This may be something that a lot of you practice already but I have seen other contractors out there where this doesn’t even cross their mind. As the refrigerant reclamation market grows and grows over the next few years there is an option that a lot of reclaimers out there offer that may be worth your time to look at.
Let’s say it is towards the end of the year and the summer season is over. You are sitting on around one-thousand pounds of dirty R-22 that you need to send back. Now, instead of sending this back to a supply house or a wholesale parts distributor I am first going to suggest that you send it out to an actual refrigerant reclaimer. If you do not know of one in your area please check EPA’s website of certified reclaimers. Feel free to shop around between the different reclaimers so that you can get the best price for your refrigerant.
When you are talking with these companies an important thing to ask is that if they do reservations or allocations. Think about this for a second. If you are sending back one-thousand pounds of refrigerant they are obviously going to reclaim it. You are obviously going to need R-22 again next year. So, why not make an arrangement with the reclaimer that your refrigerant is specifically for you and that you will be buying it back once it is reclaimed.
By doing this you can accomplish a couple of things. The first is that you ensure a supply of R-22 for you for next year’s season. The second is that by buying back your own reclaimed refrigerant you are guaranteeing the reclaimer a sale right away. What that means is that you now have room to negotiate the buyback price of the reclaimed refrigerant. I know if it was me and I had that sale in hand I would be more than willing to lower my price.
Another thing to mention here is that depending on your reclaimer they may either:
- Require you to purchase back the reclaimed refrigerant right away. In this case you have some upfront cost but a lot of it will be offset by the dirty refrigerant that you sent back, not to mention the cheaper price of R-22.
- If you are a really great negotiator you may be able to talk some of your reclaimers to hold your reclaimed R-22 at their facility and you can then order on an as needed basis. This allows you to keep your price point low, allows a reservation of inventory, and also prevents a large one time expense of buying it all back at once.
The last point that I’ll mention here is that by using this reclaimed refrigerant rather it be R-22, R-410A, or whatever you will be purchasing it ten, fifteen, maybe even twenty percent cheaper than you normally would for virgin refrigerant. Imagine what an additional twenty percent savings could do to your bottom line for next year! All it takes is a little research and asking the question.