duties assigned to them. (There is little stand alone R-32 applications in our market at this time.) This R-32 petition does seem a tad redundant though considering there is already a petition out there on the actual blending process. Who knows though, this latest petition from Arkema could be an insurance policy in case their petitions from last year fall through.

I am not sure how this one will go. If the ITC rules in favor of the blending petition then why would they bother with this one as well?  We may see this one tossed out if the blended petition goes through. On the other hand, like I said earlier, if the blended petition falls through then Arkema has a fall black plan. I can only imagine what would happen to the price if both petitions were approved.

The International Trade Commission is expected to make a market injury determination on March 6th, 2020. If injury is found then the ITC can expect to make a preliminary determination on July 2nd, 2020. Lastly, if everything goes how it should a final ruling will be scheduled for October 5th of this year. If the ITC rules in favor of anti-dumping duties on R-32 then they could take effect on November 5th. The expected duty is 87.98 percent.

Conclusion

Ok, so I went through all of that and now my mind is spinning. There is a lot to these petitions and I have read through a number of documents that folks have sent my way. I believe I have a pretty firm grasp on the matters, but if I missed something or misstated something in this article please let me know! I intend for this to be accurate and do not like to  have errors within the article. Feel free to contact me via e-mail.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

I apologize for two e-mails in just a couple of days but  it has been a busy week in refrigerants! Last week on the 23rd the Arkema Corporation filed a new petition with the United States’ International Trade Commission. For those of you who have followed this saga over the past few years you won’t be surprised that this was yet another anti-dumping petition.

This time the petition focuses on the HFC R-32. Arkema is stating that R-32 imported from China is being brought in at an unfair price and is causing the market and prices to crash. This mass import prevents domestic manufacturers, like Arkema, from selling their product… and if they are able to sell it is at very low margins. From what I have ready while doing research on this article it appears that Arkema is the ONLY domestic manufacturer of R-32 within the United States. (They have a plant in Calvert City, Kentucky.) If you know otherwise please let me know.

In this latest petition Arkema asks for a ninety percent anti-dumping levy put against Chinese R-32 imports. That is a hell of an increase, but some of you may be wondering why are they focusing on R-32? Why aren’t they focusing on the more popular HFC refrigerants like 410A? Well folks to understand that we have to travel back in time to 2016. Back then there was a similar case sent to the United States Trade Commission. This case was anti-dumping on R-410A. Arkema and others won this petition and anti-dumping levies were issued against Chinese R-410A .

The problem here though was that these levies were issued only against the fully blended R-410A refrigerants. The levy did NOT apply to the components of these blended refrigerants. What that meant was that you could import Chinese R-32 or R-125 into the United States without any levies or tariffs applied. So, what happened was that we had distributors and importers shipping in these components in mass and then blending them at their facilities within the United States. This got around the anti-dumping levies entirely and kept the market at rock bottom prices.

In 2018 the mistake was realized and the interested parties began to form a new plan. In April of 2019 a new case was filed by the HFC Coalition  with the International Trade Commission. This one was slightly different. This time it aimed to add the levies to any imported refrigerants that were then used as components for blended refrigerants.  An excerpt from the filing reads as follows (Source):

COMMERCE SHOULD INCLUDE HFC COMPONENTS, “COMPLETED OR ASSEMBLED” IN THE UNITED STATES INTO HFC BLENDS, WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE ANTIDUMPING ORDER PURSUANT TO SECTION 781(A) OF THE ACT.

So this time folks they got a bit smarter and went after the actual components of refrigerants. The outcome of this case is still pending and a ruling is expected sometime this spring. Meanwhile, this new petition was filed just last week. As we said earlier, this one doesn’t focus on the blending process but instead solely on R-32. R-32 is the key ingredient when it comes to blending R-410A. So, if this does pass then we can all expect a hefty increase when it comes to pricing.

Conclusion

The question is will these new petitions work? If you ask me I say they will. I believe that the initial ruling back in 2016 was an oversight by the courts and by those who filed it. When they ruled for levies on R-410A I am sure that it was meant for the components as well… but that’s not how the law works. There are loopholes.

If they had ruled in the past that Chinese imports were damaging the market why would they not rule that way again on a more specific matter? If these rulings do come through what will be next? Can we expect to see a new petition filed on R-125 as well? And, even if all of these petitions work are businesses and consumers ready to pay those higher costs for the American made product? Time will tell…

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Sources

New Jersey

Last Friday, the 26th of January, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 3919. This law mimics the Environmental Protection Agency’s SNAP Rules twenty and twenty-one. The New Jersey bill does have not specific dates set yet for each of the proposed phase downs. These will be released at a later time and will have to be modified from the EPA’s original dates.

This now brings the total up to five states who have now signed into law various HFC phase down measures. These include California, Washington, New York, Vermont, and now New Jersey. There are many more to come though folks as all of these states belong to what’s called the Climate Alliance. This Climate Alliance was formed in the summer of 2017 shortly after the Trump Administration pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord.

The states that joined this alliance disagreed with the Trump Administration and announced that they would be taking their own individual state action. Their goal would be to honor the pledges made in the Paris Climate Accord as well as other climate treaties and regulations. As of today there are now twenty-three states in this Climate Alliance. This is important because all of the states that have moved forward on phasing down HFCs were part of this alliance and that the other states within this alliance have announced that they are looking towards HFC phase downs as well. It is just a matter of time before another state announces their HFC phase down plan.

We are beginning to see the domino effect here folks. But why? Why hasn’t the Federal Government or the EPA’s rules gone into effect? Well, to answer that I’ll have to give a bit of a history lesson. The infamous EPA SNAP Rules twenty and twenty-one were introduced in 2015. These rules were the initial HFC phase down regulations. They mainly targeted R-134a and R-404A. 404A wouldn’t be acceptable in new applications as of a certain date and R-134a wouldn’t be acceptable in automobiles as of a certain date.

When these new regulations were introduced it was taken as the law of the land and the industry moved forward. It wasn’t until the summer of 2017 that everything changed. You see there was a lawsuit brought against the EPA and their new SNAP rules. The suit stated that the EPA had overreached its authority when it came to phasing down HFC refrigerants. The EPA had cited authority from the Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol Treaty but both of these documents only referred to Ozone damaging substances. There was no mention of Greenhouse Gases or refrigerants with a high Global Warming Potential (GWP).

The EPA had truly stretched their authority here and the federal courts saw it this way too. The EPA’s SNAP rules twenty and twenty-one were overturned and the national HFC phase down was gone in a blink of an eye. Now on one knew what to do or what to expect. The industry had operated for the past two years on the knowledge that HFCs would be phased down shortly and now all of that was gone.

There were multiple appeals on this federal court ruling but they were all rejected. One such appeal went all the way to the Supreme Court but the court refused to hear it… probably because it was so cut and dry that the EPA overreached its authority. The other chance to phase down HFC refrigerants came from what’s known as the Kigali Amendment. This was an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that aimed at phasing down HFC refrigerants on a global scale… just like we did with the Montreal Protocol back in the 1990’s and 2000’s. The problem with the Kigali though is that it has never been sent to the United States Senate to ratify. The Trump administration has sat on it for years and they have shown no intention to send it to the Senate.

But wait folks, there’s more! As I write this article there are now two separate HFC phase down bills in the United States Senate and the United States House. Both of these bills more or less aim to accomplish the same thing: Give the EPA the power to phase down and phase out HFC refrigerants. So far these bills have stalled and do not look to be going anywhere. Even if they do pass both houses and a joint bill is reached chances are Trump will veto it and then we will be back to where we were earlier.

So, we are now left with states’ rights. Politically, I am a big states’ rights guy anyways. This is why we are seeing individual states come out with their own laws. As more time passes additional states will come aboard with their own HFC phase down plan. As more states join manufacturers will be forced to adapt to these states’ new requirements and regulations. What that means is that we will eventually get a national phase down rather we like it or not.

This will be a battle of convenience to the manufacturers out there. Is it easier and cheaper to comply with the strictest regulations and be able to sell in all fifty states? Or, do you stick with the status quo and only be able to sell your product in forty states? How many manufacturers are willing to write off the California and New York market? Not very many I’m guessing. This is why we will see these manufacturers actively start moving away from HFCs even without a federal program.

So, in closing folks… there is no need for a federal or EPA plan. Let’s just keep this going with States’ Rights and eventually over time HFCs will be a thing of the past… rather you like it or not.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Sources

RefrigerantHQ's Pressure Charts

One of the very first steps when it comes to diagnosing your home air conditioner, refrigerator, or even your vehicle’s air conditioner is understanding the temperature and the current pressure that your system is operating at. Having these facts along with the saturation point, the subcool, and the superheat  numbers for the refrigerant you are working on are essential when it comes to really understanding what is going wrong with your system.

After a visual inspection the very next step for the most seasoned technicians is pulling out their gauges and checking the pressure and temperature. It just becomes second nature after enough calls. I have heard stories of rookie techs calling some of the pros on their team for help on a system that they’re stuck on. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Miami or in Fargo. It will never fail that one of the first questions the pros ask the rookie is what is your subcool and what is your superheat? Having  and understanding these numbers is key to figuring out what to do next.

But, these numbers won’t do you any good if you don’t know what refrigerant you are dealing with and what the refrigerant’s boiling point is at each pressure level. This article aims at providing you with just that information.

R-407F Refrigerant Pressure Temperature Chart

As most of you know the phase out of R-22 began on January 1st, 2010. This initial phase out stated that no new R-22 machines could be imported or manufactured within the United States after this date. This was due to R-22 being directly responsible for Ozone Depletion. It is not just Ozone we have to worry about though folks. Some of these HFC refrigerants that we have been using for the past twenty years or so have a different problem called Global Warming Potential, or GWP. GWP is a measurement of how impactful a refrigerant is to Global Warming. The higher the number the more impact it will have.

One of the most notorious refrigerants in this category is known as R-404A. 404A is an HFC blend and has a GWP number of nearly four-thousand! 404A is used in low and medium temperature commercial refrigeration applications found in supermarkets, gas stations, and even vending machines. In recent years there has been a lot of pressure on companies and governments to use alternative refrigerants to R-404A in an effort to reduce their impact on the Climate.

One of these alternative refrigerants is known as R-407F also known under the name Genertron Performax LT. This product, from the Honeywell Corporation, is an HFC blend made up of R-134a, R-125, and R-32. While it does not have a perfect number when it comes to the Global Warming Potential scale it is significantly reduced when compared to R-404A. While 404A’s GWP is nearly four-thousand the R-407F comes in at only eighteen-hundred. That is a big drop! There is also no risk of Ozone Depletion.

407F was meant as a replacement for R-22 and R-404A in these supermarket/gas station applications. It is rated with an A1 grade from ASHRAE which means it is non-toxic and non-flammable. It may not be the perfect solution to those who are looking to reduce their climate footprint but you are able to retrofit exiting R-22 and R-404A units using this new refrigerant. That will save a significant amount of money versus having to purchase an entirely new system.

Regardless of what your thoughts on R-407F you will need to know the pressures and temperatures in order to properly maintenance it. Check out our chart below and if you see anything incorrect please reach out to us!

Temp (F)Temp (C)Liquid Pressure (PSIG)Vapor Pressure (PSIG)
-94-70-10.81-12.23
-90.4-68-10.29-11.86
-86.8-66-9.72-11.46
-83.2-64-9.09-11
-79.6-62-8.39-10.5
-76-60-7.63-9.94
-72.4-58-6.79-9.32
-68.8-56-5.88-8.63
-65.2-54-4.88-7.88
-61.6-52-3.8-7.05
-58-50-2.62-6.15
-54.4-48-1.34-5.16
-50.8-460.05-4.08
-47.2-441.54-2.9
-43.6-423.15-1.63
-40-404.89-0.24
-36.4-386.761.26
-32.8-368.762.88
-29.2-3410.914.62
-25.6-3213.26.5
-22-3015.668.52
-18.4-2818.2810.7
-14.8-2621.0713.02
-11.2-2424.0415.51
-7.6-2227.1918.17
-4-2030.5521
-0.4-1834.124.03
3.2-1637.8627.25
6.8-1441.8530.67
10.4-1246.0534.3
14-1050.538.16
17.6-855.1842.24
21.2-660.1246.56
24.8-465.3251.12
28.4-270.7855.95
32076.5361.03
35.6282.5566.4
39.2488.8872.04
42.8695.577.99
46.48102.4584.23
5010109.7190.79
53.612117.397.68
57.214125.24104.9
60.816133.53112.47
64.418142.17120.4
6820151.19128.7
71.622160.59137.37
75.224170.38146.44
78.826180.55155.92
82.428191.15165.81
8630202.16176.12
89.632213.61186.88
93.234225.5198.1
96.836237.84209.77
100.438250.65221.94
10440263.91234.61
107.642277.68247.79
111.244291.93261.49
114.846306.7275.73
118.448321.99290.55
12250337.81305.94
125.652354.16321.93
129.254371.08338.55
132.856388.59355.79
136.458406.65373.71
14060425.33392.33
143.662444.6411.66
147.264464.51431.74
150.866485.05452.6
154.468506.24474.31
15870528.09496.9

Anhydrous Ammonia Leak

R-717, or Anhydrous Ammonia, is widely regarded as one of the most efficient refrigerants in the world. Not only is it efficient it also has zero Ozone Depletion Potential and has a Global Warming Potential of zero. So, you have a highly efficient refrigerant with no impact on the climate. It is these two reasons why we have begun to see more and more companies and countries use Anhydrous Ammonia.

In fact Ammonia was one of the very first refrigerants to be discovered and used. This can be said for a lot of the natural refrigerants such as Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide, and the various Hydrocarbons like Propane or Isobutane. All of these were the grandfathers of refrigerants. It was in the 1930’s that CFCs and HCFC were introduced and we began to see the demand for these natural refrigerants start to dwindle.

After all, these newer CFC/HCFC refrigerants didn’t have any downsides. Natural refrigerants did. Carbon Dioxide operated at very high pressures which caused premature failures. Hydrocarbons were flammable. Ammonia was toxic and flammable. Yes folks, Ammonia is rated as a B2L from ASHRAE. This B signifies refrigerants for which there is evidence of toxicity at concentrations below four hundred parts per million. Refrigerants in the 2L sub-classification are slightly flammable and have a burning velocities less than or equal to 10 cm/s (3.9 in./s)

It is directly because of the downsides on natural refrigerants that I mentioned above that we saw the rise of CFCs and HCFC refrigerants such as R-11, R-12, R-502, R-22, etc. When these refrigerants were phased out due to their effect on the Ozone a new king of artificial refrigerants was announced, HFCs. Some of your most common HFCs out there are your R-125, R-32, R-410A, R-404A, and R-134a. These reigned supreme for about twenty years until we realized what impact that they were having on Climate Change and Global Warming.

The world had realized that we substituted one wrong for another. There had to be a better solution then these climate damaging refrigerants, right? Well folks, that is where the age old debate between natural refrigerants and artificial refrigerants come into play. Honeywell and Chemours (Formerly DuPont) have spent countless hours and money on developing a new classification of artificial refrigerants known as HFOs. These refrigerants are said to have very low Global Warming Potential while also being relatively safe. An HFO might be a 2L, but at least it is not toxic as well.

But, the problem is a lot of folks have felt they have been suckered too many times. First it was CFCs, then HCFCs, then HFCs, and now it’s HFOs? Whose to say that HFOs won’t be gone in another ten years? Why invest money into a machine that could be obsolete in a decade, or worse yet, illegal? I swear the ink wasn’t dry on the 2010 phase out of R-22 and we had already started to hear about phasing down R-410A. This constant changing can wear people out.

The appeal of natural refrigerants is enticing. They have been around for centuries. They are not damaging to the climate. These two facts alone ensure that you will never run into a phase down or phase out situation with these refrigerants. The question though is are they worth the risk? Now, when I say risk I’m not talking about Carbon Dioxide, or even Hydrocarbons for that matter. My focal point here is Ammonia.

As I mentioned earlier Ammonia is both toxic and flammable. Now many companies will minimize this and state that it is perfectly fine and safe if the proper precautions, maintenance, and regulations are followed. This very well may be true, but what happens when a mistake is made? If you’re just dealing with a smaller charged application then it’s not too big of a deal. However, if you are using Ammonia refrigerant in large quantities then disaster can strike.

Before I go further I want to preface this with that I am going to get a lot e-mails on this article. It seems that whenever I bring up Ammonia I get a lot of feedback. Some folks for it and some folks against it. Most of the time though it is folks arguing for it. So, in this article I am going to go against the grain here and try to paint you a picture of what can happen when Ammonia leaks or spills can occur and why we should be looking at alternative refrigerants.

A few years back I wrote an article about an unfortunate event in Canada. An Ammonia leak had occurred at a small town’s ice rink. Three workers, who were trying to repair the leak, died due to Ammonia exposure. An entire city block was evacuated by the local fire department. It was a tragedy for the small town. This one event, while extreme, shows you what kind of damage Ammonia can do.

To give you an even clearer picture I searched around Google and pulled Ammonia leak related stories over the past eighteen months. While fatalities are rare, they can still occur. The common theme throughout these leaks is evacuations and injuries. The sheer amount of incidents below should give you an idea of why I am not for Ammonia refrigerant use. (In large charge applications.)

Conclusion

If you are looking at a new system for your plant, factory, ice rink, or whatever else please consider something other then Ammonia. Review the latest HFO refrigerants out there. Or, if you want to stay with natural refrigerants then take a good hard look at Carbon Dioxide R-744. CO2 has made great strides over the past decades and is quickly becoming one of the major players within the refrigerant industry.

If you do end up going with Ammonia though just know that there is a chance of any one of the events I listed above happening at your location. It could be a small leak that is handled right away or it could be a catastrophe like what happened in Canada. Be absolutely sure you schedule proper maintenance and take any and all precautions you can so that you can give your employees and your customers a safe place to work and visit.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

RefrigerantHQ's Pressure Charts

One of the very first steps when it comes to diagnosing your home air conditioner, refrigerator, or even your vehicle’s air conditioner is understanding the temperature and the current pressure that your system is operating at. Having these facts along with the saturation point, the subcool, and the superheat  numbers for the refrigerant you are working on are essential when it comes to really understanding what is going wrong with your system.

After a visual inspection the very next step for the most seasoned technicians is pulling out their gauges and checking the pressure and temperature. It just becomes second nature after enough calls. I have heard stories of rookie techs calling some of the pros on their team for help on a system that they’re stuck on. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Miami or in Fargo. It will never fail that one of the first questions the pros ask the rookie is what is your subcool and what is your superheat? Having  and understanding these numbers is key to figuring out what to do next.

But, these numbers won’t do you any good if you don’t know what refrigerant you are dealing with and what the refrigerant’s boiling point is at each pressure level. This article aims at providing you with just that information.

R-1234ze Refrigerant Pressure Temperature Chart

The refrigerant R-1234ze is part of a new generation of refrigerants under the HFO classification. HFO’s, or hydrofluoroolefins, are a new classification of refrigerants that aim to take the place of the commonly used HFCs. These HFC refrigerants have a VERY high Global Warming Potential, or GWP. The higher the GWP the more damage the refrigerant can do to Global Warming. Remember folks that refrigerants are Greenhouse Gases and can be many times more potent then the standard Carbon Dioxide. Having these very high GWP refrigerants was causing a significant impact on Climate Change.

R-1234ze was introduced as an alternative to the R-134a HFC refrigerant. R-134 has a GWP number of over fourteen-hundred. That means it is fourteen-hundred times worse then Carbon Dioxide when released into the atmosphere. To combat this the Honeywell corporation released R-1234ze under their Solstice Refrigerants brand name. This refrigerant has no Ozone Depletion Potential and has a GWP number of only seven.When comparing that to the fourteen-hundred we saw earlier you can really see the difference.

R-1234ze can be used in a variety of applications including supermarkets, water cooled chillers, commercial buildings, vending machines, refrigerators, heat pumps, and it can even be found in cascade systems. While it was meant to replace R-134a it can also be used in place of other refrigerants such as R-744 (Carbon Dioxide) and R-600a (Isobutane).  The only major downside of this refrigerant is that it is rated as an A2L from ASHRAE. The A stands for non-toxic but that 2l rating signifies that this HFO refrigerant is slightly flammable. R-134a on the other hand had no chance of flame propagation. So, please be cognizant of the flammability risk when working with ze refrigerant.

If you are working with R-1234ze then it serves you to know the temperatures and pressures. Please check out pressure chart below. If you see any errors please feel free to let me know.

Temp (F)Temp (C)Pressure (PSIG)Pressure (kPA)
-58-50-11.75-81
-54.4-48-11.31-78
-50.8-46-10.88-75
-47.2-44-10.44-72
-43.6-42-9.86-68
-40-40-9.43-65
-36.4-38-8.85-61
-32.8-36-8.12-56
-29.2-34-7.4-51
-25.6-32-6.67-46
-22-30-5.8-40
-18.4-28-4.93-34
-14.8-26-4.06-28
-11.2-24-3.05-21
-7.6-22-1.74-12
-4-20-0.73-5
-0.4-180.584
3.2-162.0314
6.8-143.4824
10.4-124.9334
14-106.6746
17.6-88.4158
21.2-610.371
24.8-412.3385
28.4-214.5100
32016.68115
35.6219.15132
39.2421.61149
42.8624.22167
46.4827.12187
501030.02207
53.61233.07228
57.21436.4251
60.81639.89275
64.41843.51300
682047.28326
71.62251.2353
75.22455.4382
78.82659.76412
82.42864.4444
863069.18477
89.63274.11511
93.23479.34547
96.83684.85585
100.43890.5624
1044096.45665
107.642102.69708
111.244109.07752
114.846115.74798
118.448122.56845
12250129.95896
125.652137.35947
129.254145.181001
132.856153.311057
136.458161.721115
14060170.421175

 

RefrigerantHQ's Pressure Charts

One of the very first steps when it comes to diagnosing your home air conditioner, refrigerator, or even your vehicle’s air conditioner is understanding the temperature and the current pressure that your system is operating at. Having these facts along with the saturation point, the subcool, and the superheat  numbers for the refrigerant you are working on are essential when it comes to really understanding what is going wrong with your system.

After a visual inspection the very next step for the most seasoned technicians is pulling out their gauges and checking the pressure and temperature. It just becomes second nature after enough calls. I have heard stories of rookie techs calling some of the pros on their team for help on a system that they’re stuck on. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Miami or in Fargo. It will never fail that one of the first questions the pros ask the rookie is what is your subcool and what is your superheat? Having  and understanding these numbers is key to figuring out what to do next.

But, these numbers won’t do you any good if you don’t know what refrigerant you are dealing with and what the refrigerant’s boiling point is at each pressure level. This article aims at providing you with just that information.

R-123 Refrigerant Pressure Temperature Chart

R-123 refrigerant is most likely a rare find nowadays. It was originally introduced in the 1990’s as a replacement for the now phased out refrigerant known as R-11. You see R-11 contained chlorine. It was found that refrigerants that contain chlorine can actively damage the Ozone layer if they are released into the atmosphere. Once this was found out the world banded together and formed an international treaty known as the Montreal Protocol. This protocol banned CFC and HCFC refrigerants.

When R-11 was banned R-123 began to see more and more use in larger low pressure centrifugal chillers. It was hugely efficient and it had a much lower Ozone Depletion Potential then its predecessor. There were a lot of downsides to R-123 though. One of the biggest was that it was rated as a B1 on ASHRAE’s safety scale. That means that the refrigerant was toxic if breathed in or if you were exposed to it. This alone takes a lot of points away from its appeal but couple that with it being an HCFC refrigerant with an Ozone Depletion Potential as well then you have a perfect storm for another phase out.

R-123 was meant as a substitute or a standby when R-11 was phased out. It wasn’t meant as a permanent solution. That is why you now see more R-134a applications when it comes to centrifugal chillers. Not even R-134a is safe though folks as they are already trying to phase this out as well due to it’s high Global Warming Potential. The refrigerant market is always changing…

If you do in the off chance run into an R-123 system then you are going to need to know the pressures. Let’s take a look at our pressure chart below:

Temp (F)Temp (C)Pressure (PSIG)Pressure Liquid (PSIA)
-20-28.8827.81
-15-26.1127.41.2
-10-23.3326.91.4
-5-20.5526.41.7
0-17.7725.92
5-1525.22.3
10-12.2224.52.6
15-9.4423.83
20-6.6622.83.5
25-3.8821.84
30-1.1120.74.5
351.6619.55.1
404.4418.15.8
457.2216.66.5
501014.97.3
5512.77138.2
6015.5511.29.2
6518.338.910.3
7021.116.511.4
7523.884.112.7
8026.661.214.1
8529.440.915.6
9032.222.517.2
95354.318.9
10037.776.120.8
10540.558.122.8
11043.3310.325
11546.1112.627.3
12048.8815.129.8
12551.6617.832.4
13054.4420.635.3
13557.2223.638.3
1406026.841.5
14562.7730.244.9
15065.5533.948.5
15568.3352.3
16071.1156.4
16573.8860.7
17076.6665.2
17579.4470
18082.2275
1858580.3
19087.7785.9
19590.5591.7
20093.3397.9

 

RefrigerantHQ's Pressure Charts

One of the very first steps when it comes to diagnosing your home air conditioner, refrigerator, or even your vehicle’s air conditioner is understanding the temperature and the current pressure that your system is operating at. Having these facts along with the saturation point, the subcool, and the superheat  numbers for the refrigerant you are working on are essential when it comes to really understanding what is going wrong with your system.

After a visual inspection the very next step for the most seasoned technicians is pulling out their gauges and checking the pressure and temperature. It just becomes second nature after enough calls. I have heard stories of rookie techs calling some of the pros on their team for help on a system that they’re stuck on. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Miami or in Fargo. It will never fail that one of the first questions the pros ask the rookie is what is your subcool and what is your superheat? Having  and understanding these numbers is key to figuring out what to do next.

But, these numbers won’t do you any good if you don’t know what refrigerant you are dealing with and what the refrigerant’s boiling point is at each pressure level. This article aims at providing you with just that information.

R-23 Refrigerant Pressure Chart

R-23 refrigerant is not commonly used. When you do run into it it is typically used in a cascade setup in a low temperature refrigeration system. It was originally developed as an alternative to the R-13 refrigerant. R-13 was a CFC refrigerant and was banned across the world in the early 1990’s due to it’s damaging of the Ozone layer. This was all done through the treaty known as the Montreal Protocol.

When R-13 was banned the HFC refrigerant R-23 took it’s place. It solved the problem with the Ozone but now there was a new problem with R-23. This new problem is known as Global Warming Potential (GWP). The higher the GWP number the more impact the refrigerant has on the environment.

Carbon Dioxide (R-744) is used as the zero measure for this scale. Any number above zero is that much more potent then Carbon Dioxide. In the case of R-23 its GWP number is over fourteen-thousand. Yes folks, you read that right. R-23 is fourteen-thousand times more damaging to the environment then Carbon Dioxide. It is because of this extremely high number that you will not find too many R-23 systems today. It is being replaced by more climate friendly refrigerants.

However, if you do run across one though you will need to know the pressure. Let’s take a look at our pressure chart below. (Note that the first pressure value is in Vacuum inches in Hg.):

Temp (F)Temp (C)Pressure (PSIG)
-119.92-84.44
-115.06-81.70.3
-110.02-78.92.9
-104.98-76.15.8
-99.94-73.39
-95.08-70.612.7
-90.04-67.816.7
-85-6521.3
-79.96-62.226.3
-74.92-59.431.8
-70.06-56.737.9
-65.02-53.944.6
-59.98-51.152
-54.94-48.360
-50.08-45.668.7
-45.04-42.878.1
-40-4088.3
-34.96-37.299.4
-29.92-34.4111
-25.06-31.7124
-20.02-28.9138

RefrigerantHQ's Pressure Charts

One of the very first steps when it comes to diagnosing your home air conditioner, refrigerator, or even your vehicle’s air conditioner is understanding the temperature and the current pressure that your system is operating at. Having these facts along with the saturation point, the subcool, and the superheat  numbers for the refrigerant you are working on are essential when it comes to really understanding what is going wrong with your system.

After a visual inspection the very next step for the most seasoned technicians is pulling out their gauges and checking the pressure and temperature. It just becomes second nature after enough calls. I have heard stories of rookie techs calling some of the pros on their team for help on a system that they’re stuck on. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Miami or in Fargo. It will never fail that one of the first questions the pros ask the rookie is what is your subcool and what is your superheat? Having  and understanding these numbers is key to figuring out what to do next.

But, these numbers won’t do you any good if you don’t know what refrigerant you are dealing with and what the refrigerant’s boiling point is at each pressure level. This article aims at providing you with just that information.

R-12 Pressure Chart

R-12 is one of those classic refrigerants that nearly everyone has heard of before. Even if you are not part of the industry chances are you have heard of R-12. You see, R-12 is a CFC refrigerant and was one of the first artificially created refrigerants to see widespread usage. It was in the 1930’s that the DuPont corporation teamed up with General Motors to come up with a safe, reliable, and cheap refrigerant. All of the previous refrigerants like ammonia, propane, isobutane, and even carbon dioxide all had their own problems. Sometimes it was flammability, toxicity, or operating pressure. Regardless of why these natural refrigerants weren’t working it was clear that the market needed a different kind of refrigerant.

It was during this partnership that we began to see the rise of artificial refrigerant classifications known as CFCs and HCFCs. Only shortly after their invention these new refrigerants began to take the world by storm. Not more then thirty years later and you could find R-12 all over the world in all kinds of different applications. Its explosive growth continued over the years. So did the related refrigerants known as R-11, R-22, R-502 and many others. The world was being filled with CFC and HCFC refrigerants.

It was in the 1980’s that a team of scientists discovered that these refrigerants did have a downside… and it was a big one. You see if these refrigerants were vented into the atmosphere either through damage, mistake, or malfeasance the chlorine in these refrigerants would make its way up into the Stratosphere. In here the sun’s ultraviolet rays would break down the chlorine. This broken down chlorine would chip away at what’s known as the Ozone layer. Eventually a hole developed which caused the world to band together and create a global treaty known as the Montreal Protocol. The treaty aimed at phasing out all of these Ozone damaging refrigerants.

One of the first refrigerants to go was our friend R-12. At this point in time, in the early 1990’s, R-12 had seen the majority of it’s usage in automobile air conditioning. R-12 was banned in new automobiles and was replaced with by the HFC refrigerant we all know today as R-134a. Now, there are still some R-12 applications out there today. Most of these are through antique car collectors but there are other applications out there as well.

If you are working on an R-12 machine you are going to need to know your pressures. Let’s take a look at our pressure chart. (Note that the first few pressure values  are in Vacuum inches in Hg.):

Temp (F)Temp (C)Pressure (PSIG)
-40-4011
-34.96-37.28.4
-29.92-34.45.5
-25.06-31.72.3
-20.02-28.90.6
-14.98-26.12.4
-9.94-23.34.5
-5.08-20.66.7
-0.04-17.89.2
5-1511.8
10.04-12.214.6
15.08-9.417.7
19.94-6.721
24.98-3.924.6
30.02-1.128.5
35.061.732.6
39.924.437
44.967.241.7
501046.7
55.0412.852
60.0815.657.7
64.9418.363.8
69.9821.170.2
75.0223.977
80.0626.784.2
84.9229.491.8
89.9632.299.8
9535108
100.0437.8117
105.0840.6127
109.9443.3136
114.9846.1147
120.0248.9158
125.0651.7169
129.9254.4181
134.9657.2194
14060207
145.0462.8220
150.0865.6234

 

RefrigerantHQ's Pressure Charts

One of the very first steps when it comes to diagnosing your home air conditioner, refrigerator, or even your vehicle’s air conditioner is understanding the temperature and the current pressure that your system is operating at. Having these facts along with the saturation point, the subcool, and the superheat  numbers for the refrigerant you are working on are essential when it comes to really understanding what is going wrong with your system.

After a visual inspection the very next step for the most seasoned technicians is pulling out their gauges and checking the pressure and temperature. It just becomes second nature after enough calls. I have heard stories of rookie techs calling some of the pros on their team for help on a system that they’re stuck on. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Miami or in Fargo. It will never fail that one of the first questions the pros ask the rookie is what is your subcool and what is your superheat? Having  and understanding these numbers is key to figuring out what to do next.

But, these numbers won’t do you any good if you don’t know what refrigerant you are dealing with and what the refrigerant’s boiling point is at each pressure level. This article aims at providing you with just that information.

R-502 Pressure Chart

R-502 is one of those refrigerants you just do not see around much anymore. R-502 is a CFC refrigerant just like its cousin refrigerant R-12 and R-11. All of these refrigerants were found to be damaging the Ozone layer when they were released into the atmosphere. Because of this, these refrigerants were phased out across the world through a global treaty known as the Montreal Protocol. R-12 was one of the first ones to go but R-502 wasn’t far behind. It’s complete phase out occurred in 1995.

Originally, R-502 was designed to operate in a low temperature refrigerant applications. It was meant as an alternative to the very popular HCFC known as R-22. R-502 had an overall lower discharge temperature and an improved capacity allowance when compared to R-22. This made it a great alternative… until the phase outs began. Nowadays it is a rare feat to find a functioning R-502 system. Most of these have been retired due to old age or they have been retrofitted to accept a new refrigerant. The most common replacement refrigerant was the HFC R-404A, but now even 404A is being phased out due to it’s high Global Warming Potential.

In the off chance that you do come across a R-502 application then you will need to know the pressures. Let’s take a look at our pressure chart below:

Temp (F)Temp (C)Pressure (PSIG)
-40-404.1
-34.96-37.26.5
-29.92-34.49.2
-25.06-31.712.1
-20.02-28.915.3
-14.98-26.118.8
-9.94-23.322.6
-5.08-20.626.7
-0.04-17.831.1
5-1535.9
10.04-12.241
15.08-9.446.5
19.94-6.752.4
24.98-3.958.8
30.02-1.165.6
35.061.772.8
39.924.480.5
44.967.288.7
501097.4
55.0412.8107
60.0815.6116
64.9418.3127
69.9821.1138
75.0223.9149
80.0626.7161
84.9229.4174
89.9632.2187
9535201
100.0437.8216
105.0840.6232
109.9443.3248
114.9846.1265
120.0248.9283
125.0651.7301
129.9254.4321
134.9657.2341
14060363

RefrigerantHQ's Pressure Charts

One of the very first steps when it comes to diagnosing your home air conditioner, refrigerator, or even your vehicle’s air conditioner is understanding the temperature and the current pressure that your system is operating at. Having these facts along with the saturation point, the subcool, and the superheat  numbers for the refrigerant you are working on are essential when it comes to really understanding what is going wrong with your system.

After a visual inspection the very next step for the most seasoned technicians is pulling out their gauges and checking the pressure and temperature. It just becomes second nature after enough calls. I have heard stories of rookie techs calling some of the pros on their team for help on a system that they’re stuck on. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Miami or in Fargo. It will never fail that one of the first questions the pros ask the rookie is what is your subcool and what is your superheat? Having  and understanding these numbers is key to figuring out what to do next.

But, these numbers won’t do you any good if you don’t know what refrigerant you are dealing with and what the refrigerant’s boiling point is at each pressure level. This article aims at providing you with just that information.

R-717 Ammonia Pressure Chart

Ammonia, also known as R-717, is one of the oldest refrigerants. It’s origins as a refrigerant can be traced all the way back to the 1800’s and it was one of the first refrigerants used in a variety of applications. It is also widely considered one of the most efficient refrigerants available. The downside though is that ammonia is toxic in small quantities and can be deadly when released in larger quantities.

When the first artificial refrigerants were invented in the 1930’s the world began to move away from the natural refrigerants including ammonia. These artificial refrigerants like R-12 and R-22 were becoming the refrigerant used in nearly every application.  It wasn’t until the 1980’s and 1990’s, when these artificial refrigerants began to be phased out, that we saw natural refrigerants began to rise again.

In today’s world R-717 has made an amazing comeback. It can be found in varying ranges of applications. Because it is so efficient it is often used in very large applications such as meat packing/processing plants, refrigerated warehousing, and even ice rinks. Unfortunately, these large quantities of ammonia can also lead to disaster if a leak occurs. In some extreme cases deaths have occurred due to large ammonia refrigerant leaks. It is always best practice to maintenance and take proper care of your system to ensure that no leaks can occur and if they do that they are minimal.

Let’s take a look at our pressure chart on ammonia:

Temp (F)Temp (C)Pressure (PSIG)
15870-13.1
-90.4-68-12.85
-86.8-66-12.58
-83.2-64-12.26
-79.6-62-11.91
-76-60-11.51
-72.4-58-11.07
-68.8-56-10.58
-65.2-54-10.04
-61.6-52-9.43
-58-50-8.77
-54.4-48-8.03
-50.8-46-7.22
-47.2-44-6.33
-43.6-42-5.36
-40-40-4.29
-36.4-38-3.13
-32.8-36-1.86
-29.2-34-0.49
-25.6-321.01
-22-302.63
-18.4-284.38
-14.8-266.27
-11.2-248.31
-7.6-2210.51
-4-2012.87
-0.4-1815.41
3.2-1618.13
6.8-1421.04
10.4-1224.15
14-1027.46
17.6-831.01
21.2-634.78
24.8-438.79
28.4-243.05
32047.57
35.6252.37
39.2457.45
42.8662.82
46.4868.5
501074.49
53.61280.82
57.21487.48
60.81694.5
64.418101.88
6820109.65
71.622117.8
75.224126.35
78.826135.31
82.428144.71
8630154.56
89.632164.85
93.234175.61
96.836186.86
100.438198.59
10440210.84
107.642223.62
111.244236.93
114.846250.81
118.448265.23
12250280.24
125.652295.86
129.254312.08
132.856328.93
136.458346.42
14060364.57
143.662383.39
147.264402.91
150.866423.14
154.468444.08
15870465.77

RefrigerantHQ's Pressure Charts

One of the very first steps when it comes to diagnosing your home air conditioner, refrigerator, or even your vehicle’s air conditioner is understanding the temperature and the current pressure that your system is operating at. Having these facts along with the saturation point, the subcool, and the superheat  numbers for the refrigerant you are working on are essential when it comes to really understanding what is going wrong with your system.

After a visual inspection the very next step for the most seasoned technicians is pulling out their gauges and checking the pressure and temperature. It just becomes second nature after enough calls. I have heard stories of rookie techs calling some of the pros on their team for help on a system that they’re stuck on. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Miami or in Fargo. It will never fail that one of the first questions the pros ask the rookie is what is your subcool and what is your superheat? Having  and understanding these numbers is key to figuring out what to do next.

But, these numbers won’t do you any good if you don’t know what refrigerant you are dealing with and what the refrigerant’s boiling point is at each pressure level. This article aims at providing you with just that information.

R-407C Pressure Chart

R-407C is one of the many replacement products for the now phased out R-22. R-22’s official phase down started in 2010 and the final phase out began on January 1st, 2020. Over that ten year period there were hundreds, and I really mean hundreds, of R-22 alternatives created. One of these replacement products was the hydroflurocarbon blend known as R-407C.

R-407C is a zeotropic blend of R-32 (Difluromethane), R-125, and R-134a (Tetrafluoroethane). It is not a drop in replacement on R-22 machines. If you wish to use this product you will need to vacate all of the old R-22 out of the system. This is due to the R-22 systems using mineral oil and this HFC blend using POE oil. You will also need to replace the compressor as well. If this is not done then you risk destroying your air conditioner.

It is difficult to say exactly how long R-407C will be around. With each year that passes the R-22 machines grow older and older. By the year 2030 there will be very few of them left. Before then though, R-407C will still be needed.

Let’s take a look at our pressure chart:

Temp (F)Temp (C)Liquid Pressure (PSIG)Vapor Pressure (PSIG)
-94-70-11.28-12.63
-90.4-68-10.82-12.32
-86.8-66-10.31-11.97
-83.2-64-9.75-11.59
-79.6-62-9.14-11.15
-76-60-8.46-10.67
-72.4-58-7.71-10.14
-68.8-56-6.9-9.55
-65.2-54-6.01-8.9
-61.6-52-5.04-8.19
-58-50-3.98-7.41
-54.4-48-2.84-6.55
-50.8-46-1.6-5.61
-47.2-44-0.26-4.59
-43.6-421.19-3.48
-40-402.75-2.27
-36.4-384.43-0.96
-32.8-366.230.46
-29.2-348.161.99
-25.6-3210.233.64
-22-3012.455.42
-18.4-2814.817.33
-14.8-2617.339.38
-11.2-2420.0111.58
-7.6-2222.8713.93
-4-2025.916.44
-0.4-1829.1219.12
3.2-1632.5321.98
6.8-1436.1425.02
10.4-1239.9628.25
14-1043.9931.68
17.6-848.2535.32
21.2-652.7339.17
24.8-457.4643.25
28.4-262.4347.56
32067.6552.11
35.6273.1456.92
39.2478.961.98
42.8684.9467.31
46.4891.2772.92
501097.8978.82
53.612104.8285.01
57.214112.0691.51
60.816119.6398.33
64.418127.53105.48
6820135.76112.96
71.622144.35120.79
75.224153.29128.98
78.826162.62137.55
82.428172.3146.48
8630182.38155.82
89.632192.86165.56
93.234203.74175.71
96.836215.04186.3
100.438226.77197.32
10440238.92208.8
107.642251.53220.75
111.244264.6233.19
114.846278.12246.12
118.448292.13259.56
12250306.63273.54
125.652321.62288.06
129.254337.14303.14
132.856353.18318.81
136.458369.74335.08
14060386.85351.97
143.662404.52369.52
147.264422.78387.73
150.866441.6406.65
154.468461.03426.31
15870481.05446.75

A few months ago I had written an article on a newly introduced bill in the United States Senate. This bill known as the, ‘American Innovation and Manufacturing Act,’ aimed at phasing down the usage of HFC refrigerants over the next fifteen years. This same bill was actually introduced back in February of 2018 as well, but it ended up going nowhere. Now, in January of 2020, this bill has thirty-two backers from both parties.

It is still quite a long stretch if this bill gains further traction, but there was a sign of hope this week. A few days ago the United States House introduced their own version of the proposed HFC refrigerant phase down bill. The House bill was introduced into a subcommittee by two Democrats and two Republicans from New York, Texas, and California. The bill itself was very similar to the Senate bill. This House bill will phase down usage of HFC refrigerants by eighty-five percent over a fifteen year period.

Both bills aim to accomplish this by giving the phase down and phase out authority to the Environmental Protection Agency. It would then be up to the EPA to determine which refrigerants are phased down, phased out, and what timeline they would follow. You could think of this as the Montreal Protocol/Clean Air Act part two. It is the same thing that we saw in the 1990’s and 2000’s when the EPA began phasing out CFC and HCFC refrigerants such as R-12, R-502, and most recently R-22.

These bills are not only being backed by both Republicans and Democrats but they are also seeing outside support from such affiliations like the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI); the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); the US Chamber of Commerce; and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy (ARAP). You will also see large refrigerant manufacturers like Chemours or Honeywell backing these bills. There is a lot of lobbying money involved with these bills.

All of these supporting parties claim that by phasing out HFC refrigerants the United States will see a tremendous growth in jobs and our economy. The numbers cited for the Senate bill state that over one-hundred and fifty-thousand jobs would be created and that we would see thirty-nine billion dollars in economic growth from the passing of this bill. On top of all that we would be introducing climate friendly polices.

History

What you read above was the official selling point for these bills. Jobs, growth, and climate. I’m sorry to say though folks, I just don’t buy it. These interested parties have been trying to phase down HFC refrigerants for the past five years and with each passing year they have been met with failure. I’m just glad that they are trying this the legal way now instead of trying to circumvent the system.

This all started back in the summer of 2015. It was then that the EPA introduced a new rule for their SNAP program. This rule, known as rule 20, was the first step at the EPA trying to phase down HFC refrigerants. Here’s the thing though, the EPA cited their authority to phase down HFC refrigerants from the Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol. The problem with this is that these laws/treaties were only meant for Ozone depleting substances such as CFC and HCFC refrigerants. These refrigerants contained chlorine and when that chlorine made its way into the Stratosphere it chipped away at the Ozone.

HFC refrigerants such as the ever popular ones like R-134a, R-404A, and R-410A do NOT damage the Ozone. Not in the slightest. These refrigerants do not contain chlorine and therefore cannot harm the Ozone. The problem with these refrigerants is what’s known as their Global Warming Potential (GWP). These refrigerants have a very high GWP number. This in turn means they are super Greenhouse Gases. The higher the GWP number the more impact the refrigerant has on Global Warming.

So, the EPA tried to extend their authority on Ozone depleting substances over to non-Ozone depleting substances. The sad part was that this was taken as the law of the land for a few years. After the new rule was introduced the industry and country just accepted it as the new status quo. It wasn’t until 2017 that a federal court ruled against the EPA citing that they overextended their authority and that they did NOT have the power to phase out HFC refrigerants as well. If they wanted to do this then they needed new legislation that would give them such powers.

This ruling caught everyone by surprise. Everyone had just assumed that the EPA’s overreach would just be accepted. Larger refrigerant manufacturers, who had a vested interest in phasing down HFC refrigerants, appealed the ruling hoping to get a different result in favor of the EPA. But, the results ended up being the same. The EPA’s plans for HFC phase down had been nixed. There was now no set plan within the US to phase down these climate damaging refrigerant gases.

It was a bit later that what’s known as the Kigali Amendment was moving forward. This amendment was an addendum to the now famous Montreal Protocol. The amendment was to phase down HFC refrigerants across the world. It was very similar to the EPA’s proposed HFC phase down plan. The United States, under the Obama Administration, signed the treaty amendment. All that needed to be done was to ratify the amendment in the Senate for it to become law within the United States. However, after Donald Trump came to power the Senate never received the chance to ratify the Kigali Amendment. There has been no indication from the Trump Administration that they will send the amendment to the Senate to ratify. It will instead sit in purgatory.

Conclusion

It was after the failed EPA ruling and the stagnation on the Kigali Amendment that lobbyists began working on creating the bills we now have within the Senate and the House. This seems to be the only chance left to phase down HFC refrigerants across the country. I am still very skeptical of this working though folks. Yes, while the chances have improved now that there are two bills in both Houses there is still on very large obstacle in the way… Donald Trump.

I mean think about it for a moment. If Trump hasn’t backed Kigali and has instead sat on it for years… why in the world would he sign these HFC bills coming from the Houses? It doesn’t make sense. Perhaps their hope here is that by the time the bills have left the lower committees and are ready to began being voted on the Election would have occurred and a new President could be coming to the White House.

Otherwise, if Trump is elected again then there is no chance that this bill misses the veto… and that is if it even clears both Houses. If we want an HFC phase down in the near future within the United States then there are two possible ways. The first is through attrition. Pressure the manufacturers to switch to newer more climate friendly refrigerants. Then, over time, the HFCs will slowly fade away. We are already seeing this with R-134a in automobile applications. Ninety percent of the vehicles made in 2020 are using the climate friendly 1234yf. R-134a is dying slowly.

The other option, which is admittedly more messy, is having states come up with their own individual phase down policies. There are quite a few states that have already done this such as California, New York, and Washington. If enough states get on board then you will have that war of attrition again as manufacturers will be forced to switch to more climate friendly options. The downside here is you get a mish-mash of laws and regulations that vary by state. This can make it very difficult for businesses and manufacturers to operate in multiple states.

All that being said folks, I don’t have much hope in these bills moving forward. Even if they gather the votes they have that almighty veto to contend with. I’ve been wrong before though, so who knows for sure. If nothing happens this year then watch the election and see whom gets elected. If it’s a Democrat then we may yet see HFCs being phased down sometime in 2021.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Sources:

MRCOOL DIY Series Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner & Heat Pump

A friend of mine is approaching retirement. He has just a few years left and he is already making plans. One of these plans of his was to purchase a small cottage in the Ozarks. For those of you who aren’t from Kansas City, the Ozarks are a few hours south of here and are very similar to Appalachia. There are lots of forests, rivers, and hunting to be had. The place he purchased came with over thirty acres to play around with. The home though was rather small at only around twelve-hundred square feet. The home was also very old and did not have a central air conditioning system. There was an old window unit in the living room that did a mediocre job of cooling the home but it didn’t help for the winter months, it didn’t reach the bedrooms, and it needed to be replaced anyways.

He brought this up a few weeks ago when we were having a few and I told him to look into getting a ductless system. You see a ductless system can give you significantly more power then a standard window or mobile air conditioner. Along with the additional power it is much less of an eye sore. I didn’t see the old window unit that he had at his home but I can only imagine what it looked like. You’ve all seen them. Those old rusted looking units that look like they could fall at any moment. A ductless system mounts to your interior wall and to the outside of your home. You don’t lose a window. You don’t have to cut a huge hole in your wall to fit the wall unit. All you need is a three to four inch hole to fit the refrigerant lines through and you are good to go!

Personally, I am a big fan of ductless systems. Obviously, I am going to go with a central unit first if it’s possible, but if it’s not then I am going for the ductless. Yes they are more expensive but you are getting a better product too. In this article we are going to take an in-depth look at one of these ductless systems, MRCool Do-It-Yourself Smart Air Conditioner and Heater.

Please note that this will be a comprehensive review. I will try and cover everything including sizing requirements, installation, product features, the pros, and the cons. You can expect a lot of reading on your part but at the end you will definitely know what you are getting into and if this is the right product for you and your family.

Before You Buy

Ok folks so before we get into the features and the pros/cons of these air conditioners from MRCOOL I want to cover a few topics: Sizing and Installation. These sections are key for when you are shopping for a ductless system. The sizing allows you to accurately predict exactly what size air conditioner that you need and the install section will give you an idea of what to expect when the air conditioner arrives at your home.

Sizing

Before you buy we need to understand how sizing in air conditioning system works. It is not as simple as just picking the biggest and baddest model on the market. If you purchase a unit that is rated to cool one-thousand square feet and you put it in your one-hundred and fifty square feet office your air conditioner is going to have difficulty extracting the humidity from the air as well as evenly distributing the cooler air. The end result will be hot and cool spots throughout the room. That isn’t even mentioning the increased monthly cost to run a much larger machine then you needed in the first place. This will leave you feeling frustrated due to the hot and cool spots as well as paying more money per month then you should be.

Now, if we do the inverse of this scenario and buy a smaller air conditioner for a much larger area your unit will be running constantly all day and night just trying to keep up by cooling the larger square footage. This will result in the room not being as cold as it should be as well as significantly increasing the energy bills for running your AC non-stop. Remember folks, air conditioners are supposed to hit a desired temperature, turn off, and then turn back on when the temperature begins to rise. If they are running constantly that means higher bills as well as quicker parts failure on the unit.

To understand air conditioner sizing you need to understand British Thermal Units, or BTUs. If you have already been looking online or in stores you have probably noticed that window air conditioners always have a BTU number in their description. 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. Using that standard measurement let’s do some match based off of the 24,000 BTU rating example we pulled from earlier.

24,000 / 30 = 800 square feet

To ensure that you are buying the right sized air conditioner for your room it is best to measure it. To get the square footage of your room measure the width and depth of your room and then multiply the numbers together to get your square footage. As an example if you have a ten foot by eleven foot room you have one-hundred and ten square foot.

There are also other considerations when looking at your room. Yes, the size of the room definitely matters but these other scenarios could have a play into what kind of air conditioner you should purchase such as is the room sunny all day? How many people will be in the room at a time? How tall is the ceiling? Is the room in the kitchen or other hot appliance? All of these are signs that you need to increase the BTUs for your air conditioner.

The MRCOOL Ductless Systems come in a variety of sizes. To give you a better idea of what square footage they all fall under we’ve broken it down for you below. Just keep in mind folks that if you have some of the exceptions we mentioned above that you will need to increase the BTUs required.

Install

This product is marketed as a do-it-yourself project. While that is great and doing it yourself can save you a bundle when it comes to hiring a professional HVAC technician, you should know exactly what you are getting into before you purchase. Doing it yourself doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy and if you guess your way through it then you not only risk voiding your warranty but you could also end up harming yourself or others when it comes to the electrical work. If you do wish to install the unit yourself then please continue reading on exactly what will need to be done.

First, the good news is that everything is included in the kit including a detailed installation manual. This manual can also be found at the bottom of this article under our ‘Important Link’s section if you wish to view an online copy. It should be noted that this kit does NOT come with exterior mounting brackets and superficial coverings. If you wish to go this route you will have to purchase these extra. The right brackets and coverings though can easily be found on Amazon by clicking here for the brackets and here for the coverings. The coverings are more aesthetic then anything, but they can provide an extra bit of protection to your lines. It is up to you if you want the extra expense or not.MRCOOL DIY Series Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner & Heat Pump1

Now, for the install there are four main sections that will have to be done. The first two are the easiest. When you order this product you will receive an indoor section and an outdoor section. The outside section can either be mounted against your home using support brackets or it can be installed at ground level as long as you create a completely level floor pad. Most folks opt for the floor pad option as it is overall easier to install this way and if you have to do maintenance on the unit down the road you will have much easier access. Creating the floor pad can be done with bricks, cinder blocks, or even your own concrete pad.

The inside unit will need to be mounted up against an exterior wall. Some folks have done interior walls, and while yes it is possible… I would not recommend it. Remember, that once the interior section is mounted you will need to connect the refrigerant pipes and the condensation line to the outside unit. This is why it makes sense to have them on the other side of the wall.

When mounting the interior unit be sure to mount it high up against the wall, close to the ceiling. This is done for two main reasons. The first is that the fan or blower is located at the bottom of the unit. So, the higher the unit is mounted in the room the more easily the air can be distributed. If you have it towards the bottom of the room then all your cold air is blowing up against the floor. The other reason is the condensation line. This is where the water will drain through when excess humidity is removed from your home. This line is gravity fed so if your unit is floor level that water will have nowhere to go.

Alright folks so now we have the easy parts covered. The next point, and a tricky point for a lot of folks, is feeding the refrigerant and condensation lines through your home and connecting them to the exterior section. In order to do this you will need to cut a three and a half inch hole in the wall nearby where you have chosen to mount your interior unit. This is where you will feed the lines. When planning this out you should note that the MRCOOL unit comes with twenty-five feet of refrigerant line. To some this amount of piping is a blessing and to others a cruse. If you only have about ten feet needed then you have to be creative and find a way to ‘hide’ the other fifteen feet.

This unit from MRCOOL comes precharged with refrigerant. What that means is that the system is ready to go and no vacuuming or charging of the system is required. While this is a great pro it can also be a detriment as you have to be extra careful when routing these refrigerant lines through the hole and to the outside unit. Make no mistake, this is the hardest part of the install. You can NOT bend the lines. You can NOT cut or modify the tubing. If any of this occurs and a crack or leak forms in the tubing then all of the refrigerant will leak out and you will have a useless machine. If this does happen then you need to identify the source of the leak, patch it, and then charge your system again with refrigerant. You will most likely need a HVAC professional’s help in this scenario. But, hopefully it doesn’t come to this and you are very careful with the piping.

Once the tubing has been routed through the hole and both sections have been mounted you are now ready to seal the three and a half inch hole we made earlier. A lot of folks used weather proof insulation. I like the spray foam that expands. Either way, you need to seal this hole up to prevent drafts, water, and anything else from getting in there.

Alright folks, the last section of the install is the electrical portion. The twelve-thousand BTU unit requires a one-hundred and ten connection whereas the larger sizes require a two-hundred and twenty volt connection. Please note that regardless of what size of ductless system you choose it will have to be hardwired to your circuit box either through a one-hundred and ten or a two-hundred and twenty volt connection. Now, I’ll be completely honest with you here folks, I do not have much electrical expertise and it would be wrong for me to steer you a certain way for the install. From my research though I have found that you need a fifteen amp breaker for the smaller twelve-thousand unit and a twenty amp breaker for the larger sizes. Now, as to how to install these and connect them I am not knowledgeable enough to guide you. If you are not familiar with how to do this then I would recommend reaching out to an electrician once you have the unit itself setup and ready to go. It is best not to guess with electrical work and if you do it wrong then you risk voiding your warranty… not to mention harming yourself. Electricity is no joke.

Once you have finished the electrical work and everything else is done it is recommended by the manufacturer to run the air conditioner for ten to fifteen minutes and monitor the system for leaks. If the air conditioner passes then run the heater for ten to fifteen minutes as well. Note that the heater may take longer for it to truly start up so it may be best to let it run for a half-hour or so just to ensure everything is working as it should be. For any further questions or concerns when it comes to installation please click here to be taken to the official Mr Cool’s installation instructions. This should answer any questions that you have BEFORE you purchase.

Product Features

Now that we have the sizing and installation sections covered we can begin to look at exactly what these products from MRCOOL have to offer. The first and most important point here is to recognize the various modes that these units come with. Each mode is important and can help you in making your purchasing decision. These units come with an Auto mode, a Cool mode, a Fan mode, and a Dry mode (Dehumidifier). Let’s take a look at these:

  • Cool – This is your air conditioning mode and can cool your home all the way down to sixty-two degrees. Although most folks prefer temperatures between sixty-eight to seventy degrees. This cool mode will work to cool your home even when outside temperatures range from five degrees to one-hundred and twenty-two degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Heat – These units from MRCOOL also come with a full heating mode. What is most exciting about this feature though is that the heater’s BTUs are mostly aligned with the air conditioners BTUs. What I mean by this is that in other air conditioners/heater combos you see the air conditioner has a significantly higher BTU number then the heater. This results in a far less powerful heater and requires you to have supplemental heat in your home along with this heater. But, with these units from MRCOOL the heater is very close the air conditioner BTUs. This heater will also work at maximum capacity with temperatures as low as five degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below five degrees then the heater will work but it will see diminished capacity.
  • Auto – The auto mode is pretty self explanatory. This is similar to most homes with a central system that have an auto mode. All this does is determine if the heater or air conditioner needs to be on. It will actively monitor the temperature in the room and turn one of these on to reach your desired temperature level. This is more of a hands off approach. I’ve never been a fan of auto myself. I like to have ‘heat’ mode in the winter and ‘cool’ mode in the summer, but that’s just my personal preference.
  • Dry Mode – Dry mode is actually just a dehumidifier mode. This allows you to dehumidify your home without cooling your home. I’m not sure how often you would use this as the air conditioner itself is a dehumidifier as well and most of the time if you are trying to dehumidify then you needing to cool as well. This dehumidifier will work between the inside temperature range of fifty to ninety degrees Fahrenheit. Outside temperature range between thirty-two to one-hundred and twenty-two degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fan – The fan mode is just that. It is a fan without any cooling or heating effects. This is just the blower of the interior running and circulating air. This may be great to have if you have a fire in the fireplace and don’t necessarily want the heater on as well. The fan will help circulate the warm air without kicking that heater on.

Other Features

Along with your other basic modes that we mentioned above there are some other ancillary features that come with these Mr Cool air conditioners. These aren’t huge features but still good to know. The first is what’s known as the auto-restart. Let’s say for example it’s in the middle of summer and a bad storm rolls through the neighborhood and cuts power from your home. When power is restored at your home then your MRCOOL unit will turn back on and at the same settings it was at before. This is one less thing that you have to worry about resetting when your power comes back on.MRCOOL DIY Series Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner & Heat Pump1

Another neat feature is what’s known as ‘louver angle memory.’ What this means is that when your appliance is turned off and then turned back on it will automatically remember the angle of the louvers from when it was last shut off. This is similar to the power loss feature we mentioned above. It ensures consistency when powering on your air conditioner.

This next one will be very important for those of you who elect to install this product yourself. Remember how I said earlier that you had to be very careful with the refrigerant lines and that you were not to bend them? If worse comes to worse and you do get a leak in your system the MRCOOL unit will actually alert you of said leak. If a refrigerant leak is occurring you will get an ‘EC’ error message come up on the inside unit. As to how to find the leak that is a whole other story. I did an article on this topic a few years ago which can be found by clicking here.

This product from MRCOOL comes with a remote and built in WiFi. The WiFi allows you to connect your phone to the appliance through the MRCOOL application. From here you have your own personal remote on your phone that will allow you to adjust temperatures, modes, and any other settings you require. The remote gives you the same functions as the phone app does but is overall easier to operate.

There are two extra features though on the remote though that I want to point out. The first is what is known as the ‘Follow Me’ function. This option will actually have the MRCOOL appliance read the temperature in the room where the remote is. So, if you have the inside unit setup in your living room but the remote is in your kitchen then it will keep running until the desired temperature is reached within the kitchen. This is a handy feature as it will give you a degree of separation between the cold air blowing and the thermostat itself. Otherwise, you will have the thermostat right next to where the cold air is coming out.

The last feature I’ll mention here is what is known as ‘Sleep Mode.’ This sleep mode is only accessible through the remote. When this is turned on the product will slowly adjust the temperature up or down every hour depending on if it’s in cool or heat mode. It will hold these temperature for seven hours and when the time is up it will revert back to it’s previous programmed temperature. This is a great function for you folks who want to save on your energy bills.

Pros

A lot of the pros on this product we have already covered in our product feature section, so there may be some repetition here. The biggest pro on these MRCOOL products are the various modes and the capacity of these modes. What I mean by that is you have a fully functioning air conditioner and a fully functioning heater that can work in temperatures as low as five degrees and up to temperatures of one-hundred and twenty-two degrees. This product has you covered. The only exception I would say is that if  you live in the far north and experience temperatures way below zero routinely throughout the year. Otherwise, this unit can handle whatever you throw at it.

The other big pro here is the warranty on the unit. These products come with a five year parts replacement warranty. Along with this you also get a seven year replacement warranty on the compressor. This keeps you covered in case of any your parts fail. The extra two years on the compressor is great as well as compressors are some of the most commonly failed parts when it comes to air conditioning. This warranty is much better then the competition. If you look at the Pioneer ductless system you will only find a two year parts warranty. Quite the difference if you ask me.

This warranty is NOT voided if you install this unit yourself. Remember folks, this is a do-it-yourself product. The only caveat here is that if you guess you way through the electrical work then you could void the warranty. If you are unsure on how to do the electrical connection then I would hire a professional to ensure you warranty stays in tact. For more on MRCOOL’s warranty click here to be taken to their official warranty page.MRCOOL DIY Series Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner & Heat Pump1

The last pro I want to mention here is the overall volume of the unit. For those of you who have experience with window units you will know just how loud they can get during operation. You will not have this problem with this ductless system. No, these units are extremely quiet. In fact many folks don’t even realize the machine is on. It is that quiet.

Cons

We are now ready for the cons of this ductless system. Before I get into this though I first want to state that overall this is a great product and the cons I mention below are similar to what you find with other ductless systems. The big con here, especially on this MRCOOL system, is the expense. These units are very expensive, especially compared to some of the competing lines like the Pioneer model we mentioned in our pros section. The difference though is that with the MRCOOL brand you are getting a fully functioning heater whereas with the Pioneer you don’t get that same function. You also have less heater operating temperature range with the Pioneer unit. So, while this is more expensive you are getting more product and a higher quality product.

The other big con here is the install. Now this can be said with any ductless system. Do not be fooled, these are not an easy install. You have to mount both units. You have to feed the lines through… and you have to create a three and a half inch hole in your exterior wall. On top of all of that you have to connect it directly to your circuit breaker. Do you feel comfortable with all of that? If so, then this won’t be a big deal at all. But, if you are not then you either may want to hire a professional to help with the install or purchase a window or mobile unit that is much easier to just plug-in and go. The problem with the window/mobile units though is that their capacity is much lower and they are an eyesore.

The last few cons I want to mention are somewhat minor but still deserve to be mentioned. Some folks have stated problems with leaking refrigerant. While this can be a huge problem and will cause your unit not to work… it is most likely caused by poor install. They most likely bent the pipes or did something else to cause a fracture in the pipes which caused the refrigerant to leak out. Just be careful during install and follow the directions carefully. If you do this then you shouldn’t have this problem.

Remember the ‘follow me’ function we mentioned earlier? There were a few reviews that stated this wasn’t working properly. I only saw this a few times during my research, but the complaint was that the follow me function would try to reach the desired temperature through heat and cool in a back and forth fashion. In other words, if the temperature was set to seventy-two then cool would kick on to get it down to seventy-two… but then it accidentally goes down to seventy-one, so then the heater kicks on to get it back to seventy-two and then that accidentally goes to seventy-three. And so on and so on. This didn’t seem to be a prevalent complaint though so I don’t know much stock I would put into this.

The last con here is that some of the ductless systems are what’s known as a multi-zone system. This means that you can have one outdoor unit and multiple indoor units to cool your home in different rooms. These MRCOOL systems are NOT multi-zone. You only have one indoor unit and that is all you can have. If you need more then one then you will have to purchase the entire machine again.

Conclusion

Alright folks so we have gone through sizing, installation, features, pros, cons, and everything else there is to possibly know about this product. Bottom line is that this is a great product and will definitely do its job of cooling your home, garage, loft, workshop, or whatever other area you are looking at this for. But, don’t just take my word for it. If we look at Amazon.com we can see that this MRCOOL product has over two-hundred reviews on it all with an average rating of four and a half stars. That is the equivalent of a ninety percent approval rating. It is a solid product. If you’d like to purchase this unit please click here to be taken to our Amazon partner.

One last point of note here is that we here at RefrigerantHQ are not responsible for the install of this unit. If you purchase this product the installation process will be solely on you or a hired professional. If you are unsure on what to do rather it be through routing the refrigerant lines or doing electrical work then it is always best practice to contact a professional. You know what they say, it is always better to be safe then sorry.

Thanks for reading and I hope this review was helpful,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Important Links

It is amazing to me just how much damage water can do to your home or place of business. It could be from excess humidity in your room, or from water coming in from your windows, or water leaking into your home from your roof, or even a flood. Whatever the reason was one thing is certain: Having excess water or humidity in your home can cause a whole host of problems.

In the more mild case where the humidity levels are too high in your home or business then you could be looking at the possible build up of allergens throughout your home. You see the optimal humidity for us ranges between forty to sixty percent. Anything below forty percent and you risk dry and cracking skin along with increased rate of infections. Anything higher then that sixty percent threshold then you are looking at growth of dust mites, fungus, and even mold. If a room or home has high humidity that is unchecked for a long period of time you will begin to see mold growing on the floor, walls, and even on clothes or blankets. These allergens can cause havoc on people’s allergies and this is compounded even more if the affected person suffers from asthma as well.

These allergens are the side effects of excess humidity and also excess water. Remember folks, all humidity is just water vapor in the air. You can experience the same type of mold problems if you have a routinely damp area or an area that has standing water. A prime example of this would be a basement that has a crack in the foundation. The crack allows water to get in and this water sits there stagnant on your basement floor. This will significantly increase the humidity of the room and can cause mold growth.

So, not only can unwanted water in your home or business cause allergen growth they can also cause very direct effects to your home such as severe water damage to your furniture, walls, floors, and overall structure of your building. When something catastrophic like this happens you need a way to get rid of the water and get rid of that water fast. This folks is where the Colzer CFT4.0D comes in handy. In this article we are going to take a look at the commercial/industrial dehumidifier CFT4.0D from Colzer. Is it the right fit for you? Or, should you be looking at a different option? Let’s find out!

Sizing

Before we get into the features of this product I first want to discuss sizing your dehumidifier. I mentioned it just a bit ago, but I’ll bring it up again. This Colzer CFT4.0D is an industrial or commercial dehumidifier. In other words, this is meant to be used in larger buildings or in the event of a flood or other water event at the building. Now, there is nothing wrong with using this unit in your home. In fact, if you do use this in your basement or other area you can rest easy knowing that you’ll never have a humidity problem again. But, there is such a thing as overkill… and I don’t want you to spend your money on this unit if you could get away with a smaller sized dehumidifier.Colzer CFT4.0D 232 Pint Commercial Dehumidifier

This unit from Colzer is rated up to eight-thousand square feet. First let’s think about that for a moment. A typical home today is anywhere between fifteen-hundred to twenty-five-hundred square feet. So, this product is rated more triple the square footage of a standard home. Whatever you have in mind for this unit rather it be in your basement, a workshop, a small warehouse, an office, or even an IT server room… this will get the job done.

If you are still on the fence though if this unit is for you then there is one more consideration that needs to be weighed over. That is the overall dampness or wetness of the room or area that you are trying to dehumidify. Let’s say for example you have a very large area of three-thousand square feet that you need to treat. The seventy pint models from Colzer, and from other manufacturers, are rated to treat up to four-thousand square feet. So, it looks like this would work, right?

Well that depends on the room itself. Is there just a musty or damp smell coming from the room? Are there any signs of standing water? If it’s just a smell that you are experiencing then you most likely will be able to use the seventy pint model with success. However, if you have standing water in the room then this room can be considered wet or very wet. Wet rooms require far more power to dehumidify. So, even the seventy pint unit is rated for four-thousand square feet you have to realize that rating is based off of a damp and not a wet room.

If the room is wet then you will need to go up a size to ensure that the job gets done and that it gets done right. Now, I’m not sure if you would need the full two-hundred and thirty-two pint model, but perhaps the one-hundred and forty model would get the job done in the scenario we mentioned above. The ultimate decision if you purchase an industrial dehumidifier or a more standard one is up to you. In the case of the this CFT4.0D model from Terex it can remove up to two-hundred and thirty-two points per twenty-four hour period. That is the equivalent of twenty-nine gallons per day. This is the ‘big dog’ on the marketplace folks.

Product Features

Alright folks so now we can move onto the meat and potatoes of this article, the product features. In this section we will look at the various features and what you can expect if you purchase this product. The first, and obviously most important, is the humidity controls and display. When viewing the machine’s digital display you will see two main numbers. The first is the overall humidity in the room. The second is the current temperature of the room. Both of these will allow you to gauge the room that you are in.

Once you have determined the humidity you want the room to be at you can customize it using the up or down controls. The range of this dehumidifier humidity level is between ten to ninety-eight percent. Now, I don’t know if you know this folks but that ten percent number is very impressive. I’ve been writing articles on dehumidifiers for months now and that is the very first time I have seen a number that low. Just remember that for humans the best humidity level is between forty to sixty percent. The ten percent may be desirable though for certain business or storage requirements.Colzer CFT4.0D 232 Pint Commercial Deh

Something else remarkable about this product is the actual setting of your desired humidity. In most cases when you adjust the percent up or down they move in increments of five. With this product from Colzer you are able to set your desired humidity level by the exact percentage point. So, if you want a humidity of thirty-seven percent then you can set it.

The CFT4.0D will work in rooms with a temperature range of forty-one to ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit. That is between five to thirty-five Celsius for you folks across the pond. There is also what’s known as a ‘smart humidity setting.’ This will allow the dehumidifier to automatically turn off once the desired humidity level has been reached. Then, if the humidity rises in the room, the dehumidifier will kick back on until the desired level is reached again. This prevents the machine from running constantly and it will save you on energy costs.

Now that we’ve got the most important feature out of the way lets take a look at some of the smaller additions to this product. The first is what’s known as the auto-restart feature. If your power goes out due to a thunderstorm then you do not have to worry about resetting your dehumidifier once the power comes back on. Not only will the product turn back on when power is restored but it will actually remember the settings you had on it before the power loss occurred.

There is also a timer function on this dehumidifier. This timer will allow you to set a specific time that you want the unit to start or that you want the unit to turn off. This is great if you only want to run the unit at night or during the day. You can adjust the time by the hour all the way up to twenty-four hours.

Most smaller dehumidifiers come with what is known as a water tank. Water tanks are a reservoir to store the water in that the dehumidifier removes from the room. Once the water tank is full it can be pulled out from the dehumidifier and then emptied into a nearby sink or drain. Since this two-hundred plus pint unit is so large it does NOT have a water tank that comes with it. This is important to note as the only way you will be able to drain the water from this machine is with the drainage hose that comes with the appliance. This hose is just over three feet long and is gravity fed so you will not be able to route the water to upwards. This may be a deciding factor for a lot of folks when purchasing.

Did you know that dehumidifiers are just like air conditioners? In fact they are so alike that the only main difference between the two appliances is that there is a heater that comes with dehumidifiers. This heater warms the air back up after the refrigeration cycle has completed. Besides that, they are exactly the same. The product we are discussing today uses the HFC R-410A refrigerant. That is the same refrigerant that is most likely in your outside air conditioner.

Now, just like air conditioners, dehumidifiers can freeze up. This occurs when ice or frost begins to accumulate on the evaporator coils. If left unchecked this can cause the entire machine to shut down and no longer operate. Luckily, this Colzer appliance comes with what is known as ‘auto defrost.’ The auto defrost will recognize when frost begins to build up. When frost is found the machine will shut itself down and leave only the heater and the blower on. This will melt the frost and ice to prevent future issues. Once the ice has been melted the rest of the machine kicks back on and you are dehumidifying again.

Only a standard one-hundred and ten volt outlet will be required to operate this appliance. That is a good fact to know as most of the time with these larger models you can begin to run into the two-hundred and twenty volt outlets. Having the one-hundred ten on this large of a unit is great as it allows for maximum versatility. You are not limited by specialized outlets.

Transporting the product shouldn’t be too difficult either. While it is heavy at over one-hundred pounds it does come with two eight inch wheels on the back of it. There is also a handle on the top of the machine. Using the handle and the wheels the dehumidifier is almost treated like a dolly. You are able to walk it up or down the stairs without much trouble. When transporting though be sure that the machine is standing upright the entire time. Tipping or flipping dehumidifiers will result in machine failure. The last feature I want to mention is the metal housing. The entire unit is protected by metal to ensure that no damage is done to it during transport or use. This will ensure the longevity of your product.

Pros

As I mentioned earlier, this dehumidifier can work on rooms or spaces of up to eight-thousand square feet. Think about that for a second… that is a ton of square footage. My entire home is only twenty-three hundred square feet. When most people purchase a dehumidifier they are typically trying to remove excess moisture from their basement or a floor within their home. In these cases they can get away with using a seventy pint or even a thirty-five pint model.

This unit from Colzer is two-hundred and thirty-two pints… more then triple the size of the traditional seventy pint. You are getting a ton of power if you purchase this product. I could see this unit being used in a large open office or commercial building. Or, in an area that isn’t quite as large but that is extremely wet. Remember earlier how I had discussed how the dampness/wetness of the room can determine what size of unit you need? Let’s say for example you are trying to dehumidify a three-thousand square foot basement that is extremely wet. There is significant standing water. A seventy pint unit will most likely struggle with this job while a one-hundred and forty will do just fine.

Both the one-hundred and forty and the two-hundred and thirty-two pint options from Colzer are great products, you just need to make sure that a dehumidifier this large is right for you. I’d hate for you to waste your money on buying too much appliance.

The other big selling point here is the warranty on this product. When I visited Colzer’s site on I saw that they offered a two year warranty. Yes, two years. Now I have been reviewing dehumidifiers for the past four months now and I have to say that is one of the best warranties that I have seen on the marketplace. There isn’t much out there that can match it. And, on top of their warranty, Colzer offers a sixty day money back guarantee. So, if something goes wrong during delivery or if the product fails after the first month you can get your money back. I have heard nothing but good talk about their customer service. If you need to get a hold of them you can e-mail them at service@colzer.com

Cons

Overall this is a very high quality product. You are getting a premium dehumidifier if you purchase this unit from Colzer. That being said , with a premium product comes a premium price. This dehumidifier from Colzer is by far the one of the most expensive units I have seen on the marketplace. It is easily double the price of some of the smaller models. As I stated in our sizing section earlier in this article, I would only purchase this product if you are absolutely sure that you need a unit this large. Could the job get done with a seventy pint unit instead? If so, I’d opt for that and save yourself a few hundred dollars. But, if you really do need to dehumidify an area between four to six-thousand square feet then this is your product!

The other con is the so called ‘upside down’ con. Nearly all of the complaints that I read on this dehumidifier were towards the delivery of the product. Remember before how we stated that dehumidifiers are very similar to air conditioners and refrigerators? Well, just like with refrigerators you cannot turn or ship a dehumidifier upside down.

Earlier this year I was helping my father move a refrigerator and we were very careful not to tilt it too far. The reason for this is if the refrigerator or dehumidifier is upside down or tilted too far then the oil can drain out of the compressor. Without proper lubrication your compressor will fail and the compressor is by far one of the most important components of your air conditioner, refrigerator, or dehumidifier. Many folks have reported premature failures of their dehumidifiers… but this is most likely due to them turning on the product right away after it being upside down. If the product did arrive upside down then turn it right side up and then wait for quite a while, maybe even a day. Then, start your dehumidifier up and you shouldn’t have any issues.

It also may be best practice to wait a day or two before turning on your new dehumidifier. The product may come to your home right side up, but who is to know if it was like that earlier that day. Always better to be safe then sorry. The good news here though is that if your dehumidifier does end up not working after a few weeks or months Frigidaire offers a one year warranty. Through my research I had found cases where Colzer offered a complete replacement product. It’s good to know you’ll be protected here.

Conclusion

Alright ladies and gentlemen I believe we have covered nearly everything there is to review on this product from Colzer. We discussed the sizing requirements for dehumidifiers, the various features this unit has, and all of the pros and cons that you can expect. As I had mentioned earlier, this would be a product that I would recommend only IF you need that much power. I do not want you spending more money then you should if you could have saved a bundle and bought a smaller sized unit. The story is pretty much the same on Amazon.com. There are over fifty customer reviews on this product and they all have an average rating of four and a half stars out of five. That is the equivalent of a ninety percent approval rating. That’s pretty damn good if you ask me.

If you’d like to purchase this unit then please click here to be taken to our Amazon partner’s product page. Otherwise, if you find that you need to do additional reading or need a different dehumidifier entirely please check out our dehumidifier buyer’s guide by clicking here. This guide will take you through everything you would ever need to know about dehumidifiers. We go into sizing requirements, what features to look for, and many other topics.

Thanks for reading and I hope this review was helpful,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Important Links:

The humidity levels in your home are not something that a lot of folks think about often. But, if a humidity problem is left unchecked then a whole host of issues can pop-up. The ideal humidity temperature for us and our families is between forty to sixty percent. If you end up going lower then forty percent humidity then your skin can become dry and cracked. In extreme cases of low humidity your respiratory tract can begin to dry out. This can lead to coughing and can also make you susceptible to more sicknesses such as viral infections like the flu.

On the other side of the coin, if your humidity levels are too high then a whole new list of problems can occur. When humidity levels climb above sixty percent that means that you have excess moisture in your home, basement, or other building. Areas with too much moisture can be prime breeding grounds for a host of allergens such as dust mites, fungus, and even mold. If left unchecked these allergens can begin to take root and spread throughout your home. In mild cases this can lead to typical allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, congestion, or runny nose. In more extreme cases this can lead to breathing problems for you or those within your home. If you have an asthma sufferer who lives with you then this problem is compounded.

So, how do you know if you room has excess moisture? Well folks there are a couple of signs to look for. The first is a damp or musty smell that you notice while in the room. The best example I know of for this is if you walk into your basement and notice that damp smell hit you. This is a sign of high humidity levels. The good news though is that if it is just the smell that you encounter then the problem is not too bad… yet. Check the windows of the room that you are in. Do you see water droplets forming on the inside of the windows? This is another indicator and this can also signify that your problem is more extreme. In the worst cases, when you look around the room do you see puddles of standing water?

This stagnant standing water can not only mess up the carpet and furniture in your room but it is also a breeding spot for allergens. It has to be taken care of right away before they can get a foothold. This is where a dehumidifier comes in handy. Dehumidifiers do just that, they remove the excess moisture from your room and get you to the targeted humidity level you input. In this article we are going to take an in-depth look at the one-hundred and forty pint dehumidifier PD582A from Colzer. We will look at the various features, the pros, and the cons. Hopefully, by the end of this article you have a pretty firm grasp if this is the right product for you.

Sizing

Now before we get into the details of this product I want to spend some time on the sizing requirements for dehumidifiers. If you feel you already know what size you need then feel free to skip this section. This particular dehumidifier from Colzer comes in the one-hundred and forty pint size. That means it can remove up to one-hundred and forty pints of water from the room it is in over a twenty-four hour period. This size is one of the LARGEST dehumidifiers out there today. It is rated to work in rooms up to six-thousand square feet. Think about that size for a moment folks. Six-thousand square feet is more then twice the size of the average house.Colzer 140 Pint Dehumidifier

In my opinion a lot of folks are not going to need a dehumidifier this large. If it was me and I was looking for a product for my home I would go with either the seventy or the thirty pint models from Colzer. Colzer is a great brand and you still get the same quality you would with this one-hundred and forty pint model. My review on the thirty and seventy pint model can be found by clicking here.

All that being said, there is a consideration that will have to be factored before you buy. How damp or wet is the room you are looking to treat? The answer to this question will help you in deciding what size unit you need. Let’s say for example you have a thirty-three hundred square foot commercial space you are trying to dehumidify. If this area is just a little damp and there is no standing water then you can probably get away with purchasing the seventy pint model. However, if this same room has areas of standing water and can be rated as ‘very wet’ then you may in fact need this one-hundred and forty pint model.

While the seventy pint model is rated up to four-thousand square feet you have to realize that square footage maximum is made with the assumption that you are using it in a damp room and not a wet room. So, while the seventy pint may be rated for four-thousand square feet that is only in best case scenarios. If you have a very wet room then you will need a more powerful unit to resolve the excess humidity.

The last thing I want to mention before I get into the product features section is that running a dehumidifier in affected area is not a miracle worker. If you have excess humidity and water in the area then a dehumidify will remove it… but it will not prevent it. Look at it this way, let’s say you have water pooling in your basement. That water is coming in from a crack at the top of your foundation. Running a dehumidifier will remove the water but it will not fix the source of the problem. The crack is still there and more water will come in. Just be cognizant of that when you purchase… the dehumidifier treats the symptoms, it is not the cure.

Product Features

Ok folks so now we are into the meat and potatoes of this product. In this section we’ll look at every feature there is and then move onto our pros and cons section. The first and most important feature I want to touch on is the humidity settings and controls. You can set your desired humidity level on this machine easily by navigating to the ‘humidity control’ button. From here you can adjust to your desired humidity level by five percent increments. This machine from Colzer has a humidity range between thirty to eighty percent. This product can operate in temperatures ranging from forty-one degrees to ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit. (That’s five to thirty-five degrees Celsius for those of you across the pond.) The current humidity and temperature are digitally displayed on this product’s control panel as well.

Some of the other more miscellaneous features are that this product comes with are two fan speeds. When you first start your unit be sure to turn the fan to the highest setting. This will lower the humidity in your room the fastest. Once your humidity has been lowered you will then be able to lower the fan speed and maintain the current humidity setting. Another option is known as the ‘timer.’ This allows you to program the dehumidifier to turn off or to turn on after a set amount of time has passed. This can be handy when you only want to run the unit at night while you are sleeping or during the day while you are at work. The timer can be adjusted in one hour increments all the way up to twenty-four hours.

In case there is a power loss at your home or office this product comes with an auto-restart feature. So, when your power comes back on your dehumidifier will turn right back on to the same settings it had before the power was cut. That is one less thing you have to reset once your power comes back on. I always hate changing the clocks back…

These next two features are interesting and are not commonly found on other dehumidifiers. The first is the child lock function. If you set this, by holding the button for three seconds, then no other functions can be selected or modified on the machine. This gives you that extra security that if your child does come across the machine they will not change the settings you have chosen. Although, I still wouldn’t let your children near the machine as it will be either full of water or draining water and if they tip it over a mess can occur.COLZER PD582A 140 Pints Commercial Dehumidifier

The next unique feature is known as ‘Dry Clothes’ mode. Yes, you can actually dry your clothes with this dehumidifier. All you need to do is hang up the washed clothes in a small room such as a laundry room or bathroom. Bring the dehumidifier in and set it to a humidity value of thirty percent and change the mode to ‘Dry Clothes.’ Leave the dehumidifier running and then in about six to eight hours your clothes will be dry! I’m not sure how often this will be used here in the United States… this seems more like a European function, but to each their own I guess.

For those of you that do not know, a dehumidifier is actually just a small air conditioner. They work exactly the same as an air conditioner, the only real difference you will notice is that the dehumidifiers come with a built in heater at the end of this process. This heater warms the air that is pushed back into your room. Have you ever noticed that with your central air conditioner there is a hose coming out of it leading to the drain? That is there to drain the water that accumulates from your air conditioning removing humidity. They are very similar machines.

Just like air conditioners, dehumidifiers have a chance of freezing over. Basically, during normal operating process the evaporator coils can begin to accumulate frost or ice. If left unchecked this ice can grow and eventually stop the evaporator from working. The good news is that in the case of this unit from Colzer it comes with an auto-defrost feature. This function will recognize when ice begins to build on the coils and shut down the refrigerant process. It will instead only run the blower and the heater. This will eventually melt the ice and prevent a system freeze up. Once the ice has melted the dehumidifier will start back up normal operating procedures. Also, just for your reference, this dehumidifier uses the common HFC R-410A refrigerant. This is the same refrigerant that is found in modern day central air conditioning systems.

Remember folks, this is a very large dehumidifier and with a large product like this one you will need a large water tank. This PD582A model comes with a seventeen pint water tank. That is the equivalent of eight liters or just over two gallons of water that it can hold at one time. I don’t know if I would let it get that full though as that may be difficult to pull out, carry, and empty into a sink. Two gallons can get heavy! The good news is that if you do forget to empty this water tank that the dehumidifier will shut itself off if the tank is full. This will prevent an overflow of water onto your floor.

If you don’t like having to empty the tank again and again then there is another option you can look into. This is known as the continuous drainage option. If you purchase this unit you will also receive a six and a half foot drain hose attachment. This can be screwed into the water tank. This will then drain the water into a nearby drain or sink. It should be noted though that this is a gravity fed hose… so you can not drain the dehumidifier to a sink that is above it. The drain will have to be lower then the dehumidifier.

The last few features I want to mention is that this unit comes with rollers, or wheels, on the bottom of it to make for easy transport. But, if you have to take the product up and down stairs you won’t have to worry too much as the entire thing only weighs about fifty pounds. Just be sure to empty the tank before moving as a full tank will add a lot of weight when carrying it around.

Pros

The big selling point on this PD582A from Colzer is the overall size and the capacity it can handle. As I mentioned earlier, this dehumidifier can work on rooms or spaces of up to six-thousand square feet. Think about that for a second… that is a ton of square footage. My entire home is only twenty-three hundred square feet. When most people purchase a dehumidifier they are typically trying to remove excess moisture from their basement or a floor within their home. In these cases they can get away with using a seventy pint or even a thirty-five pint model.

This unit from Colzer is one-hundred and forty pints… double the size of the traditional seventy pint. You are getting a ton of power if you purchase this product. I could see this PD582A unit being used in a large open office or commercial building. Or, in an area that isn’t quite as large but that is extremely wet. Remember earlier how I had discussed how the dampness/wetness of the room can determine what size of unit you need? Let’s say for example you are trying to dehumidify a three-thousand square foot basement that is extremely wet. There is significant standing water. A seventy pint unit will most likely struggle with this job while the one-hundred and forty will do just fine.

The same can be said with even larger rooms. Believe it or not, there is an even larger sized dehumidifier out there from Colzer. Yes, the CFT4.0D comes in at two-hundred and thirty-two pints and can work in rooms up to eight-thousand square feet. Both the one-hundred and forty and the two-hundred and thirty-two pint are great products, you just need to make sure that a dehumidifier this large is right for you. I’d hate for you to waste your money on buying too much appliance.

The other big selling point here is the warranty on this product. When I visited Colzer’s site on I saw that they offered a two year warranty. Yes, two years. Now I have been reviewing dehumidifiers for the past four months now and I have to say that is one of the best warranties that I have seen on the marketplace. There isn’t much out there that can match it. And, on top of their warranty, Colzer offers a sixty day money back guarantee. So, if something goes wrong during delivery or if the product fails after the first month you can get your money back. I have heard nothing but good talk about their customer service. If you need to get a hold of them you can e-mail them at service@colzer.com

Cons

Overall this is a very high quality product. You are getting a premium dehumidifier if you purchase this unit from Colzer. That being said , with a premium product comes a premium price. This dehumidifier from Colzer is by far the one of the most expensive units I have seen on the marketplace. It is easily double the price of some of the smaller models. As I stated in our sizing section earlier in this article, I would only purchase this product if you are absolutely sure that you need a unit this large. Could the job get done with a seventy pint unit instead? If so, I’d opt for that and save yourself a few hundred dollars. But, if you really do need to dehumidify an area between four to six-thousand square feet then this is your product!

The other con is the so called ‘upside down’ con. Nearly all of the complaints that I read on this dehumidifier were towards the delivery of the product. Remember before how we stated that dehumidifiers are very similar to air conditioners and refrigerators? Well, just like with refrigerators you cannot turn or ship a dehumidifier upside down.

Earlier this year I was helping my father move a refrigerator and we were very careful not to tilt it too far. The reason for this is if the refrigerator or dehumidifier is upside down or tilted too far then the oil can drain out of the compressor. Without proper lubrication your compressor will fail and the compressor is by far one of the most important components of your air conditioner, refrigerator, or dehumidifier. Many folks have reported premature failures of their dehumidifiers… but this is most likely due to them turning on the product right away after it being upside down. If the product did arrive upside down then turn it right side up and then wait for quite a while, maybe even a day. Then, start your dehumidifier up and you shouldn’t have any issues.

It also may be best practice to wait a day or two before turning on your new dehumidifier. The product may come to your home right side up, but who is to know if it was like that earlier that day. Always better to be safe then sorry. The good news here though is that if your dehumidifier does end up not working after a few weeks or months Frigidaire offers a one year warranty. Through my research I had found cases where Colzer offered a complete replacement product. It’s good to know you’ll be protected here.

Conclusion

Well folks that about covers it for the Colzer PD582A one-hundred and forty point dehumidifier. It is a solid product that will definitely get the job done… you’ve just got to keep in mind the size of this unit and determine if this you need a product this large or if you should stick with a more traditional seventy pint unit. If you do decide to go with this unit you can be assured that you’ll be getting your money’s worth. But hey, don’t just take my word on it. If we look at Amazon.com we can see that there are over thirty reviews that average a rating of four and a half out of five stars. That equates to a ninety percent approval rating. Pretty damn good if you ask me.

If you’d like to purchase this unit then please click here to be taken to our Amazon partner’s product page. Otherwise, if you find that you need to do additional reading or need a different dehumidifier entirely please check out our dehumidifier buyer’s guide by clicking here. This guide will take you through everything you would ever need to know about dehumidifiers. We go into sizing requirements, what features to look for, and many other topics.

Thanks for reading and I hope this review was helpful,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Important Links:

Christmas is next week and then the week after is New Years. That leaves us with less then two weeks until the Environmental Protection Agency’s phaseout of R-22 goes into effect. The phaseout, effective January 1st, 2020, prevents any new manufacturing or importing of R-22 into the United States. The only way to purchase R-22 from then on will be through certified EPA refrigerant reclaimers or through refrigerant distributors who have stock piled R-22 in anticipation of the phaseout.

As you all know, this phaseout has been ten years in the making. It all started back in 2010 with the initial launch. There was a second wave of more restrictions that hit in 2015 and now it all comes to a head in a few weeks. In this article I’m going to review the past on R-22, the present, and the future. Why not… I mean it is around Christmas! I promise though, that the ghost of R-22 future won’t be frightening.

R-22 Past

The news of an impending phaseout even if it is ten years in the future can do a lot of strange things to the product’s price. In the first few years after the staggered phaseout began in 2010 there wasn’t too much of an impact on price, but as the years wore on the price of R-22 began to climb. This was due to the phaseout coming closer but it was mainly due to speculators.

Speculators or investors are folks who are either in the industry, or from outside the industry. Whatever their background is, they saw an opportunity from the R-22 phaseout. In the early stages of the phaseout R-22 was used everywhere in a variety of applications. You could find them in offices, homes, factories, and even ice rinks. It had been one of the most common refrigerants in the world. So, if this ever popular refrigerant is going to be phased out in a couple of years… why not try to grab a piece of that pie? After all, if you can get in while the price is still low and then hold onto your inventory you should be able to make a decent profit once the price climbs.

In the initial stages we saw pricing on R-22 average between two-hundred to three-hundred dollars for a thirty pound cylinder. This price more or less stayed the same from 2010-2015. There were some ups and downs here and there but it typically stabilized once the season was over. It was in 2015 that we really began to see the prices rise. This was due to the new import and manufacturing restrictions that went effect but also due to the speculation. At this point we were only five years away and a lot of folks who were sitting on their hands decided to jump in and get some inventory for themselves.

That price of two-hundred to three-hundred slithered away. Instead we saw the price averaging between three-hundred to four-hundred dollars for a thirty pound cylinder. When the summer of 2015 ended folks were hoping that the price would gradually lower during the off season, but the demand kept up even during the winter months. When 2016 hit we saw the prices rise even higher to an average range of four-hundred to five-hundred dollars.

That wasn’t the worst of it though folks. No, 2017 is when we really began to see the prices on R-22 grow to astronomical proportions. The prices ranged between seven-hundred to eight-hundred dollars a cylinder. These were the prices that all of these prospectors were hoping for. This is where true profit could be made. All those folks who bought up at that three or four-hundred dollar range could now sell for double what they bought it for.

Many companies saw this high price and thought that it could only go higher. One such example, Hudson Technologies, bought up millions of dollars worth of R-22 in anticipation of an even steeper price climb. There was a problem though folks. Just like with any market, if the price of the genuine product is too high then alternatives will be developed. The R-22 market was no different. Homeowners and business owners did not want to pay this extraordinary high price just to recharge their systems.R-22 Pricing Chart

While the speculators were buying up R-22 and hoping for the increase there was another group of business folks working to provide cheaper alternatives to R-22. As I am writing this article there are now over one-hundred R-22 alternatives out there. All of them have their own pros and cons. Some of them require a full retrofit of the system and others barely require any changes. The main goal of all of these alternatives though was to be cheaper then the standard R-22.  With the high R-22 prices in 2017 alternatives flourished.

“As the inventory of R-22 diminishes in the future, it is logical to expect that prices will increase.  Fortunately, R-22 retrofit products, such as MO99 and NU22B, have been working very well in existing equipment for more than 10 years.” – Chuck Allgood Refrigerants Technology Leader at The Chemours Company

Pairing the huge amount of stock speculators were sitting on with the mass of alternatives available the price began to trend downwards. It started towards the end of 2017. Many folks thought that the off season would cause prices to drop but that it would rebound right back up when 2018’s spring started. Boy were they wrong. The 2018 year saw an average price range between four-hundred and five-hundred dollars. The price kept on crashing. There was so much stock on hand and now that the price was going down people panicked and started selling all of their inventory to unload their burden. This caused the pricing to go even lower. For a real life example of this look up the stock prices of Hudson Technologies over the past five years. You can definitely see when R-22 hit it’s peak in 2017 and when the market crashed shortly there after.

In 2019 we saw a price range of two-hundred to three-hundred dollars. This was back to 2014 levels! You can really see this illustration in the chart that I’ve attached for this section. It definitely paints a picture of just how fast the prices rose and how fast they fell. I also did my best here to give you a prediction of what we will see in the coming years on R-22 pricing. The 2020, 2021, and 2022 numbers are predictions though, so take them with a grain of salt.

R-22 Present

Alright folks, so now that the past is in the past let’s take a look at what the R-22 market looks like today. This section won’t be as near as big as the others but it’s worth looking into to understand exactly where we are at today. The first thing I want to mention is the current market price. I had touched on this earlier, but today if you were to purchase R-22 you can expect to pay between two-hundred to three-hundred dollars a cylinder. It all depends on who you buy from. During my research this week I’ve seen prices ranging as low as two-hundred and twenty-five dollars a cylinder upwards to two-hundred and ninety-five dollars a cylinder. A typical HVAC contractor can expect to pay right around that three-hundred dollar mark, but don’t be surprised if some are paying around three-hundred and fifty dollars.

The other point to make here is that overall demand for R-22 is down compared to previous years. This is mainly due to the aging of the machines that are out there. Since no new machines could be manufactured at or after 2010 the age of an R-22 machine is at least ten years old. In some cases manufacturers saw this phase out coming and stopped using R-22 before 2010. So, your R-22 unit could even be twelve years or older. The point here is that these machines are starting to die. A typical traditional split system will last anywhere between fifteen to twenty years. We are already quickly approaching the lifespan of these R-22 units… so as to be expected, the demand is down.

Since this is a losing battle and the demand is going to be shrinking with each passing year we are already seeing major companies remove themselves from the R-22 market. A major manufacturer of refrigerants, which I won’t name here, has already removed themselves from the R-22 market. It’s not just them though folks, in the past six months multiple wholesalers have removed themselves from selling R-22. The demand isn’t there and it just isn’t worth their time to stock the product.

So, in just a few weeks we have a product that is phased out across the United States. (You can still purchase it as long as you can find a distributor or a reclaimer.) You also have the demand for this product shrinking and shrinking with each passing year. This R-22 product also has reclaimed cylinders available as well as over a hundred different alternatives. The question now though, is what does the future hold for R-22?

R-22 Future

For this section I reached out to over a dozen contacts that I have within the refrigerant industry. These folks range from manufacturers, distributors, contractors, content writers, and consulting firms. My aim here was to not only provide my insight but also to get the view and opinions from a host of others so that I can provide you all with a well rounded look at the future of R-22.

First thing is first, there are a lot of folks who believe that R-22 will NOT be available after January 1st, 2020. That is not true. You will still be able to purchase R-22 as long as you are certified with the EPA and are able to find a distributor with quantity on hand. The same rule applies for reclaimed R-22 refrigerant. It is perfectly legal to buy as long as you are certified. The struggle you may face is finding a wholesaler that will provide the product. If you’re not having any luck feel free to reach out to me and I can put you in touch with a few folks.

The number one thing we need to remember when it comes to looking at R-22 is that these machines are only going to be around for another five to ten years. Yes, there will be some outliers, but for the most part these machines will all be retired in that time. Dead and gone. It will go the way of R-12 is today… except I can’t imagine anyone restoring a ‘classic R-22 system’ they way do with R-12 automobiles.

So, with that five to ten year deadline in mind, what can we expect over the next few years? Please note that this is  a prediction on my part folks, so don’t take my word as gospel. That being said, I believe that this is all going to boil down to supply and demand. And at this point of time folks there is plenty of supply of R-22. In fact there are stockpiles of it. One refrigerant manufacturer, not the one I mentioned earlier, has a large surplus of R-22 on hand and waiting to be shipped. While other manufacturers have backed out of the market these guys have bought up in hopes of being the only major source to purchase from.

It’s not just the virgin product that we have to consider though folks. There is plenty of reclaimed refrigerant out there as well. In fact, we are seeing the same type of logic on reclaimed product that we did with virgin. A lot of folks are buying up this reclaimed product so that they can stockpile it before the phaseout hits. One of my contacts put it this way:

“The bigger refrigerant recovery companies are overpaying for reclaim gas in order to have a nice stock for next year and beyond.” – Eric Sugarman Owner at Refrigerant Depot.

So, with that statement above in mind we can truly see the R-22 market beginning to consolidate. We have one of the major refrigerant manufacturers stockpiling the product and then we have the larger recovery companies stockpiling their own source of reclaimed R-22. What all this means is that the amount of companies that will be available to purchase R-22 from is shrinking and shrinking. This will eventually result in a price increase due to the lack of options.

The good news here though is that the refrigerant manufacturer that has this stockpile has publicly claimed that they do not want R-22’s price to go over three-hundred dollars a cylinder. While this sounds nice and all, there is a strategy behind it. You see if R-22 gets to around four-hundred dollars or higher then that opens the doors for alternative products to come in and take the business. Keeping prices at three-hundred dollars prevents the alternative refrigerants from gaining a foothold on the market.

The consensus that I received from my contacts was that there is enough virgin R-22 and reclaimed R-22 product out there to keep demand fulfilled for the next several years. The price may rise slightly, like I indicated in my pricing graph earlier, I do not foresee a drastic increase. No, instead it will be a slow crawl upwards.

Conclusion

This article will by no means my last article on R-22. I know there will be more news down the road and always more surprises. No one knows for sure what is going to happen next year or the year after. It is all a guessing game. Hopefully though, this article was able to give you a bit more knowledge so that when you make your guess on the market you’ve got some logic in your corner. If you would like more thoughts or notations on R-22 please feel free to reach out to me for consulting and we can discuss rates.

Thanks for reading and I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

I bought my first home towards the end of summer in 2009. It wasn’t anything special… in fact it was a foreclosure that needed a lot of work. But hey, it was mine and that is what mattered. There was so much that needed to be done right away ranging from electrical work to installing the kitchen sink. Between all of these projects there was one thing that I noticed when walking through my basement. There was a damp, somewhat mildewy smell all throughout the basement. Well, let me back up… I didn’t notice it, my wife did. She didn’t like it.

At the time I was still young and didn’t know much about home ownership. I did some research online and found that my basement most likely had high humidity levels. You see the perfect humidity range for our homes is somewhere between forty to sixty percent. If you go lower then forty percent then you risk suffering from dry and cracking skin. In some extreme cases you can actually have your respiratory tract dry out which can lead to infections and severe colds.

The inverse of this is if your humidity is above that sixty percent mark. This is where that mildewy damp smell I mentioned earlier comes into play. You see when humidity levels rise above sixty percent your basement can become susceptible to damp smells, beading water on the windows, and in extreme cases standing water. This extra moisture in the room is prime breeding ground for a host of allergens. Some of these can include dust mites, fungus, and mold. These allergens can wreak havoc on a normal persons allergies… but imagine the damage they could do to someone who suffers from asthma or who has difficulty breathing.

If you notice a damp or must smell in your basement, or if you notice water accumulating then it is time to get a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier does just what it sounds like, it removes the excess moisture from your room and will strive to achieve the target humidity level that you set. There are dozens of dehumidifiers out there today and the amount of choices can be a bit overwhelming. In this article we are going to take an in-depth look at the Colzer thirty pint and the Colzer seventy pint models. We will review their various features, the pros, the cons, and everything else.Colzer 30 & 70 Pint Portable Dehumidifier

Sizing

Now before we get into the features of these dehumidifiers from Colzer let us first understand the sizing requirements when it comes to dehumidifiers. There are a few considerations that you need to factor in when purchasing these appliances. The first is the overall square footage of the room or area that you are trying to dehumidify.  This can be found by simply measuring the overall length and width of the room and multiplying the numbers together. The combined number is your square footage. In the case of these Colzer units the thirty pint is rated up to fifteen-hundred square feet and the seventy pint unit is rated up to four-thousand square feet.

While these square footage numbers seem impressive there is another factor that you have to consider, that is the overall dampness/wetness of the room. Yes, how damp or wet the room is will immensely affect how well your dehumidifier works and what size of unit that you need. Let’s say for example you are trying to dehumidify a room that is twelve-hundred square feet. Now, you could go with the thirty pint… but only if the room is just damp or musty. If you have standing water or even water beading on the windows then I am going to recommend the larger seventy pint unit.

The only downside of going  up a size with dehumidifiers is the price. The larger sized units obviously cost more, but you get more power. What that means is that you will remove the moisture from the room at a quicker pace and that you can handle larger rooms without an issue. If you are unsure exactly what size unit to purchase then I’m going to steer you towards the seventy pint.

Product Features

Alright so now that we’ve got the sizing requirements out of the way let’s take a look at the main reason you’re reading this article! The product features. The first, and most important, feature of these units are the dehumidifier settings. When you turn the machine on you will be greeted with the actual humidity percentage in the room. (Within a five percentage range.) You can then set a target humidity percentage by using the controls. The range on these units is between thirty and eighty percent. Remember though, the best range for our homes is between forty to sixty. Most folks end up doing high forty’s or low fifty’s.

These dehumidifiers will operate within temperatures ranging from forty-one to ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit. That’s five to thirty-five degrees Celsius for you non-Americans out there. Something unique about these units is that they come with two different modes. The first is your standard dehumidifier, but the other mode is unique. That is your laundry dry mode. Yes folks, you can actually hang wet laundry near your dehumidifier and then turn on the laundry dry mode to hang dry your clothes. Now, I’m not really sure how many people would use this feature… but it is there if you want it!

These Colzer products come with a few other adjustable features. The first is the fan speed.  There are two settings here a standard and high. The higher the fan speed the faster your room will see its humidity drop. I typically recommend running the fan at a higher speed to start but as your room’s humidity drops you can lower the fan speed as well. Along with the fan there is a twenty-four hour sleep timer. This timer allows you to program a time for your dehumidifier to turn off or on. This timer can be set in one hour increments all the way up to twenty-four hours. This can be useful if you want to run your unit at night and have it turn off during the day, or if you’d like to run it while you are at work during the day.

If your power ends up going out due to a spring or summer storm then your dehumidifier is one less thing you have to worry about restarting once your power comes back on. These products come with an automated restart once power has been restored. This restart will get the dehumidifier right back to where you had it set previously.

These appliances also come with what’s known as an auto-defrost feature. For those of you who aren’t aware of what this is let me elaborate. First, you should understand that dehumidifiers are in fact just like air conditioners. They both use refrigerant and go through a cooling cycle. The only key difference is that a dehumidifier has a heater at the end of the cycle that warms the air back up to your room temperature. Just like with air conditioners, the coils on your dehumidifier can eventually accumulate frost or ice. If enough ice is accumulated the unit will not work properly. The auto-defrost feature will sense this and turn off the dehumidifier process but leave on the heater and the fan. So, you get warm air blowing over the coils which will in turn melt the ice and frost. Your problem is then fixed without you having to do a thing.

Remember folks, that your appliance is removing water from the room. It needs a place to store that water. In the case of these dehumidifiers from Colzer they are stored in a 1.2 gallon, or 4.5 liter, water tank. When the tank is full the product will shut-off and alert you of the full tank via an indicator on the control panel. The auto shut-off is very helpful as you do not have to worry about the unit continuously running and overflowing water around the unit. To empty the tank simply pull it out and dump it in a nearby sink or drain. If you are not a fan of emptying the tank again and again then you can use the continuous drain option. When purchasing the unit you will also receive a water pipe that is just over three feet. This can be attached to your water tank and it can then feed the water to a nearby drain or sink. Note that this pipe is gravity fed and the water cannot flow up. The drain or sink will have to be lower then the dehumidifier.

The filter on these products need to be cleaned once a month. Cleaning it is relatively easy though. All you have to do is pull the filter out and then either wash it with warm water or use a vacuum hose attachment. If you use water please ensure that the filter is dry before you put it back into the dehumidifier. Also, make sure that you have the unit completely turned off and unplugged before removing the filter.

The last few features I’ll mention before our Pro section is that these units come with a standard 110 volt plug-in. They are also very easy to transport as they have four wheels at the base of the unit and the largest model only comes in at about thirty pounds.

Pros

I have a habit of doing this when I write product reviews. I tell myself every time that I won’t do it this time and lo-and-behold I did it again. What I am talking about here is that I detail everything that I can in our ‘Product Features’ section and then end up leaving very little for the Pros section. A lot of the points that I make in the ‘Product Features’ can easily be seen as pros as well.Colzer 30 & 70 Pint Portable Dehumidifier Control Panel

That being said, I do have a few other points that I can fit into our pros section. The first is the overall operating volume of these units from Colzer. Most dehumidifiers operate in a range between fifty to sixty decibels. That is about the equivalent of a normal conversation. These products from Colzer come in between forty to forty-five decibels. That is about the volume of a hushed conversation in a library. To some that is a big difference, but to others they won’t even notice. To each their own I guess.

The big selling point here is the warranty on these products. When I visited Colzer’s site on these products I saw that they offered a two year warranty. Yes, two years. Now I have been reviewing dehumidifiers for the past four months now and I have to say that is one of the best warranties that I have seen on the marketplace. There isn’t much out there that can match it. And, on top of their warranty, Colzer offers a sixty day money back guarantee. So, if something goes wrong during delivery or if the product fails after the first month you can get your money back. I have heard nothing but good talk about their customer service. If you need to get a hold of them you can e-mail them at service@colzer.com .

Cons

This is a pretty solid product so I won’t have too much to say here in the cons section. That being said, there are two main cons that I want to mention. The first is that the seventy pint mentions that it is rated for four-thousand square feet. I am very skeptical of this number. Most seventy pint units claim about two-thousand square feet capacity. The four-thousand square foot number we see on this one is most likely in the most optimal of situations. In other words, the room they are trying to dehumidify is most likely already near the sixty percent target and there is not standing water in the area. The more water and humidity you add to an environment the more power that is needed to remove it… so that means the square footage capacity will shrink the wetter the room is.

The other con is the so called ‘upside down’ con. Nearly all of the complaints that I read on this dehumidifier were towards the delivery of the product. Remember before how we stated that dehumidifiers are very similar to air conditioners and refrigerators? Well, just like with refrigerators you cannot turn or ship a dehumidifier upside down.

Earlier this year I was helping my father move a refrigerator and we were very careful not to tilt it too far. The reason for this is if the refrigerator or dehumidifier is upside down or tilted too far then the oil can drain out of the compressor. Without proper lubrication your compressor will fail and the compressor is by far one of the most important components of your air conditioner, refrigerator, or dehumidifier. Many folks have reported premature failures of their dehumidifiers… but this is most likely due to them turning on the product right away after it being upside down. If the product did arrive upside down then turn it right side up and then wait for quite a while, maybe even a day. Then, start your dehumidifier up and you shouldn’t have any issues.

It also may be best practice to wait a day or two before turning on your new dehumidifier. The product may come to your home right side up, but who is to know if it was like that earlier that day. Always better to be safe then sorry. The good news here though is that if your dehumidifier does end up not working after a few weeks or months Frigidaire offers a one year warranty. Through my research I had found cases where Colzer offered a complete replacement product. It’s good to know you’ll be protected here.

Conclusion

Well folks I think we have about covered everything there is to cover on these dehumidifiers from Colzer. We’ve gone through the product features, pros, cons, and even a bit more. Overall, I would say that it is a great product and I really like the two year warranty. You just don’t see that on competing units. But, if you don’t want to take my word for it then you can look at our Amazon partner’s product page. There are over two-hundred and fifty reviews on these units and they all have an average of four and a half out of five stars. That equates to a ninety percent approval rating. That’s pretty damn good if you ask me.

If you’d like to purchase this unit then please click here to be taken to our Amazon partner’s product page. Otherwise, if you find that you need to do additional reading or need a different dehumidifier entirely please check out our dehumidifier buyer’s guide by clicking here. This guide will take you through everything you would ever need to know about dehumidifiers. We go into sizing requirements, what features to look for, and many other topics.

Thanks for reading and I hope this review was helpful,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Important Links

Ivation 30, 50, & 70 Pint Energy Star Dehumidifier

Back in 2009 I bought my first house. It was rather modest but it was in a nice neighborhood. My wife and I got a hell of a deal on it as it was a foreclosure and there was quite a bit of work that needed to be done. After we bought it and had moved in we started fixing things around the house. In the beginning it was smaller stuff but as we learned we were able to do some larger projects. One of the first things I noticed though was that when I was in our basement there was a damp almost musty smell. It was rather unpleasant, but there wasn’t any standing water or signs of water damage anywhere.

After some research online I understood that the humidity levels in my basement were too high. You see the best humidity range for our homes is between forty to sixty percent. If you go lower then forty percent then you will begin to notice drying or cracking of the skin. In some cases low humidity can cause your respiratory tract to dry out which will lead to infections and other sicknesses.

The inverse of all that is when your humidity is too high. In these cases if your room or basement has a humidity level above sixty percent then that damp or musty smell may be the least of your problems. You see that bad smell in your basement is one of the first warning signs. If the problem is left unchecked then you may begin to see water beading on the inside of your windows, on your walls, or even on your floors. In some cases you may see standing water in your basement or affected rooms. All of this moisture can lead to a host of other problems. If this is left untreated then your basement or home will become a perfect place for allergens to start growing. These could be dust mites, fungus, and even mold.  Mold can be bad for your health if you are a perfectly healthy, but imagine what it can do to someone who has respiratory problems or who are allergic to it.

The solution to these excess humidity problems is adding a dehumidifier to your basement, room , or home. A dehumidifier will do just what it’s described. It removes the excess moisture from your room. This will get your area back to that perfect range of between forty to sixty percent. The question though is what dehumidifier should you purchase?

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of options out there. It can be daunting to look at them all. In this article we are going to take an in-depth look at the three dehumidifier models manufactured by Ivation. We’ll dive into the various sizes, the product features, the pros, and the cons. By the time we’re done you’ll know everything there is to know about this product… and maybe a bit more then you should!Ivation 30, 50, & 70 Pint Energy Star Dehumidifier

Sizing

The first thing that we need to do before purchasing a dehumidifier is determining exactly what size of product that you need. Now there are two considerations when it comes to the size of your dehumidifier. The first is the overall square footage of the room. Square footage is easily measured by taking the length and width of the room and multiplying the numbers together. I’ll warn you right now though that many manufacturers, including this one, state that their dehumidifier can work in rooms up to XX square feet. While this may be true, there is another consideration that has to be reviewed before this square footage promise can come to fruition. (Personally, I always cut the manufacturer’s square footage claims by half, just to be safe.)

The other consideration is the overall dampness or wetness of the room. You see the more damp the room is the more power that you are going to need from your dehumidifier. So, let’s say you are trying to dehumidify a twelve-hundred square foot room. If the room just has a musty smell but has no signs of water, mold, or any other dampness indicators then we can call this room damp. You may get away with the smallest size, the thirty pint model.

However, if you notice water beading on the windows, walls, or even some standing water in that same room then you are going to need a larger sized dehumidifier. Luckily, these models from Ivation come in three different sizes: thirty pint, fifty pint, and seventy pint. Now, I like to tell people to get the fifty or the seventy. Yes, the thirty will work in the damp scenario we gave earlier but with the fifty unit your room will dehumidify quicker and if the room is damper then you thought then there isn’t a problem.

  • IVALDH30PW – This is the thirty pint model. In other words, it can remove up to thirty pints of water within a twenty-four hour period. This is the smallest size and while it will work for a moderately damp area you will get better results if you move to the fifty pint. (If your area is a thousand square feet or under you can get away with the thirty pint without an issue.) This unit also works great for a small room or bathroom that you are looking to dehumidify.
  • IVALDH50PW – This is the fifty pint model. In most cases this is going to cover your needs. Even if you have some moisture beading on your walls. This will dehumidify up to fifteen-hundred square feet as long as you don’t have actual standing water in your home. Again, this is great for your basement or large open area within your home or office.
  • IVALDH70PB – This is the seventy pint model. This is the biggest size of this model range and will be more then big enough to handle a two-thousand square feet area with standing water. Most folks recommend going a size larger then what you need when it comes to dehumidifiers. Your machine won’t work as hard and will last longer.

Product Features

Alright folks now that we’ve covered the sizing requirements we can begin to get into the details and features of this dehumidifier. To start off I think it makes sense to look at what this unit can do as far as dehumidifying your home. As we mentioned above, there are three sizes. The thirty pint model will remove thirty pints of water from your home within a twenty-four hour period. The same logic can be applied to the fifty and to the seventy pint.

When you turn the machine on you will see the current humidity in the room. You are then able to adjust the humidity up or down to your desired level. Remember that somewhere between forty to sixty percent is ideal. The dehumidifier adjust by five percent increments, so if you’re at sixty and lower it once you’ll be at fifty-five. This is all displayed on the digital display on the control panel of the unit. These three products have a range between thirty to ninety percent humidity and will work in temperatures ranging from forty-one to eighty-nine degrees Fahrenheit.

Along with the basic concept of dehumidifying these products also come with a few other features. The first is what’s known as an auto-restart. If you lose power during a rain storm or other event then your dehumidifier will instantly turn back on and at the settings it was at before the power loss. This is a handy feature if you’re away from home for a period of time or even if you forget to turn the unit back on.

There are also two speeds on the fan. There is your regular mode and then a turbo mode. The faster the speed of the fan the faster moisture will be removed from your room. It may be a good idea to start your unit in the turbo mode. This will help you get to your desired humidity faster. Then, once you’ve reached your desired level you can set the speed back to normal. Along with the fan settings there is also a timer setting. The timer will allow you to program the appliance to stop or start after a certain amount of time has passed. You could set it for an hour or all the way up to it’s maximum setting of twenty-four hours. This is a great tool as it lets you set it and forget it.Ivation 30, 50, & 70 Pint Energy Star Dehumidifier Control Panel

All dehumidifiers come with a water tank. After all, that water you are removing from your room has to go somewhere…right? In the case of these units from Ivation the tank can hold 1.6 gallons. Once capacity is reached you will need to remove the tank and empty the water in a sink or bathtub. To make things a bit easier for you Ivation added a water level window so that you can easily monitor the water in the tank and empty it once it fills up. Continuing with the water tank, there is an auto shut-off on these dehumidifiers if the water tank becomes full. This will prevent water from overflowing from your tank and spilling out onto your floor. When the auto shut-off occurs there will be an indicator on the control panel informing you that the tank needs emptied.

Emptying the water tank is relatively easy. The tank slides out from the bottom and has a handle attached to it for easy back and forth carrying. However, if you are not a fan of having to empty the tank every time it fills up then there is an alternative option available. These dehumidifiers come with an opening for continuous drainage. This means that you can connect a hose and route that house to a nearby floor drain. Now all the water that would go in your tank goes down the hose and into the drain. It should be noted that this drain is gravity fed. In other words, the drain you are feeding the water into will HAVE to be lower then the dehumidifier itself. It will not work correctly if you try to route the hose to a sink that is above the dehumidifier.

For those of you that do not know, a dehumidifier is basically just a mini air conditioner. You see dehumidifiers operate the same way that an air conditioner does. They use refrigerant and they go through cycles of liquid and gas. In the case of these products from Ivation they all use the popular HFC refrigerant known as R-410A. This is the same type of refrigerant that you will find on newer home split systems. The only difference between a dehumidifier and an air conditioner is that with the dehumidifiers there is an extra feature. This extra feature is a heater that warms the air backup to room temperature.

Just like with air conditioners there is a risk of your dehumidifier’s evaporator coils accumulating frost and ice. If this happens then your unit will freeze up and it will no longer be able to operate. The good news is that these products from Ivation have an auto-defrost feature. This defrost feature recognizes when ice has begun to build up and then resolves the problem. If ice is found the unit will shut-off except for the heater and the fan. The warmth of the heater and the fan will melt the ice on your evaporator. Once the ice has been melted the dehumidifier will start up again just like new.

The filter on these dehumidifiers is quite easy to remove and maintain. First make sure the unit is shut-off and not plugged in. Then all you need to do is remove the water tank and then, above the water tank, you will see the filter. Slide it out easily. Once you have it in your hands it can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or with water. If you decide to use water please ensure that the filter is dry before reinserting it into your dehumidifier.

Ok folks, last couple points before we move onto the Pros section. The first is that all three of these models comes with a standard one-hundred and ten volt plug-in. The cord reaches up to six feet so it gives you a bit of leeway to position the unit. Lastly, moving these products is fairly easy as well as they come with handles and wheels. The largest sized unit, the seventy pint, only comes in at around forty pounds. So, this shouldn’t be too difficult to move around your home.

Pros

I have a bad habit of doing this folks. I go through and write everything that I absolutely can for the Product Features section. You see, I want to be thorough. I want to ensure you understand everything that you’re getting into. Because of this I kind of shoot myself in the foot when it comes to the Pros section. A lot of the features that we mentioned earlier can also be considered Pros. Take for the example the auto-defrost or the auto-restart during a power failure. Both are Pros to look at when you consider buying. That being said, there are a few other Pros that I haven’t mentioned yet. Let’s take a quick look.

All three of these products are Energy Star certified with the Environmental Protection Agency. What that means is that you will save money versus other competing dehumidifiers. The Energy Star program is designed to evaluate various appliances and determine if they meet the EPA’s efficiency standards. An Energy Star appliances is on average about fifteen percent more efficient then a competing machine. So you will save on your power bill each month if you purchase this unit over a dehumidifier that is not Energy Start certified.

Along with the Energy Star rating you also get a one year full warranty from the Ivation manufacturer. Having a warranty is always good and protects you from any defects right out of the box. I will say that a one year warranty is pretty standard and is mostly what you will find on competing models as well. Ivation’s customer service can be contacted by phone at 1-866-849-3049 or through e-mail at info@myivation.com.

Cons

Every product, no matter who makes it, will have drawbacks. That’s just how it is. That being said, it was difficult to find specific cons on these products. Instead, nearly all of the complaints that I read through were towards the delivery of the product. Remember before how we stated that dehumidifiers are very similar to air conditioners and refrigerators? Well, just like with refrigerators you cannot turn or ship a dehumidifier upside down.

Earlier this year I was helping my father move a refrigerator and we were very careful not to tilt it too far. The reason for this is if the refrigerator or dehumidifier is upside down or tilted too far then the oil can drain out of the compressor. Without proper lubrication your compressor will fail and the compressor is by far one of the most important components of your air conditioner, refrigerator, or dehumidifier. Many folks have reported premature failures of their dehumidifiers… but this is most likely due to them turning on the product right away after it being upside down. If the product did arrive upside down then turn it right side up and then wait for quite a while, maybe even a day. Then, start your dehumidifier up and you shouldn’t have any issues.

It also may be best practice to wait a day or two before turning on your new dehumidifier. The product may come to your home right side up, but who is to know if it was like that earlier that day. Always better to be safe then sorry. The good news here though is that if your dehumidifier does end up not working after a few weeks or months Frigidaire offers a one year warranty. Through my research I had found cases where Frigidaire offered a complete replacement product. It’s good to know you’ll be protected here.

Cleaning

One of the main objectives of a dehumidifier is to lessen the possibility of mold growing within your home. But, what happens if the very thing that is supposed to be preventing the mold starts to grow mold itself? Well, this problem has happened to a lot of folks. Some may argue that this is a manufacturing defect and others would say that the consumers who had this problem didn’t take care of their dehumidifier in the first place.

A dehumidifier needs to be cleaned regularly. That means checking and cleaning the filter. Again, I couldn’t find this information to be one-hundred percent sure, but most of these dehumidifier filters come with what’s known as an anti-bacterial mesh. This mesh aims at preventing bacteria. If you attempt to clean the filter with water then you risk washing away this protective coating. Instead you should either try to shake it out or use a low powered vacuum with a hose attachment. This will clean the filter and still protect your coating. It’s not just the filter though that needs to be cleaned. Ensure that the machine itself is as clean as can be and if you began to suspect mold growing within it then take it apart and try to identify the culprit area. When dealing with water day in and day out there is always a chance that some could spill and get isolated within the machine only to stay there and become stagnant. This is a prime candidate for mold growth. This is why you need to stay vigilant and ensure the unit is as clean as it can be.

Conclusion

Alrighty folks I think we have practically covered everything there is on these dehumidifier models from Ivation. We have gone over all of the features, pros, and cons. If you are thirsty for more information though you can view each of these model’s instruction booklets as well as their specification sheet in our next section titled, ‘Important Links.’

If you are thinking about buying this unit I can assure you that it is a good product. But, if you are unsure we can also take a look at our Amazon partner. These products have over two-hundred reviews on Amazon and all have an average rating of four and a half stars out of five. That is a ninety percent approval rating, or an A grade if you are in college. If you’d like to purchase this product please click here to be taken to our Amazon partner.

However, If you find that you need to do additional reading or need a different dehumidifier entirely please check out our dehumidifier buyer’s guide by clicking here. This guide will take you through everything you would ever need to know about dehumidifiers. We go into sizing requirements, what features to look for, and many other topics.

Thanks for reading and I hope this review was helpful,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Important Links