Yesterday a Federal Court of Appeals ruled against the Environmental Protection Agency. This is a bit different then what we have seen over the past few years. In previous rulings the courts have been ruling against the Obama Era regulations and policies. This time though the court’s ruling struck down a rule made by the EPA during the Trump Administration. The court restored a prohibition on switching from ozone depleting substances to HFCs in uses such as large refrigeration systems in supermarkets.

In other words, lets say you have a supermarket that is running an old HCFC R-22 system. It needs to be replaced and soon before a major failure occurs. During the Obama EPA and up until a few years ago you would NOT be able to replace your R-22 system with a high Global Warming Potential HFC refrigerant as this was seen as harmful to the environment. Instead business owners had to work with more climate friendly refrigerants such as R-744, R-717, hydrocarbons, and the newer HFO lines from Honeywell and Chemours. These refrigerants had a low GWP number and had no Ozone Depletion Potential.

As most of you know, in 2017 a federal court ruled against the EPA’s suggested HFC phase down plan. The plan, known as SNAP Rules 20 and 21 aimed at phasing down high GWP HFC refrigerants such as R-404A and R-134a. About a year after this ruling the Trump Administration’s EPA announced that they would be rescinding all HFC regulations in response to the previous year’s court ruling. We also just saw another ruling by the EPA similar to this a few months ago when they announced they were removing the HFC leak regulations. (Article can be found here on this.)

In reference to today’s court decision, the EPA’s actions in 2018 allowed business owners to move their R-22 HCFC system over to an R-404A HFC system. This is what the court restored yesterday. The courts ruled that the EPA acted illegally in 2018 when it vacated this particular rule. The reason for their ruling was that the EPA did not allow for a notice and a comment period on their 2018 announcement to rescind the HFC regulations.

The case itself was pushed shortly after the EPA’s announcement in 2018. It was brought by the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and a collection of states with New York leading the way.  Obviously, I have not ready every page of the documents but I was able to pull some excerpts from the document itself as well as from some of the key players.

The Mexichem court struck down (or, “vacated”) only part of the HFC rule. It upheld and left in place other parts of the rule. But the Administrator lifted the entire HFC rule – even the parts the court approved. And he did it with no rulemaking. No proposal, no opportunity to comment. This is doubly unlawful. ” – Lissa Lynch from NRDC

Another quote, this time from the court ruling document itself:

Notice and comment rule making is a central part of the administrative framework set forth in the APA and the Clean Air Act. When an agency issues a legislative rule by exercising its delegated authority to establish new obligations with the force of law, it must follow these procedures. In the 2018 Guidance, however, EPA simply interpreted the immediate and necessary consequences of our decision in Mexichem and left rewriting the regulatory framework for future notice and comment rulemaking. Because the 2018 Guidance advised the public of the EPA’s interpretation of legal obligations created by this court, it was an interpretive rule properly issued without notice and comment procedures. I respectfully dissent.” – Source

One more quote this time going into what the EPA did in 2018 and how it did not require comments or follow proper procedures:

In 2015, EPA issued a regulation disallowing the use of HFCs as a substitute for ozone-depleting substances. That rule was challenged in our court in Mexichem Fluor, Inc. v. EPA, 866 F.3d 451 (D.C. Cir. 2017). We determined that EPA could validly forbid current users of ozone-depleting substances from  switching to HFCs. But we also concluded that EPA lacked authority to force users who had already switched to HFCs to make a second switch to a different substitute. We thus vacated the rule in part and remanded to the agency.

On remand, even though we had sustained EPA’s bar against use of HFCs with regard to entities who were still using ozone-depleting substances, the agency decided to implement our decision by suspending the rule’s listing of HFCs as unsafe substitutes in its entirety, meaning that even current users of ozone-depleting substances can now shift to HFCs. And EPA did so without going through notice-and-comment procedures.” – Official Court Document Source

Conclusion

So, what does all this mean? In the short term it means that business owners can no longer move their older CFC or HCFC systems over to HFC refrigerants. They will be forced to go with a lower GWP alternative. In the long term though it is quite uncertain. I was expecting a string of rulings in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Trump Administration. I’m not advocating for that… it just the way the wind has been blowing lately.

Who knows though, maybe the winds have changed and we may begin to see a tighter grip on HFCs at a federal level.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Sources:

The other day I was reading an article from Hydrocarbons21.com on the prospect of using R-290 propane in refrigerated transportation. The headline caught my eye and dragged me in. The company Transfrig has been experimenting with the idea of using R-290 propane in their refrigerated trucks. The idea is still in its infancy but I believe it has a lot of opportunity within the United States and the rest of the world.

The company Transfrig is based out of South Africa and has been around since 2002. They specialize in transport refrigeration and aim to be the number one choice for businesses within Africa. In recent years they have also expanded internationally to countries including Hong Kong, China, the Middle East, Libya, Liberia, Australia and Nigeria. In 2018 Transfrig was acquired by the automotive research group out of Paris known as Valeo.

The choice for R-290 for their new refrigerant was a unique one. They had originally looked at using R-744 but after some further research they decided they wanted to stay with a subcritical system. The hydrocarbon R-290 has been around for centuries and was one of the first refrigerants used before we saw CFC/HCFC refrigerants come to market. Propane is not going anywhere. It is also one of the best refrigerants out there when it comes to environmental impact. R-290 has a Global Warming Impact of only three and has no Ozone Depletion Potential.

Also, along with the lower GWP using R-290 for refrigerated transportation is more efficient then R-404A. In fact it has between a fifteen to twenty-five percent better coefficient of performance (COP) in medium temperature applications and between a ten to thirty percent COP increase in lower temperature applications. This increased efficiency also translates into around a sixteen percent savings in diesel usage. You get the benefit of having a very low Global Warming Potential refrigerant as well as having increased system efficiency for both the refrigeration system as well as the diesel engine.

The proposed unit from Transfrig uses a charge of only one point three to one point four pounds. That is an eighty percent decrease in charge when compared to your standard R-404A models. (A 404A unit could have between 6 and 8 pound charge.) Not only is R-290 cheaper then R-404A but you will also need less per recharge.

Drawbacks

Obviously the biggest fear here when using a hydrocarbon like R-290 is the chance of ignition. Over the evolution of refrigerants certain countries have adopted use of hydrocarbons in everyday use while other countries, like the United States, have shied away from mainstream hydrocarbon usage. Here in the US we have always preferred safety over climate, but times are changing and the push for climate friendly refrigerants are gaining traction.

The good news here is that there are a few good points here to help alleviate some of these flammability concerns. The first is that we had mentioned earlier the charge of these systems is quite small at less then two pounds. That is about ten percent of the propane that you’d find in your standard grill tank. (Yes, I am aware that propane used on grills and refrigerant are different.) The point I’m making here is that it is quite a small charge.

You can look at this another way too folks, almost all new cars nowadays are using the newer HFO 1234yf refrigerant. This refrigerant is classified as slightly flammable and the typical charge on a car can range between one to four pounds of refrigerant. So, you are looking at either the same, or even a smaller, charge then what is already in your car that you drive everyday. It puts things into perspective.

Transfrig also understands the concerns of possible ignition. To compensate for this have have installed a leak detection system that alerts the driver if the system falls below fifty percent charge capacity. If this does happen an alarm sounds and it is then recommended for the driver to pull over, open the container hold, and let it air out. After some time it can then be driven to a dealer for servicing.

The prototype unit was tested over a one year period on a refrigerated truck from the Ola Ice Cream Company based out of South Africa. The article at Hydrocarbons21.com puts the change of ignition at a thousand times less likely then that of an vehicular accident with the same truck. Throughout these tests there were no major issues found and since the test went so well the decision was made at Transfrig to migrate all of their refrigeration range of products over to the new R-290 design.

United States

As most of all you know HFC refrigerants, such R-404A, are on their way out. There has been countless debate and as back and forth on the United States’ HFC policies… but one thing is certain: HFCs do not have much longer and one of the top targets is R-404A.

Even if the Federal Government never comes up with an HFC phase down law it will not matter as there are so many states right now offering their own individual regulations and phase downs on HFCs. As the snowball begins to pick up speed we will see more and more states joining and mimicking other states policies. It will get to the point, if it hasn’t already, that it will not make financial sense to continue using HFC refrigerants. Why make one system for one state and another system for a different state? Business wise it makes sense to adhere to the strictest restrictions and be in compliance everywhere with your product.

So, what we will be left with is a hole for manufactures to fill. What refrigerants will be used instead of R-404A? In my opinion I believe R-290 has a legitimate chance. It makes sense. The only question now is can Transfrig truly prove their concept over the next few years… and if they do will United States government and importers take notice?

There are many folks who believe once a refrigerant has been chosen for an application then that refrigerant is it. Yes, it will never have one-hundred percent market share but it will have the lion’s share. There are many reasons for this but the biggest one is that it is just easier this way. Technicians only really have to become familiar with just a few refrigerants. There are very little surprises. Some of you may not agree with this statement, but we have a recent example to reference. Just look at R-134a’s transition over to R-1234yf. Yes, there are some outliers out there using R-744… but for the most part every new car is using R-1234yf.

Now that we are beginning to see the end of R-404A there is a hole in the marketplace when it comes to refrigerated transportation. Could R-290 fill this? There are a lot of hurdles to go through if Transfrig wishes to pursue. They have to test further. They have to roll trucks off the line and ensure there are no problems. Also, as I was writing this article I went and checked the EPA’s SNAP approved refrigerants on refrigerated transport. I was ninety-nine percent sure R-290 wasn’t approved… and I was right. So, they would have to through the EPA’s SNAP approval process as well before R-290 units could start being seen within the United States.

Conclusion

Let’s say though folks that we do end up seeing R-290 units in a few years across the globe and maybe even within the United States. What is the next step? If we are already using it in refrigerated trucks why couldn’t we use it in our vehicles as well? Remember how I said that R-1234yf was slightly flammable? Well… so is propane. The big difference here is that R-290 isn’t nearly as expensive as the HFO R-1234yf.

I’m going to throw some numbers out there and am also going to overestimate price on R-290 just so we can get a clear picture of the differences. Let us say that R-290 is about eight dollars per pound today. Then if we look at R-1234yf we can see that it is sixty dollars per pound. That is nearly a ninety percent savings when you go with R-290. Both refrigerants are flammable, both have very low Global Warming Potential, and both are Ozone friendly.

Now, I am not an engineer by any means, but I am wondering after researching this article… what is stopping us from using R-290 in our vehicles? If we can prove concept and go through the traditional SNAP approval process… why not? It would be an alternative to the 1234yf and it would save consumers a significant amount of money. What if, down the road, R-290 does get approved for vehicle usage? I could see a whole aftermarket industry dedicated to retrofitting away from 1234yf and over R-290.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Sources

Over the past few years there have been a number of anti-dumping cases within our industry. In fact, there are a few cases open right now that are expected to come to conclusion in the next few months. Most of these cases focus on Chinese product that is being subsidized by the Chinese government and brought into the United States at unfair market prices. This dumping practice prevents the companies who are manufacturing within the United States from competing with the cheaper mass imported Chinese refrigerant.

In most cases within our industry these anti-dumping suits are approved by the Trade Commission. When a ruling is made in favor the Trade Commission initiates a tariff on the goods in question. The tariff itself can have a number of conditions and amounts associated to it, but the idea is to artificially raise the price of the imported product so that US companies can compete. Over recent years we have seen anti-dumping tariffs installed on R-134a, R-410A, R-404A, R-407C, R-507A, and many other refrigerates. There is also a pending anti-dumping suit on the popular HFC R-32 refrigerant and another one on the actual blending components used to create popular HFC refrigerants.

The one that was filed most recently though was something I had not seen before. Yesterday, March 27th, Worthington Industries filed an anti-dumping and countervailing duties case with the International Trade Commission. Their target was not refrigerants but instead the cylinders that they come in. These are the cylinders that all of our refrigerants come in. (Harmonized codes 7311.00.0060, 7311.00.0090, and 7310.29.0025.) More information on what types of cylinders:

“The merchandise covered by these petitions is certain non-refillable steel cylinders meeting the requirements of, or produced to meet the requirements of, U.S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”) Specifications 39, TransportCanada Specification 39M, or United Nations pressure receptacle standard ISO 11118 and otherwise meeting the description provided below (“non- refillable steel cylinders”). The subject non-refillable steel cylinders are portable and range from 300-cubic inch (4.9 liter) water capacity to 1,526-cubic inch (25 liter) water capacity. Subject non-refillable steel cylinders may be imported with or without a valve and/or pressure release device and may be filled or unfilled at the time of importation.”

Worthington Industries is the last remaining United States company manufacturing non-refillable steel cylinders. Yes, they are it folks. If they stop producing cylinders then ALL of it is imported in. They are asking for a sixty-one percent duty to be imposed on the Chinese imports. I am sure most of you within the industry have heard of Worthington Industries before. They are a Columbus, Ohio based metals manufacturing company that had revenues exceeding three billion dollars last year. While three billion dollars is a lot of money… this is a business and if a certain product line is no longer profitable they will no longer pursue it. If this anti-dumping duty is not passed then Worthington may have to give up their cylinder manufacturing.

In yesterday’s filing there is a list of ALL nineteen companies that are importing these Chinese cylinders as well as the fifteen Chinese companies that are supplying them. The country of China would be targeted on these anti-dumping duties but we could also see the specific companies listed treated more harshly. This is pure speculation my part as the Trade Commission still needs time to review and even determine if they will be accepting the case.

This initial review on rather or not the Commission will begin an investigation is expected to conclude on April 16th, 2020. If they agree to move forward during this review they will then make a preliminary determination if damages were incurred on Worthington by May 11th, 2020. If the investigation moves forward it is expected to take around a year with a final decision to be made around April 21st, 2021.

I am quite curious on how this case will move forward. With the other refrigerant anti-dumping filings I had a pretty good idea on where the Trade Commission would settle. There has been a track record over the years that indicates that they will be voting in favor of refrigerant anti-dumping tariffs. But, this is the first time I have seen such a filing on the actual cylinders. The good news here is that the cylinders themselves are relatively cheap when compared to the actual cost of refrigerant. So, if a tariff does get put on the Chinese cylinders I do not believe it will raise the overall cost of refrigerants by very much.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

It is amazing how quickly things can change in the course of a week or two. I was brought up to always follow the news and goings on within the country and around the world. I have been following the news on this virus since it first started making headlines in China. Like most folks I didn’t pay it much heed as I did not believe that it could come to the United States, or if it did then it wouldn’t have any impact on us.

When it started making headlines in Seattle it surprised me. My brother and his family are located just a few miles away from that unfortunate nursing home. I spoke with him the other day and his kids are out of school, his work has shutdown entirely, and his wife is working from home. For such a populated area it now feels like a ghost town. It has been this way for a few weeks but we still had seen no impact or change in things here in Kansas City. It wasn’t until the past couple days that things began to pick up here.

There were a few cases announced in the county where I work and a few additional in a neighboring county. I believe it was on Thursday where Kansas had its first reported death from the virus. My wife and son went to the grocery store on Friday to stock up on the essentials and it was a madhouse. Many people were panicking, for some reason. It seemed they had lost all respect for their fellow men. Businesses have already begun to shut down and I believe it is only a matter of time before they shutter the schools here as well.

This virus, along with the economic instability that comes with it, is now impacting everyone across our country and the world. At this point there is no telling just how long this panic will last. I am not worried about the virus itself. I am not a medical professional, but I believe this has been hyped up by the media to an extreme level. I can only hope that we will all begin to come to our senses. In the meantime all of us have to deal with the impacts of shuttered businesses and so called social distancing.

From what I understand there has been minimal impact on the pricing and supply side of refrigerants. This is good news, but the question is what impact will we see in HVAC industry overall? I was thinking about this yesterday and I do not believe there will be too much downturn. For an example, let’s look at grocery stores. The demand for food, toiletries, and supplies have been through the roof. So, that would mean the necessity of having running refrigerators and freezers at the supermarkets would be even higher then normal. The supply chain of reefer trucks to move the product between warehouses and stores will still have to flow. The warehouses will still need to store the product. The plants will still need to manufacture the product. The good news is that a lot of these businesses are operating at overload capacity. When that happens systems will break or fail sooner. This means repair bills, refrigerant recharging, and perhaps whole new installs.

As of now the supply chain looks to be intact. If that starts to crumble then things will get much worse for everyone and we will see all of this demand fall. Assuming the supply chain stays up and everything is fine on that front the other avenue I was thinking about is the air conditioning sector. If businesses are closed down then that means far less demand and far less chance of failure of commercial units. This could be in office buildings, department stores, or restaurants and bars. The demand from these customers on HVAC repair may dry up rather quickly.

The opposite side of the coin is with all of these folks staying home there is going to be much more demand on your traditional split systems. If this social distancing and working from home continues for months then we could see a sort of boom of air conditioner repairs at home. It is not yet hot here in Kansas City, but if we look at Miami I can see they are already in the eighties. Give it another month and folks will be turning on their air conditioners if they are not already. Imagine the impact of running air conditioners all day and night due to self quarantines. No more turning the AC up before you leave for work. This increased demand will no doubt cause an increase in failures.

Conclusion

In closing folks I think it is important to remember that so far this Coronavirus is very similar to previous timelines. If we go back to 2009 when the Swine Flu was in full swing there was not near as much panic. This is odd because if you look at the overall numbers of the Swine Flu they are very surprising. According to Wikipedia nearly seven-hundred million people were infected with the H1N1 Swine Flu from 2009. Out of those seven-hundred million there was an estimated three-hundred-thousand fatalities. (Some estimates as high as five-hundred-thousand.)

So far with this Coronavirus there have been around six-thousand deaths. It has been making headlines now for about ten weeks. Six-thousand deaths divided by ten and then multiplied by fifty-two gives us an estimated fatality rate for the year. This equals out to about thirty-one-thousand fatalities. For argument’s sake lets times that number by ten to account for compound growth since the virus is still relatively new. That puts us at around three-hundred-thousand deaths across the world.

Now, please don’t take this the wrong way. I am not trying to minimize anyone’s death to this virus. Each death is a tragedy. The point I am trying to make here is that this Coronavirus may not even surpass the Swine Flu pandemic that we had back in 2009. I honestly don’t even remember the Swine Flu from 2009… so I am hoping that this Coronavirus goes the same route and in a few months time we would have all but forgotten about it.

Thanks for reading folks,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

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

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