Retrofitting Existing R-404A/R-507A Systems
This article was written by Don Gillis with Chemours. Thanks, Don! With the American Innovation Act (The AIM Act) in place and the reduction of the supply of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in effect, the need to retrofit systems with lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants will become commonplace in the very near future. So, what does […]Read more
Belly band crankcase heater When I first started in the trade as an apprentice, we worked on many Trane heat pumps that used crankcase heaters. These crankcase heaters slid into the compressor sump on the big orange Tyler reciprocating compressors. They looked like the one in the picture below. It was very common for these […]Read more
A refrigerant is anything we use to move heat from one place to another using the compression refrigeration circuit. However, the history of refrigerants and the different kinds is quite diverse and interesting. Have you ever noticed how your skin feels cool after you apply some rubbing alcohol to it? For a long time, scientists […]Read more
Electronic Leak Detection
Electronic leak detection is a critical part of any HVAC technician's common practice. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most common sources of misdiagnosis. Here are my tips to make your leak detection more successful: Use Your Senses First and Your Detector Second Before starting to use your detector, STOP! Look for signs of […]Read more
Does Refrigerant Get Old or Wear Out?
Over the years, I have heard technicians say that refrigerant can wear out or “lose its blend” by sitting in a tank. Refrigerant does not wear out or “lose its blend”… at least not like that. What can and does happen is called “fractionation.” Refrigerant blends are composed of a mix of refrigerants with different […]Read more
What does “Saturated State” mean for Techs?
As we often do in these tech tips, we will start with the common and more practical explanation of saturation and then move to the more technical and nerdy explanation later. When we say “at saturation” or “saturated” in the HVAC/R trade, we are generally referring to the refrigerant that is in the process of […]Read more
Refrigerant Charging Basics For Air Conditioning & Heat Pump Systems
Before I start on this one… At HVAC School, we focus on a wide range of topics. Many of them are very basic. My experience as a trainer for over 16 years has taught me that no matter what I assume others SHOULD know, it doesn't change the fact that they often do not. This […]Read more
Refrigerants, Flammable & Toxic
There has never been a more complicated and confusing time surrounding refrigerants than what we are in right now. We are seeing flammable HC (hydrocarbon) refrigerants with increasing regularity, and EPA rules that just changed appear to be changing again. With all this tumultuous change, it's important to know what to look for in refrigerants […]Read more
Liquid Line Solenoid Valves: Long Line Applications
Pump down solenoid valves are commonplace for any refrigeration technician. They are energized with the compressor still running, shutting off flow in the liquid line so that the refrigerant is pumped into the condenser and receiver. The compressor will then shut off once a low-pressure switch opens the circuit when the pressure falls below a […]Read more