Two HVAC/R Industry Regulations to Watch in 2019

Guess what the top HVAC/R industry trends are for 2019? If you answered energy efficiency and going green, you’re on the right track.

These were the top most important trends attendees of the recent ASHRAE- and AHRI-sponsored AHR Expo predicted for this year. They’re also the focus of two regulations that could impact the industry in 2019.

Read on to learn all about them and how they could shape your work this year.

Digital Precision Meets Touchscreen Convenience in the NEW YELLOW JACKET P51 TITAN™ Digital Manifold Series

YELLOW JACKET® brings system measurement into the digital age with the introduction of the groundbreaking P51 TITAN™ Digital Manifold Series.

The flagship P51-870 features a 4.3-inch full-color touchscreen display and, when paired with our ManTooth™ app, full Bluetooth® capability to connect to a mobile device for remote monitoring.

“The P51-870 revolutionizes the way a typical 4-valve manifold can be used to diagnose an HVAC system,” says Gary Lampasona, YELLOW JACKET Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “With one device you can now diagnose the system and, with the power of Bluetooth technology, you can diagnose remotely, service and charge through the device, monitor pump down/evacuation, and perform leak testing both in a vacuum and at positive pressure.”

The P51-860 provides a monochrome backlit digital display and the same measurement capabilities and Bluetooth connectivity and as the P51-870.

For leak testing, charging, recovery or evacuation, you get everything you need to attach to a system and perform the job with unsurpassed speed, ease and accuracy.

Tech Tip: 500 Microns = 500 Microns

Welcome to what was intended to be my second article on refrigeration circuit practices and the importance of pulling a good vacuum on a system during installation or repair. This was going to be the time where I discussed POE oil being hydroscopic, how we can only evacuate about 50% of the moisture contamination out of POE oil (the rest must be removed with a filter drier), and how despite popular theory we do not measure the quality of a vacuum based on taking a 30-minute lunch. In truth, you have all heard this before and there are many great articles that discuss this very topic in the industry. Case in point, one of those articles inspired my new subject matter: 500 Microns = 500 Microns.

So, the other day, a longtime friend of mine called me to discuss an article he had read on pulling good vacuums. Fortunately, the article had been written in an HVAC Magazine I regularly read so I was familiar with the author’s viewpoint. The main subject being questioned was the proper tools for ensuring a good vacuum. My friend wanted to know: Do I need a specific evacuation manifold? Do I need specific vacuum rated hoses? Do I need to be removing all valve cores?

He wanted to know what I thought; knowing my friend well I already knew he used a Micron Gauge and since we are discussing system evacuation, I believe we can all safely give him the benefit of the doubt he is using a vacuum pump. So, the real question came down to are these other tools necessary to ensure a good vacuum on a refrigeration circuit. The following is a summary of our discussion:

If you are using a micron gauge to monitor the level of vacuum being pulled, then the question of using special tools comes down to is the time you save worth the cost of the tools.

A 500-micron vacuum pulled with a standard charging manifold (three hose, not four) and measured with a micron gauge is equal to 500-microns pulled with a specific vacuum manifold tied to your pump, with vacuum rated hoses, and vacuum rated valve core tools having removed the valve cores.

In terms of how low to pull a vacuum, it is irrelevant. How low you pull the vacuum does not matter. Where the vacuum stabilizes is what matters.

If you pull a system to 250-microns and then isolate it, the system then rises and finally stabilizes at 1000-microns … you have a 1000-micron vacuum. On the other hand, if you pull the system down to 400-microns and it stabilizes at 700-microns …. you have a 700-micron vacuum. The latter is the better vacuum for the system.

Too many times technicians get caught up in semantics and ignore actual physics. The level of a vacuum is measured in microns. It does not matter how quickly you get to that micron level.

There are no bonus points for getting the initial vacuum super low. The only thing that matters is once you isolate that system and allow the vacuum to fully stabilize within the system, what is the micron level? That is your vacuum. Everything else is opinion and preference. Now, I’m not chastising anyone for recommending the use of special tools. Many of these tools are a good investment to allow technicians to complete a task properly while also saving time. I applaud people willing to invest in themselves. I encourage practices like double and triple evacuation to help get to that low stabilized vacuum. Sometimes without these practices it would take forever to get a good stable vacuum.

What I do chastise people for is judging others based on your opinion with no substantiating facts. If you prefer a three-hose charging manifold over a four hose, good for you I do too (those four hose manifolds are heavy!)

Put simply: use good tools and make sure they do the job accurately.

There are usually several types of the same tool that will allow for the proper installation or repair. One of the finest HVAC professionals I have ever known is a colleague of mine. He was working with a manufacturer representative on a job site. They needed to test static pressure, so a digital manometer was pulled from my colleague’s tool bag. Well, it just so happened the digital manometer in that tool bag was a single port. The manufacturer began to give my colleague a hard time and lecture him on a dual port digital manometer being the only correct tool for that job.

Now, I believe in a digital manometer. My Fieldpiece SDMN5 dual port digital manometer is one of my most favorite tools and is in my Veto Tech LC tool bag in the back of my truck as I write this. However, my colleague was a skilled HVAC professional and in fact one of the finest I have ever met. He may not have had a dual port, but he sure could take the reading from the supply, take the reading from the return, and then do the math! A 500-micron vacuum equals a 500-micron vacuum. I’m not real concerned how you get there, I just care that you do get there!

New Product: CoolAir AC SmartSeal External

AC SmartSeal External works on all materials — copper, aluminum, steel, plastic — and it’s great where copper meets aluminum. It works on holes up to about a fifth of an inch — and will last 12 to 15 years.

AC SmartSeal External is tested and compatible with all refrigerants and lubricants and won’t dissolve over time. Plus it won’t void warranties since it’s applied from the outside, with nothing going into the system.

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Sweep Dreams are Made of This

Welcome to the first of a two-part series covering the subject of key refrigeration circuit practices. In this post, I will be discussing the importance of properly using nitrogen when brazing refrigerant lines. The process is called “sweeping” and this is not a new process. What has changed over the years is that POE oil has become the predominate refrigerant oil used throughout the world. One characteristic of POE oil is that it’s an excellent detergent and will literally clean the inside of tubing within the refrigerant circuit. This will become problematic when short cuts are taken during installation.

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Daikin Launches Updated SkyAir Single Zone System Products

Daikin has recently announced the launch of their updated SkyAir single-zone system products.  It consists of new RZR cooling-only models and RZQ heat pump outdoor models (where the 18k, 24k, 30k and 36k heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity at -4°F), new FAQ, FCQ and FTQ indoor units along with the addition of 4-ton systems for FTQ, FCQ and FBQ.

Daikin SkyAir is a 2-wire light commercial and residential family of cooling only and heat pump single-zone systems, consisting of a variety of ducted and non-ducted indoor units, ranging from 1.5-4 tons with lineset lengths up to 230’ while backed with a standard 10-year parts limited warranty.

Details About the New FTQ Multi-Purpose Air Handler

This new air handler provides a traditional ducted solution with the benefits of an inverter, variable-speed compressor in a side-discharge outdoor unit.

The FTQ is capable of upflow, downflow, horizontal left and horizontal right installation configurations and is designed for ZERO clearance on three sides and only 24” clearance on the front for service. It also has a smaller footprint compared with previous models, with a depth of 21”, width of 17.5-21” and a height of 45-53.4”.  The smaller size provides easier attic and mechanical closet installations.  It also comes standard with a factory installed disconnect switch and efficiencies of up to 16.0 SEER, 12.5 EER and 10.4HSPF (heat pump only).

For further SkyAir information, please click here or contact your local ECMD branch or associated ECMD sales rep.


What Is Field Service Management Software?

If you work in a home-services industry — and especially if you manage a team of professionals who make house calls — there’s a good chance you’ve heard about field service management software. But exactly what does this term refer to, and is field service management software applicable in your specific line of work?

To help you gain a clearer understanding of what field service management software is and how your business might use it, here’s an overview of everything you need to know about this revolutionary way to streamline your workflow.

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Tech Tip: Much Ado About Refrigerant

The topic of refrigerant has been an ongoing saga since we first announced the phase-out of HCFC R-22 in 2010. There have been numerous rumors circulating throughout the years about what would happen to refrigerant and when it would happen. We have lived through a roller coaster of prices with not only R-22, but with R-410A as well. However, it is important to keep in mind that the value of anything in the world is only what you can find someone willing to pay for it. So, here we are in 2019, and I am not sure we have any better grasp on where we are headed than we did nearly ten years ago.

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