3 Best HVAC Vacuum Pumps of 2022 – Consumer Reports
Buying an HVAC vacuum pump is not an easy job, especially if you do not know a thing or two about them. There are some technicalities involved like what size you need and which pump would be better suited for your air conditioning unit or refrigerator. Lucky for you, we have some tips for you that will assist you in selecting the proper pump for yourself.
Why would you need a vacuum pump?
HVAC vacuum pumps are used two common household items, the fridge and the heating and air conditioning unit. Since there is excessive use of both of these items and they tend to be running all day and night. The excess load on these eventually causes problems within the unit. Most commonly, moisture is the main cause of problems that result in you needing a vacuum pump.
Two of the most frequent problems due to moisture are: system freeze up and contamination.
- System freeze up: as moisture builds up, it eventually mixes with the oil and refrigerant lowering their viscosity. This allows the mix to easily move throughout the system. The mixture eventually moves into the expansion valve where it increases the temperature. Eventually causing the valve and area to freeze up.
- Contamination: In the HVAC unit, the moisture comes in contact with the oil and refrigerant which causes a chemical reaction forming hydrochloric acid and chlorine due to which the oil turns acidic and corrosive. If not treated, the oil eventually turns into sludge which ends up breaking down the compressor windings leading to failure of the compressor.
With the help of a vacuum pump, you can ensure that there is no moisture build up in your fridge or heating and air conditioning unit. Not only that, the vacuum will also ensure to discard all contaminants and non-condensable gases which will increase the efficiency of your system.
Now that you understand why you need a vacuum pump, let’s move on to the factors you need to consider when buying a pump:
- Capacity of the pump: you should know what capacity of the pump would be suitable for your need. The higher the capacity the faster the pump works for evacuation. For a fridge at home you would need around 1.2 CFM (cubic feet per minute) while for a HVAC system measuring 10-15 tons would require a 2 CFM vacuum pump.
- Weight: The lighter the better. You want a pump you can easily manage to carry around.
- ?Power of the motor: This factor isn’t as important but you want to ensure the motor is powerful enough for the job at hand. For bigger systems, you may want to get a motor that packs a little more horsepower.
- Warranty: you want a pump that gives you some sort of protection and includes a warranty if a problem occurs with it.
Keeping all these things in mind, you need to purchase a vacuum pump. We have tested numerous different HVAC vacuum pumps and have selected the 3 best. Making your hunt for a vacuum pump a lot more easier.
Hilmor Vacuum Pump 5 CFM, 1948121
- Fast and powerful with 5 CFM
- Easy to change the oil
- 2 year warranty
- Slightly heavy, weighs over 20 lbs
Hilmor is known to produce products that not only function well but are well designed. They really put an emphasis on ease of use for their customers so their products are designed in such a way that anyone can use them. The Vacuum Pump 5 CFM fits well into Hilmor’s philosophy of a simple designed vacuum pump that is easy to operate. That is why it top’s our list of vacuum pumps.
The design of the Hilmor Vacuum Pump 5 CFM is simple yet classy. We understand that is is a vacuum pump and not something you display but this pump has quite a sleek design. It is built well and quite sturdy so you don’t have to worry much about anything breaking or coming off as you carry the pump around. Keeping customer’s ease in mind, this pump comes with a sloped and channeled housing for the oil. This makes changing the oil a fast and easy process.
For ease of carry, you have the option of adding a strap so you can easily carry it around. It is slightly on the heavier side weighing slightly over 20 lbs. However, the strap does provide a nice and easy way for you to carry it.
The pump works very well and packs quite the power at 5 CFM. It can easily handle the workload of an HVAC of up to 40 tons. The average residential HVAC is around 10-15 tons so you can rest assured that the Hilmor Vacuum Pump 5 CF has you covered from moisture at for both commercial and residential use.
Operating the vacuum pump is a breeze. The instructions provided make it easy for even beginners to use the pump with ease. We tested it out on a 30 ton commercial HVAC and it worked extremely fast to remove all the moisture.
If you are looking for a well built, sturdy, and easy to operate vacuum pump with power then you should seriously consider the Hilmor Vacuum Pump 5 CFM.
R410A R134A R22 4.8 CFM Vacuum Pump HVAC A/C Refrigerant W/4VALVE MANIFOLD GAUGE
- Good amount of capacity at 4.8 CFM
- Handle makes it easy to carry
- Design is outdated
- Heavy at 20 lbs.
If you are a bit old-school and like to have a pump that goes with a classic pump design and packs some power then the IS Import R410A is a great option. It is more reasonably priced than the Hilmor Vacuum Pump 5 CFM but is far off in design.
The R410A looks like your typical vacuum pump. It lacks a lot in design when you compare it to the Hilmor Vacuum Pump 5 CFM but remember this is just the design aspect not performance. It comes with a handle on top so it is easier to carry the pump around. Weighing 20 pounds, the pump is a bit on the heavy side but you expect that from pumps that are in the 5 CFM range.
The R410A comes with everything you need in a vacuum pump. It is fairly easy to use and comes with 60” hoses which makes it easy for you to operate the pump in bigger HVAC. The capacity of the pump is 4.8 CFM so you can use it on larger HAVC units also.
The R410A isn’t as flashy and well designed as the Hilmor Vacuum Pump 5 CFM. However, when you look at the performance both are almost at par with the Hilmor Vacuum Pump 5 CFM slightly edging it out. If you have a limited budget and want a pump that can get the job done then the R410A is right for you.
Super Deal 3.5CFM/4CFM/5CFM 1/4HP Air Vacuum Pump HVAC Kit AC A/C Manifold Gauge Set
- 3.5 CFM, great for residential use and small commercial use
- Comes with a handle
- Easy to carry, just under 13 lbs
- Outdated design
Who says you need to spend a massive amount of money to get a good performing vacuum pump? The Super Deal 3.5 CFM vacuum pump is not only low in cost but also packs more than enough power for residential use.
The Super Deal 3.5 CFM vacuum pump takes after the design of the R410A. The classic design is fine if it appeals to you. However, with so many companies making pumps with far more innovative and attractive designs. The classic design is becoming less and less appealing, at least for us.
Like the R410A this pump also comes with a handle on the top that is attached to the body so it makes it easier for you to carry. The pump weighs just under 13 lbs so is very easy to carry. It has a oil drain plug at the bottom, making it easy for you to drain the oil out.
With a capacity of 3.5 CFM this pump is perfect for residential use. It should be perfect for the average HVAC used in homes. The pump is highly efficient and doesn’t produce a lot of noise so it won’t be too much of a distraction.
The Super Deal 3.5 CFM packs power and performs well. So if you need a pump for mostly residential use then we highly recommend this pump for you. Not only is it low in cost but quite durable and packs the power you need.
Picking an HVAC vacuum pump doesn’t have to be tough. As long as you know what the capacity is of the HVAC you would need it for, you can easily decide the capacity of vacuum pump you need. Once you have that narrowed down, you can set a budget for yourself and decide accordingly. You can find vacuum pumps for almost any budget as the three we shared range from $50 all the way to $350. So it is completely up to you to decide which vacuum pump is more suitable for you overall.