The Basics of Refrigerant Handling Protocol | Air Conditioner Repair in Plano, TX

The Basics of Refrigerant Handling Protocol | Air Conditioner Repair in Plano, TX

The team at K&S Heating and Air, has been providing air conditioning service in Plano, TX and surrounding areas for many years. We have responded to various complaints, installed HVAC units in residential and commercial units and have serviced and repaired plenty of air conditioners.

During these years of service, we have witnessed standards continue to evolve, requiring HVAC professionals to transform their practices.

One such practice is the handling of refrigerants, when servicing or repairing an air-conditioner.

In the older days, proper handling of the refrigerant was, more often than not, a largely ignored domain of an HVAC professional’s practice. When servicing or repairing an air-conditioner, HVAC professionals often used to mishandle the refrigerant by:

  • Not ensuring proper recovery.
  • Venting out the recovered refrigerant in the environment.
  • Not ensuring proper recycling of refrigerant that was recovered from a unit.
  • Not safely disposing off the recovered refrigerant to the reclamation or destruction site.

Some of these malpractices were the result of the lack of established standards; sometimes it was the lack of experience and at other times a plain ignorance.

The Change…

However, as standards were enacted, refrigerant handling became an important domain of air conditioning service and repair practices. For instance, today, releasing refrigerant in the environment is considered an illegal practice. This is because the authorities have come to the realization of the hazards that refrigerant carry for the ecosystem.

Why Proper Handling of Refrigerant is Important?

  • Because, one needs to make sure that their practices do not harm the environment.
  • If refrigerant is recovered, recycled and reclaimed properly, it can offer significant cost savings, which homeowners otherwise have to pay in getting their units recharged with a new stock of refrigerant.
  • Improper handling of refrigerant may at times invite the risk of serious on-site accidents.

Therefore, a refrigerant handling protocol needs to be followed. Its knowledge should be made common, both to the technicians, offering air conditioning service in Plano, TX, and the customers who want to get their air conditioning units serviced or repaired.

The Proper Steps For Safe Handling Refrigerant

Every refrigerant handling protocol revolves around three steps. These steps form the basis of refrigerant handling. However, not all of these steps may need to be executed during a repair or service work.

  • Recovery of Refrigerant: It is the extraction of refrigerant from an air-conditioning unit. The recovered refrigerant is then transferred into an external storage cylinder.
  • Recycling of Refrigerant: It is the step in which the recovered refrigerant is cleaned, usually on site, to purify it from contaminants. The recycled refrigerant is then re-used. Sometimes, the company offering air conditioning service in Plano, TX may require the refrigerant to be transported to an external facility due to non-availability of on-site recycling equipment.
  • Reclamation of Refrigerant: Reclamation of refrigerant is necessary, where the refrigerant has to be restored to its original virginity for re-use. This is not possible with a simple recycling process. Reclamation may also be carried out in a situation, where the installed air conditioning unit has to be discarded, and so, the refrigerant is of no use to the homeowner. In that case, the reclaimed refrigerant is sold in the market.

Ensuring Safe Recovery of Refrigerant

Before starting the recovery process, it is important that the HVAC professional, tasked with the job of performing air conditioning service in Plano, TX has read the Material Specification Data Sheet. This data sheet is provided by all refrigerant manufacturers. Homeowners must ask about any safety precautions that they need to administer themselves, during the process of refrigerant recovery. Other important considerations include:

  • Both the HVAC professional and the homeowner, should wear safety gears.
  • The recovery process must only be performed in an area which is well ventilated.
  • The technician must pre-determine the working pressure of the external storage cylinder, before transferring the recovered refrigerant.
  • If there are multiple air conditioning units that need servicing or repair, having different grades of refrigerants, each grade of refrigerant should be stored in a separate storage cylinder.
  • The external cylinder being used for storing the recovered refrigerant, should only be filled 80 percent of its total capacity. This should be monitored with the help of weighing scale.
  • Finally, please ensure that the cylinders, storing the recovered refrigerant, are not kept under direct sunlight or close to a source of heat.

Ensuring Safe Recycling of Refrigerant

Once the refrigerant has been recovered, it then needs to be purified from the contaminants, before it can be reused. For that, your local air conditioning service in Plano, TX, will look to recycle the recovered refrigerant. The contaminants that may affect the working efficiency of your refrigerant, include: moisture, particulate matter, acidity, etc.

The basic precautions that should be administered during the process of refrigerant recycling are as follows:

  • The cylinders for storing recycled refrigerant and recovered refrigerant must be separate. The HVAC professional can choose two different colored cylinders for the process or simply label each to maintain a distinction.
  • The cylinder being used for storing the recycled refrigerant should be dry and free from contaminants like acid or oil.
  • Make sure the recycled refrigerant is charged back into the unit, from which it was originally recovered.

The service or repair work at times could be tedious, and a HVAC professional, being hired to perform air conditioning service in Plano, TX, may unintentionally fail to exercise these precautions. A homeowner should always make sure that every step of the process is being followed.

Ensuring Safe Disposition of Recovered Refrigerant

As discussed earlier, sometimes, the recovered refrigerant may need to be safely transported to a nearby reclamation facility. At K&S Heating and Air, we provide refrigerant reclamation as part of our air conditioning service in Plano, TX.

To ensure safe disposition, the cylinders storing the recovered refrigerant must be transported to the external facility, in a controlled environment. The working temperature and pressure should be constantly maintained during commuting.


By ensuring proper handling of the refrigerant during service and repair jobs, environmental leaks and on-site accidents can be prevented. Further, it also helps ensure that the refrigerant can be reused, offering optimum working efficiency. If you are looking for air conditioning service in Plano, TX, feel free to contact us.