Buying a refrigerant, us just as important as installing your air conditioning unit so it is imperative that you have all the necessary knowledge before diving into making a purchase. With numerous refrigerants on the market, it is just essential that you are aware of where you need to buy as well as other crucial details regarding the purchase. Many first-time buyers often find themselves in a tight spot when they have to make a decision about where they will need to buy their refrigerant. However, before we can even get to buying, there are some crucial aspects you must understand. Here are some important aspects you need to know about before buying a refrigerant.
Before we can go deeper into this refrigerant buying guide, it is important to mention that for you to purchase any type of refrigerant, you with either need to:
- Be fully certified by the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States. And based on the kind of refrigerant you will be buying, you will be required to have a 608 or 609 certification. You should also bear in mind that there are various types of 608 certifications but the safest way to go is to ensure that you are universally certified so as to properly cover all your bases. In addition, the 608 automotive certification is usually a lot easier to acquire than the 608 certifications. In some cases, these certifications could be done by your employer if they already have a trainer’s license.
- If you are an employer and are looking to buy a refrigerant, then you will be required to provide some written proof indicating that there is a 608 or 609 technician in place prior to making the purchase.
The criteria mentioned just above is dictated by the Environmental Protection Agency. It is also worth mentioning that HFC refrigerants like R-410A, R-404A, and R-134a have been added to the refrigerant sales restriction. Initially, since the HFC refrigerants never used to damage the Ozone layer, there was no need to prove that you are certified.
How Much Will You Be Buying?
This is the most important question and it is quite big for that matter. And just like most commodities on the market, the more you purchase, the cheaper you can acquire it. Here are the common refrigerant buying levels and what can be done.
- Little: If you’re just a DIY who is looking to get their hands on less than 10 pounds of refrigerant, you will obviously have a hard time. Luckily, you can buy small cylinders of refrigerant on eBay or Amazon. However, when the new refrigerant restriction rules take effect, most of these small cylinders will not be available on online retail platforms. This is because there is the intention to prevent DIYs and novices from working with AC machines they are not familiar with.
- Medium: Medium level refrigerant buyers are usually business owners running small automotive shops or small HVAC repair companies. These people might need several cylinders at a go but cannot handle the forty cylinder pallet. More often than not, these customers are usually 608/609 certified but do not have a high demand for them to purchase in bulk.
- Large: Now here are the big guys when it comes to buying refrigerants. These are mostly larger automotive dealerships or HVAC companies who can comfortably purchase a pallet or two at a go. And most importantly, these people are usually certified by the EPA.
When To Buy A Refrigerant
Just like any other commodity you find on the market, the price of refrigerants can change at the drop of a mike. In most cases, refrigerant prices usually hit an all-time peak during the dead of summer, for business owners and homeowners alike. This is because summer is the season when you need your air conditioning system to work efficiently and hence you will probably need a large volume of refrigerant. If you are a homeowner in July and discover you are out of refrigerant, you will obviously need to pay a pretty penny to acquire some more of the refrigerant. During this period, the price almost doesn’t matter. On the flip side, the lowest refrigerant prices are usually experienced during winter. Very few people are buying refrigerants in winter so the prices will drop until the onset of spring when they start rising.
Where To Buy Refrigerants
One aspect about refrigerants is that there are many places where you can buy them either in a retail setting, through an online website or buying directly from your refrigerant distributor. The place you choose to purchase is often determined by the kind of refrigerant you are looking for as well as the quantity you intend to buy. Well if you only want a few cylinders, say two or three cylinders of refrigerant, the best refrigerants online are on sites like Amazon and eBay. These online platforms make it possible for you to buy any kind of refrigerant in individual cylinders in addition to providing you with great ease of use. The only problem is that if you buy a refrigerant which has been phased out – such as R-502, R-22 or R-12, you will have to provide proof of certification from the Environmental Protection Agency. Failure to provide this certification means that you cannot make a purchase.
If you want to buy larger quantities of the refrigerant, say eight, ten, twenty-five or a pallet of forty cylinders, it would be advisable that you get in touch with a refrigerant distributor. When dealing with distributors, however, it is important to ensure that you are not receiving an imported Chinese refrigerant. In most cases, these refrigerants are of a low quality, not mixed in the right proportions, and at times, not the actual product you ordered. The best thing to do when dealing with a distributor is to inquire about the manufacturer they carry. If you want to buy several pallets at a go, it would be best if you went directly to the refrigerant’s manufacturer.