Top 3 Refrigerant Recovery Machines Reviewed
Removing refrigerants from cooling equipment within your vehicle according to EPA standards is no easy task, which is why you must equip yourself with the right refrigerant recovery machine for your specific needs is vital. With so many options on the market, it can feel like a minefield. Let us help you navigate your way to the right decision.
We’ve shortlisted three fantastic models that can be used for the refrigerant recovery aspects of the air con repair across various vehicles types, as well as with home HVAC units. Make the right selection with our support, and it will serve you well for many years to come.
Here are the top 3 refrigerant recovery machines:
The Robinair RG3 refrigerant recovery machine is a 115V, 60Hz portable machine that weighs just 18lbs. It is an ideal solution that can be used with the HVAC systems within many different vehicles types. It works with common CFC, HFC, and HCFC refrigerants.
It is a device that is capable of recovering both liquid and vapor while it has an oil-less compressor and creates a 40% smaller footprint. The compact design of 14” by 11” by 8.5” additionally lends itself to a less ghastly appearance than many of the alternatives out there. Without being the priority, it is a factor that’s worth noting.
Safety is always a crucial feature and the fact that the high-pressure safety shut-off switch automatically shuts off the machine if pressure rises above 550 PSI is of enormous significance. Furthermore, Robinair is a name that’s recognized across the globe as a leader in the field, which gives you even greater confidence in the device.
The single stage unit utilizes a standard hose fit while the two dials are easy to use for the extraction processes. Likewise, the two clear gauges make it easy to track the ‘in’ and ‘out’ levels throughout the process. Staying on top of the job at hand is easy.
Moreover, the high-efficiency cross flow design uses a fan and condenser layout that is optimized for shorter cycle times. In fact, it can extract around 2 pounds in half an hour. This can speed up the refrigerant recovery, allowing you to move onto the other steps of maintenance or recovery with confidence.
Putting the coolant back into the system from the recovery tank is a very simple task too, making this vac unit a great all-rounder.
Easy to use and understand.
40% smaller footprint.
Works best on vehicle refrigerant recovery tasks.
Lightweight and portable.
A sight glass would be handy.
Not a reclaim unit.
The Robinair device is marketed as a versatile unit that is suited to a host of jobs. However, the automotive tasks are where it performs at its best. As a vehicle owner, this is a good thing. The small but powerful refrigerant recovery machine will remove vapor and liquid with great results.
In turn, this can make maintenance of the car’s A/C units a simple task. The fact that the unit is particularly easy to use is merely a bonus. From beginner to pro, this is an option that’s always worth consideration.
- Compact and lightweight, the RG3 features a 40 percent smaller footprint, is easy to carry, and weighs in at just 18 pounds for superior portability
- Handles almost all refrigerants - the RG3 works with all common CFC, HFC, and HCFC refrigerants including R-410A
- 1/3 HP, 115V AC, 60 Hz single cylinder, oil-less compressor is capable of recovering both liquid and vapor
- High efficiency cross flow design features a fan and condenser layout that is optimized for shorter cycle times
- High pressure safety shut-off switch automatically shuts off machine if pressure rises above 550 PSI
The single recover refrigerant recovery machine by Appion is a lightweight no thrills option that pumps both liquid and vapor in an efficient fashion. It weighs 24lbs and is 13.75” by 10.3” by 9.4” and carries a power of a 115V (60Hz), making it capable of handling heavy loads thanks to the twin cylinders and twin condensers.
A portable and compact design does lose some of the estehtic beauty, but using the machine is still a particularly easy task. Located on the back, the two ‘in’ and ‘out’ dials are turned to the right setting while the gauges show pressure. The machine does most of the hard work for you.
The cooling agents of liquid and vapor can be extracted, cleaned, and reused. This saves you time and money in the long run, making it a great investment. As with the other options on our shortlist, it also reduces the carbon footprint.
Appion’s refrigerant recovery machine is blessed with a number of automatic safety features while the product is additionally built with longevity in mind. Whether used frequently or infrequently, the smart device will save thousands of pounds of refrigerant material.
It is designed for use with all common refrigerants, which is another reason why its ideal for commercial use due to the fact it can handle a range of tasks. The ability to pump liquid and vapor without throttling is something that makes this a very popular machine indeed.
The short cord is a minor issue, but this isn’t a deal breaker by any means. All in all, it is a machine that performs as it should in a variety of situations. From newbies to experienced users, it’s hard to ask for anything more.
A brand with over four decades of experience in this field.
No throttling or purge cycle required.
Capable of handling industrial and commercial endeavors.
Crankcase is permanently lubricated for smooth operation,
Design is less attractive, particularly with the rear dials.
Fairly loud operational noise.
Despite being a unit that isn’t specifically designed with vehicle A/C units in mind, the capabilities of the Appion refrigerant recovery machine should not be underestimated, especially with regards to the fact it can handle the industrial challenges. It’s portable, powerful, and does the job it is set out to do in a diligent fashion. It’s still not the fastest pump on the market, but you are unlikely to have any major problems with the speed.
The fact that you will be able to gain usage out of it in other situations is a noteworthy bonus.
The Inficon Vortex dual refrigerant recovery machine is another fantastic vac that can extract vapor and liquid from the car’s A/C units as part of the ongoing maintenance. Whether being used in one vehicle or to complete this job on a regular basis in a commercial setting, the 1HP 120V machine is up to the task. Indeed, the recovery rates make it an industry leader.
Practicality of use is at the heart of the Inficon design. Everything from detachable power cord to the item weight of just 29.8lbs is ideal for portability. In fact, the unit measures just 14.2” by 16.7” by 9.2”, which further underlines those aspects.
One of the reasons for choosing a refrigerant recovery machine is to help the environment and the ozone layer. This unit is one that, despite its power, runs very efficiently, Moreover, the dual piston compressor for the fastest recovery speeds available under real service conditions while the micro-channel condenser encourages steady speeds even under the most testing conditions.
Once the vac has gathered the coolant, it is cleaned and can be reused. As with any machine of this type, times and rates can be influenced a little by the temperature. Still setting up and running the machine is a very simple task. A simple turn of the two dials gives you complete control throughout every step of the process while the gauges offer easy monitoring.
The filter/dryer inclusion is another hot selling point for this unit. The self-purge feature without needing to change hoses makes life a lot easier for all users too. This makes the likelihood of costly errors far smaller while automatic safety features further aid the cause.
Users can improve things further through the addition of various accessories and add-ons, but the truth of the matter is that the basic setup is perfect for most issues relating to cars and other vehicles. For personal and commercial endeavors alike, the Inficon dual refrigerant recovery machine is a winner.
Great value for money.
A brand name that can be trusted.
Boasts purge features.
Have to recovery liquid or vapor separately.
Would be nice to have some adapters included.
The Inficon unit isn’t built solely with vehicles in mind, but it certainly handles those car-related refrigerant recovery tasks. The unit’s portability, reliability, and attractive appearance all lend themselves to a positive user experience.
Ultimately, though, success is defined by the ability to vac moisture and reuse the coolant. At this price band, you won’t find a better option for your refrigerant recovery machine for those requirements.
- 1 HP dual piston compressor provides industry-leading recovery rates
- Micro-channel condenser provides exceptional heat exchange allowing Vortex Dual to maintain recovery rates throughout the entire recovery cycle
- Oversize fan provides exceptional cooling
- Self-purge without the need to change hoses
- Filter/dryer included
Refrigerant Recovery Tank
If you don’t already have one, you will undoubtedly need a tank to store the refrigerant in. Here is one we highly recommend:
- 30 LB DOT TANK with a Y valve for liquid and vapor
- REUSABLE and is AUS and Transport Canada (TC) approved and conforms to DOT-4BA400 specs and ARI guidelines
- UNPRESSURIZED AND SHIPPED EMPTY with dry air
- COMPATIBLE WITH ALL REFRIGERANTS (CFC's, HFC's, HCFC's and blends)
- 100% U.S. assembled and tested
Using a Refrigerant Recovery Machine
Refrigerants are a common feature among household appliances, whether you know it or not. They comprise a variety of substances that help operate your equipment by refrigerating electrical equipment that needs cooling.
Due to the make-up of these substances, the Environmental Protection Agency has regulated the use of certain refrigerants in order to protect the well-being and safety of the environment and humans alike.
As accorded by the EPA, an imperative step in HVAC—or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning—repair is the use of a refrigerant recovery machine. These machines can be used on air conditioners, freezers, or refrigerators. A technician will “recover” the substance into a tank during maintenance or repairs so that it can later be recycled or reused.
It is not only HVAC repair technicians who can use refrigerant recovery machines. Recovering refrigerants is becoming increasingly prevalent among homeowners with various cooling devices in the home.
But before doing so, it is helpful to know the essential steps for using a refrigerant recovery machine. In this article, we will go over what these machines are, how to use them, and which features to look for when selecting the best one for your needs.
What Is a Refrigerant Recovery Machine?
A refrigerant recovery machine is a piece of equipment that assists people in recovering refrigerants out of their own appliances at home through the use of valves, gauges, and a spare tank. Especially concerning the need for air conditioning refrigerant recovery within the home, these devices are extremely helpful for maintaining your own electronics in a fast, efficient, environmentally-friendly way.
How Do I Use a Refrigerant Recovery Machine?
Before anything, make sure you know what kind of refrigerant you will be recovering. It is also vital to make the recovery and general process as clean as you can so as not to hinder the lifetime of your refrigerants.
As far as actually recovering the refrigerant, a couple different methods can be used. A common method is recovering the refrigerant in vapor form, while another (and less time-consuming) process is recovering the refrigerant in liquid form via the push and pull method. Be sure to do the needed research on the best options for your appliance.
Once you have determined the method you need, follow these steps to use the machine:
• Turn off your gauges.
• Put your red hose on the high side, blue on the low, and yellow on the suction line.
• Attach one of the hoses from the recovery machine to the correlating tank and be aware of the amount of refrigerant you are extracting (weight-wise). Be mindful that legally you should not fill more than 80% of your recovery tank.
• Unscrew the valves from the appliance to the refrigerant recovery machine (not including the valve connecting the recovery machine and the tank). Loosen the valve connected to the tank momentarily to let some of the air escape, then tighten it again.
• Turn on the recovery machine until it reaches 0 psi on the low side, at which time you should stop immediately.
• After that, the machine should turn off by itself.
What Are the Features of a Good Refrigerant Recovery Machine?
There are some major aspects of a refrigerant recovery machine to be aware of when trying to find the best one for you. Here are some to be mindful of:
• Smaller carbon footprint than standard.
• Easy enough to be used by those of all skill levels.
• A compressor that can recover refrigerants in both liquid and gaseous states.
• Capable of recovering a wide variety of refrigerants, naturally best if that included the specific refrigerant(s) you are looking to recover.
• Efficiency in speed.
• Included fan to increase cooling during process.
• Automatic shut offs if the psi level broaches dangerous territory.
Essentially, it is important to know your options. Also, as the environment changes through our use of chlorofluorocarbons, halocarbon refrigerants, and more ozone depleting chemicals, it is vital to act with initiative and seek out tools that will better assist in a safer and environmentally friendly methods for the future.
Be sure to be aware of the refrigerants you seek to replace, the recovery machines that are available to you in terms of cost, skill level for use, and weight, and seek further assistance for any questions or concerns. Working with hard machinery like this that contains the potentially toxic chemicals can be dangerous, and safety is always the first priority in any project you may take on.
Refrigerant recovery machines should be handled with care and well researched prior to use. However, if you do decide to invest in one, you may very well find yourself honing a new skill as well as supporting the betterment of our environment.
Refrigerant Recovery Machine Video
Here is a YouTube video about how to set up and use a refrigerant recovery machine:
The Final Word
While all three options on this shortlist are particularly good at recovering the coolant from a vehicle’s internal systems, there’s no doubt that the Inficon unit is the number one choice. It looks great, performs great, and does virtually everything you could ever need from a refrigerant recovery machine.
Best of all, the reliability and durability of the machine ensure that you’ll get several years of usage out of it. Whether living in a particularly humid climate or not, this is one of the best purchases for the vehicle as well as the home.