Refrigerants are recovered to prevent them from leaking or being dispersed into the atmosphere. All types of refrigerant should be recovered either when opening a unit to work on it or during the disposal of a unit. If refrigerant is vented into the atmosphere there will be one of two effects:
- The Chlorine contained in CFC/HCFC refrigerants will work it’s way up into the atmosphere and will end up causing damage to the O-Zone layer. CFCs/HCFCs were phased out by the Montreal Protocol but there are still quite a few units in working order in 2015. If you are dealing with CFC/HCFC refrigerant be sure to recover as much refrigerant as possible. CFCs/HCFC are strictly monitored in the United States and across the world.
- If you are working with HFC refrigerants you will find that they do not harm the O-Zone layer if released into the atmosphere but they will contribute significantly to greenhouse gases that get trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere. These greenhouse gases have a direct effect on Global Warming. HFC refrigerants were the replacement for the old Chlorine containing refrigerants but it was found out that HFCs have a large Global Warming Potential, or GWP. HFCs will most likely be discontinued in the near future and either replaced with HFO refrigerants or Natural refrigerants.
Regardless of what refrigerant you are dealing with if you do not recover the refrigerant you are actively damaging the environment and you are breaking federal Environmental Protection law. So, it is always best practice to recover your refrigerant and store them in recovery cylinders.
The preferred recovery cylinder and recovery machine that I recommend are below from our Amazon partner.
The below cylinder is the highest rated recovery tank on Amazon with a combined review rating of 84%.
The below recovery machine is again the highest rated recovery unit on Amazon at 93% positive reviews. This unit covers CFC, HCFC, and HFC refrigerants. This includes R-22, R-134a, R-410A, R-404A, and many more types of refrigerants.