We hope that you find this to be one of the best HVAC refrigerant recovery machine reviews available. This is a very detailed review and we have done everything possible to provide you with all of the essential information that you need to make the right purchase decision.
To bring you the best HVAC recovery machine review we tested several different machines and only the best 10 made the final list. All of the machines in our review are available on Amazon so whichever one you choose you can make your purchase in total confidence. We will bring you the views of the customers that have purchased each machine as well.
If you want to purchase a Freon recovery machine then the more information you have the better. These machines are expensive so it is very important that you know everything about them. We have provided the pros and cons of each machine and provided our ratings as well as customer ratings. Here is an overview of the 10 machines that made our final list:
Best HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine Reviews From Amazon (Updated 2023)
What is Refrigerant and why does it need recovering?
1. What is a Refrigerant?
Let’s face it most of us take refrigerants for granted. You will find it in your refrigerator, your air conditioning, your water cooler, your car, and your freezer. These are all cooling devices. A refrigerant is in gas or liquid form and has a really low boiling point. Typically a refrigerant will boil at 15° below zero and will freeze at around -154°.
Refrigerants make things cooler by removing the heat from them. To fully understand this concept you need to accept that anything being cold is simply because they lack heat. When anything boils it absorbs heat. Think of a pot of water absorbing the heat from a stove.
Refrigerants boil at low temperatures, and as they boil they remove heat from the environment cooling everything down. A refrigerator or other cooling device needs to complete a cooling cycle and it does this using a compressor. The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant so that it returns to its liquid state.
You will find that a lot of refrigerants have “R” numbers used to simplify their complex chemical names. The “R” stands for “refrigerant” and examples of the numbering are R-12, R-1234yf, R-134a, and R22.
2. Why recover Refrigerant?
In the past HVAC technicians just vented refrigerants but things have changed and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has now made it illegal for technicians to vent refrigerants that pose a threat to the environment. There are serious penalties in place for violating the law including heavy fines and jail time.
There are two phases to refrigerant recovery. The first phase is all about reducing and eventually eliminating refrigerants that are potentially harmful to the environment. Reclaiming the refrigerant is the second phase. This is the evacuation of refrigerant from HVAC/R so that it can be recycled and eventually reused.
HVAC refrigerant recovery machines make this complex task easy for those that do not have EPA Section 608 certification as a technician. Anyone can use one of these machines to evacuate the refrigerant from their refrigerator.
What is an HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine?
You will use an HVAC refrigerant recovery machine to remove the refrigerant from your cooling device in line with the standards laid down by the EPA. A refrigerant recovery machine has gauges, valves, and a tank and the machines create a vacuum through the use of an electrical pump.
Usually, there will be a filtration system used as the refrigerant exits your cooling device on its way to the associated storage tank. You can then take the tank with the recovered refrigerant to a recycling center for cleaning and reuse.
What does it mean to recover Refrigerant?
As mentioned before it is illegal now to just vent refrigerant from your cooling devices. There are a number of refrigerants that are a potential threat to the environment and the EPA has severely cracked down on them. Anyone that just vents refrigerant is likely to receive a huge fine or even face imprisonment.
It is essential that we all do everything that we can to protect the environment. Now homeowners have the opportunity to make a contribution by using an HVAC refrigerant recovery machine at home to remove the refrigerant from their home cooling devices.
How does an HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine work?
You will need to connect your HVAC refrigerant recovery machine to the appropriate valves on your cooling device. When the machine runs it will create a vacuum that then sucks the refrigerant out and sends it to the approved storage tank. A filter system will clean the refrigerant as it evacuates from your cooling device.
You will normally find three types of HVAC refrigerant recovery machines available which are small, residential, and commercial. A small machine will handle the removal of refrigerant from car air conditioning and wall and windows mounted air conditioning systems.
For your refrigerator, freezer, or home air conditioning then you will need a residential refrigerant recovery machine. All of the machines in this review are residential. You will only need a commercial refrigerant recovery machine for larger HVAC systems found in shopping malls, office buildings, large stores, and so on.
Best HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine Reviews from Amazon: Top 10
We tested a number of different machines for refrigerant recovery and only the best made it into our top 10. We looked at several different aspects such as the quality of the machine, the reputation of the manufacturer, the performance, the ease of use, and the price.
You will find a detailed review of each machine in our top 10 below. We took the views of the customers that have purchased each machine into account and we have listed the pros and cons of each machine as well.
1. Fieldpiece MR45 HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine Review:
The Fieldpiece MR45 Recovery Machine is a very advanced refrigerant recovery machine. It boasts a digital display which some of the other machines do not have and it comes with a high-powered compressor and a 1HP motor. The speed of this machine is very impressive and will achieve around 3300 rpm.
You can handle both liquids and vapor refrigerants with the Fieldpiece MR45. Another good thing about it is that the machine will keep on running even if there is a power fluctuation. We found that the compressor was able to maintain continuous power even when the input voltage dropped. Most of the other machines would switch off.
This refrigerant recovery machine is fairly lightweight at just 22 pounds and the design makes it really compact. Another good feature of the Fieldpiece MR45 Recovery Machine is the ceramic cylinder for added durability. You will be able to easily handle refrigerant recovery at home with this very effective machine.
The manufacturer, Fieldpiece, has an excellent reputation in the HVAC market and this is the first refrigerant recovery machine they have entered the market with. They are an American company and have certainly got this machine just right. They have included a large condenser with this model which does a great job of keeping everything cool.
2. Inficon 714-202-G1 Vortex Dual Refrigerant Recovery Machine Review
The Inficon 714-202-G1 Vortex is another high-quality refrigerant recovery machine. It has a dual piston, 1HP motor which provides a great deal of power and fast recovery rates. The machine also has a microchannel condenser which helps to lower pressure when the machine is discharging.
This machine is fairly heavy at around 30 pounds but it is still light enough to carry around from one location to another. There is an inbuilt filter and we were very impressed by the number of liquids and vapors this machine can recover.
The Inficon 714-202-G1 Vortex will recover R12, R134A, R22, R404, R410A, R407C, R502, and R500. It will also recover class 3, 4, and 5 refrigerants easily. There is a large fan provided with this machine which will keep all of the internal components cool when the machine is in operation.
We liked the fact that the Vortex Dual has a self-purge feature that will empty the machine of all recovered refrigerants which means that you don’t have to change hoses frequently. It has a filter system as well. The powerful oil-less compressor has a safety switch that will automatically kick in if to turn off the machine if the internal pressure reaches 550psi.
3. Robinair 34288 CoolTech R-134A Refrigerant Recovery Machine Review
The Robinair 34288 CoolTech R-134A recovery machine has a high degree of accuracy and is very easy to use. With this powerful machine, you can recover refrigerants and also recharge refrigerants with a high degree of accuracy. It also has an automatic air purge feature which is important because you want to ensure that there is no air in the machine.
This machine works very well with R134A refrigerant and it has a fairly fast recovery time. It has been tested against SAE J-2788 standards for the accuracy of refrigerant recovery and charging which demands 95% accuracy with a +/- 0.5-ounce tolerance. The RG3 Twin Cylinder comes with a high vacuum pump to ensure speedy refrigerant evacuation.
If you need to refill your refrigerant then you can use the automatic refill system which allows you to select the amount of refrigerant you want to recharge with. As soon as the storage tank is almost full there is an alarm that sounds telling you to take the refrigerant for recycling.
This machine has a built-in filter and there is an automatic prompt to change the filter when it reaches a specific use threshold. Robinair is another American company with a good reputation in the HVAC industry.
4. Appion G5TWIN Twin Cylinder Refrigerant Recovery Machine Review
If you are looking for very fast recovery speeds then the Appion G5TWIN Twin Cylinder is certainly worthy of consideration. This machine has twin condensers and twin cylinders that deliver very impressive power. You can actually use this machine for commercial applications as well as for home use.
The machine weighs in at just 26 pounds and it is also compact with measurements of 13.75 inches by 10.3 inches by 9.4 inches. This is a very durable machine and it looks good too. There is a very sturdy carrying handle at the top of the machine and it has a well-detailed front control panel.
We found the Appion G5TWIN Twin Cylinder pretty simple to use. The gauges are color-coded to make things easy so the inflow gauge has a blue color with the outflow gauge red. We were able to achieve 3000 rpm with this machine and this performance was due to the 7-inch turbine fan with 10 blades.
This large fan ensures that everything is kept cool, especially the twin cylinders and condensers. You need to be aware that the Appion G5TWIN will only work with specific refrigerants which are R22, R134A, R407C, and R410A. The machine can handle either vapor or liquid refrigerants.
This machine is very well sealed and the crankcase is totally isolated so that there can be no refrigerant contamination. If refrigerant contaminates the bearings of a machine it will make it noisy during operation and increase overall wear and tear.
5. Robinair RG3 Twin Cylinder HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine Review
The Robinair RG3 Twin Cylinder is a very lightweight refrigerant recovery machine and it only weighs 18 pounds. It is also very compact with dimensions of 14.8 inches by 11.4 inches by 8.5 inches. This machine is also durable with an outer casing and top handle which is very hard to break.
You will find this machine easy to use especially with the well-positioned pressure gauges. The valve controls are color-coded for ease of use and match the inflow and outflow of blue and red colors. The RG3 Twin Cylinder has an oil-less compressor that has a built-in safety switch. If the internal pressure exceeds 550psi the machine automatically switches off.
This machine can handle both liquid and vapor refrigerants. It will deal with commonly used hydro-chlorofluorocarbon, chlorofluorocarbon, and hydro-fluorocarbon refrigerants as well. You can certainly use it with R12, R134A, R22, R410A, and R500. We did notice that the recovery time for vapor refrigerants was significantly longer than with liquid.
The Robinair RG3 Twin Cylinder works well in hot conditions due to the air crossflow produced by the condenser and fan. This machine offers some good features for a very good price and it will handle residential applications and some larger HVAC tasks. It is a power-efficient machine consuming less energy than some of its competitors.
6. Robinair RG6 Portable HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine Review
Another high-quality refrigerant recovery machine from Robinair is the RG6 Portable. This machine has an impressive recovery speed and a twin-cylinder design. This is a portable machine but it does weigh 33 pounds. The overall measurements are 18 inches by 13.6 inches by 9.7 inches.
The reason that the RG6 weighs more than other refrigerant recovery machines is because of the power it has. It has a 0.75hp twin-cylinder motor and an oil-less compressor. You will be able to recover both vapor and liquid refrigerants with the RG6 and it can deal with a wide range of refrigerants.
You can use this machine for the recovery of refrigerant from car air conditioning systems but you will require an adapter and some special hoses. Like most Robinair machines there is an automatic shut-off feature should the internal pressure go above 550 psi. The machine avoids cross-contamination with its self-purge facility.
The Robinair RG6 Portable is reasonably durable and comes with a hard-to-break handle that is comfortable to use. You will find the RG6 easy to use and it will handle a wide range of refrigerants.
7. Yellow Jacket 95762 Recover XLT Refrigerant Recovery Machine Review
The Yellow Jacket 95762 Recover XLT is a refined refrigerant recovery machine that can handle a multitude of tasks. It is fairly heavy at 34 pounds and the dimensions of this machine are 21 inches by 15 inches by 13 inches. This machine is larger than some of the others but there is a good reason for this.
There is a powerful sensor in this machine and it also has the unique Ritchie Recover XLT component. We really liked the design of this machine and we felt that the build quality was good. The machine is almost silent when it is operating and this is due to the noise-absorbing properties of the molded case.
We found the Yellow Jacket 95762 Recover XLT easy to use and it was easy to see and use the pressure gauges on the front panel. Like most quality refrigerant recovery machines there was blue and red color-coding of the inflow and outflow valves and gauges. The highly durable molded case will protect the pressure gauges from damage.
There is an oil-less compressor in this machine and recovery times were very good. The built-in condenser prevents the machine from overheating and to provide further assistance in this regard there are powerful fans to keep all of the internal components cool. It will handle the most commonly used liquid and vapor refrigerants.
8. Robinair 34788NI Premier R134A Refrigerant Recovery Machine Review
If you are looking for a commercial-grade refrigerant recovery machine for vehicle air conditioning then the Robinair 34788NI Premier R134A is a great choice. You can use this machine on non-hybrid as well as hybrid vehicles and powerful compressors handle the recovery and recharging.
This machine has an automatic air purging facility to ensure the removal of all air before use. There is also an automatic refill feature for refrigerants designed to save time. Despite the power of this machine, we found it pretty straightforward to use and you have a very user-friendly menu system.
You can easily clear any residual oil from the Robinair 34788NI Premier R134A which is important to prevent cross-contamination. When the container is nearing the full mark you will receive an alert. When you use the machine’s automatic features you will get an audible and visual alert telling you when an operation concludes or if there are any problems.
This is a serious refrigerant recovery machine with a high ticket price. It is a heavy machine weighing in at 232 pounds and it is large with dimensions of 48.5 inches by 36 inches by 24 inches. With this machine, you can recover refrigerants, perform a leak test, and charge with refrigerants without the need to use panel valves.
9. CPS Pro Set TR21 Oil-Less Twin Cylinder Refrigerant Recovery Machine Review
The CPS Pro Set TR21 Oil-Less Twin Cylinder has an innovative design in that it has a “vacuum pump” which makes the machine more portable. The machine comes with a powerful oil-less 2-cylinder compressor which produces reasonable recovery times. There is a filtration system built-in and you can clean the 100 mesh screen.
CPS claims that they have patents pending on both the head design of the machine which provides improved performance and the cooling system that increases the longevity of the compressor. The machine is robust and has a steel and aluminum construction. Overall we found this machine reasonably easy to operate.
The CPS Pro Set TR21 Oil-Less Twin Cylinder can handle an impressive range of refrigerants which include R12, R134A, R22, R401A, R401B, R401C, R402A, R404A, R406A, R408A, R409A, R410A, R411A, R411B, R500, R502, R507, and R509.
This machine features a number of different “fit-ins” which assist with cooling and performance. There is an overload safety feature built-in that will turn off the machine if the pressure goes above 550 psi. It also has a thermal protection feature so that the machine will not overheat.
10. Robinair 25201B Oil-Less HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine Review
If you are looking to recover high-pressure or medium refrigerants then the Robinair 25201B Oil-Less is certainly worth a look. One of the best features of this machine is its ability to automatically switch from liquid to gas recovery and vice versa. The recovery time with this machine is impressive thanks to the powerful oil-less compressor.
You will be able to recover a wide range of refrigerants with this machine. This is a 220 – 240 volt 50/60 hertz-powered machine that will provide you with continuous recovery without the need to operate any switches or change any hoses. There is a cut-off switch if the pressure exceeds the threshold.
Efficient cooling of the Robinair 25201B Oil-Less happens through a large inbuilt fan. This is an expensive high-quality refrigerant recovery machine that will not operate with a standard USA power supply of 110 volts.
How to use a Refrigerant Recovery Machine
The first thing that you need to determine is the type of refrigerant that your device uses. This is important as you need to decide whether or not you will reuse the same refrigerant. Read all of the instructions with your refrigerant recovery machine so you know exactly what you need to do before proceeding.
It is really important that you filter the refrigerant prior to it entering the storage tank. Some refrigerant recovery machines will have this built-in but if not you will need an inline filter. Over time dust and dirt can contaminate refrigerants. It is even possible that the refrigerant can contain pieces of metal that you do not want to reintroduce into your refrigerator.
Now you are ready to recover the refrigerant. Make sure that you turn off the machine gauges and then connect to your refrigerator using the high and low sides. Often you will have a red hose that connects to the high side and a blue hose that connects to the low side.
Connect the appropriate hose from the machine to the storage tank. It’s a good idea to weigh the storage tank first so you can measure how much refrigerant you extract. You must not overfill the storage tank as this can create spillages. In fact, you cannot fill your storage tank over 80% of your capacity.
The next step is to remove all of the air by opening the specific valves on your refrigerant recovery machine. You will need to unscrew the valve connected to the storage tank and then listen for the escaping air. It should just take a few seconds to remove the air and then you can tighten the valve again.
Now you need to reconnect the valves and switch on the refrigerant recovery machine. As the refrigerant evacuates and there will be a reduction in pressure which you will see on the machine. Check to see when the pressure reaches zero psi on the low side and then switch the machine off. Don’t let the pressure get any lower.
A number of refrigerant recovery machines will automatically switch off once as soon as the low side psi level reaches zero. The final step is to turn the valves to “purge” and then turn the machine on again. After completing the purge the machine switches off automatically again. Close the valves to complete the task.
Things to consider before Buying the Best HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine – Buying Guide
There are a number of things that you need to take into consideration when you want to purchase an HVAC refrigerant recovery machine. You will find a lot of different machines on the market that meets different requirements. The residential machines in this review have a faster recovery time than commercial machines and they are less expensive too.
It may be possible for you to use your residential refrigerator recovery machine for your car’s air conditioning. To do this you are likely to need a special adapter and different hoses. A lot of the more modern machines can handle different types of refrigerants. Make sure that you check this before you purchase.
Consider the weight of any refrigeration recovery machine that you are looking at. Some of the machines are really heavy and may not be convenient for you. These days machines have become lighter thanks to technological advances.
Recovery speed is an important factor when choosing the right HVAC refrigerant recovery machine. The machine needs to have the right amount of power to handle the job you want it to do or you could be waiting a very long time for the task to finish.
One of the most important aspects of recovery speed is the compressed type included. Find out what kind of compressor the machine has. It will probably be a hermetic or oil-less compressor. The recovery speed will be a lot faster with an oil-less compressor. Machines with oil-less compressors do usually cost more though.
Find out the capacity of the compressor in the machine. Also, look for a machine that has a reusable filter for the compressor. If there is a filter then this will assist in making the machine more effective. Also, check out the warranty offered with the machine. You may find that the warranty for the machine and the motor are different.
The final consideration is the price of the machine. You are going to have to pay anything from $300 to thousands of dollars depending on the specifications of the machine and the manufacturer. Think about how often you will use the machine. If you are going to use it now and again then you may not want to spend more than $1,000.
Frequently Asked Questions for Best HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine: FAQ
Q1.Why do I need to use a refrigerant recovery machine?
If you need to perform a repair or general maintenance on a refrigerator or air conditioning unit you cannot just vent out the refrigerant as this is illegal. You face a severe fine or even go to jail if you do this. Some refrigerants pose a threat to the environment.
Q2.What types of refrigeration recovery machines are there?
There are three main types of refrigerant recovery machines:
Small – these machines are for refrigerant recovery from your automobile air conditioning or from wall or window-installed smaller air conditioning units.
Residential – these are more powerful machines and will handle home air conditioning as well as refrigerators and freezers.
Commercial – these are for the larger HVAC installations such as air conditioning installations found in malls and large stores.
Q3.What good features should you look for?
A good refrigerant recovery machine will have a carbon footprint that is lower than the standard. It will be easy enough to operate even if you have never used one of these machines before and have no idea about how it works. It will also have automatic shut-off features to ensure safety.
Q4.Why is recovery speed important?
Recovery speed is basically the time it takes to perform a refrigerant recovery from start to finish. More powerful machines will have faster recovery speeds.
Q5.What kind of compressor should I look for?
There are two types of compressors used in refrigerant recovery machines – these are hermetic and oil-less compressors. An oil-less compressor normally has a faster recovery speed but machines with these compressors are usually more expensive.
Q6.Will I be able to remove the refrigerant from my car’s air conditioning with my machine?
You will need to check if this is possible. Sometimes you will have to purchase a special adapter and hoses to use your residential refrigerant removal machine for this task.
Q7.How easy is it to use a machine for refrigerant recovery?
You will need to read the instructions provided by the manufacturer and perform a series of steps. It is not that difficult to do.
Q8.Where can I get the collected refrigerant cleaned and recycled?
You need to find a facility in your local area that does this. Perform an online search to see what is available near you.
Final Words for Best HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine
We hope very much that you found this to be one of the best HVAC refrigerant recovery machine reviews around. It has taken a lot of testing and comparing features to provide you with this detailed review. Buying a refrigerant recovery machine is quite an investment so it is essential that you have all of the right information.
In all of our tests, we found the Fieldpiece MR45 to be the best refrigerator recovery machine when it comes to performance, features, and overall value for money. Fieldpiece has a great reputation in the HVAC industry and their first recovery machine is a real winner. The INFICON 714-202-G1 Vortex Dual is another good machine worthy of consideration.
When you are looking to purchase a refrigerant recovery machine you need to think about what you will use it for and how often you will use it. The more expensive machines will generally do more and be able to perform a number of recoveries without any issues.
We wish you well in purchasing your new refrigerant recovery machine and we sincerely hope that this review has helped you identify the best HVAC recovery machine.