Why Does My HVACR System Need Commercial Refrigerant Analysis?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018
commercial HVACR inspection

Refrigerant is the unsung hero that keeps your air conditioner pumping out cool air. The only way your commercial HVACR system stays cool is with pure refrigerant. Impurities reduce efficiency and increase maintenance issues. The only way to tell if your HVACR system is running on pure refrigerant is to have a professional perform an analysis. This post will go over refrigerant analysis and how it could benefit your business.

Why do I need to conduct a refrigerant analysis?

Recycling and reclaiming refrigerant is popular and could reduce costs for your business and decrease the environmental impact of your HVAC system, freezers, and refrigerators. However, all of your efforts can backfire if your refrigerant is contaminated. Impurities can damage a system, reduce efficiency, and shorten its lifespan. Conducting a refrigerant analysis is one of the best ways to detect contaminants and take corrective action to protect your equipment.

What will a refrigerant analysis tell me?

Having a professional HVACR company analyze and inspect all of your systems can help you repair small issues before they become big problems. Refrigerant should be inspected during this process to see if a recharge is needed to keep your systems running smoothly. Professionals will look for signs of moisture, acids, organic matter, particulates, and certain gases.


Moist air entering the system, leaks, and improper service procedures can result in high moisture levels in refrigerant lines. If there is moisture, it can cause ice formation on the expansion or evaporate valve, acid formation, metal corrosion, and degradation of lubrication oils.


The decomposition of refrigerant and oil in the presence of moisture or air at high temperatures can result in acid forming in refrigerant lines. If your system develops inorganic acids, it could cause serious problems because these are highly reactive and soluble in water. These acids can also degrade equipment over time.

Organic matter

This type of impurity includes things like tar, wax, and sludge. These materials usually form as organic materials in the system, typically caused by decomposition of oil, varnish, gaskets, and insulation. As the organic material circulates, it can clog capillary tubes and openings, which can cause them to expand or stick. Finally, organic matter interferes with the heat transfer surfaces, which reduces efficiency.


Solid contaminants include a variety of materials such as dirt, metallic particles, and chemical compounds. These particles enter the system through corrosion, materials left in the system after maintenance, the breakdown of refrigerant lines, and normal wear and tear. Solids can etch themselves into your compressor cylinder walls, plug lubrication holes, and expansion valves. The particles can also damage your motor insulation and even cause bearing failure.

Non-condensable gases

These refer to chemically inert gases that do not liquefy into your refrigerant as it travels through the condenser. The gases can enter your commercial HVACR through leakage, chemical reactions, decomposition of materials at high temperatures, and after an incomplete evacuation. They reduce cooling efficiency and accelerate chemical reactions within your refrigerant.

If you are noticing persistently high energy bills or efficiency issues, that could be an indication that your refrigerant is contaminated or leaking. At Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas, we have over five decades of experience servicing Commercial HVACR systems. Give us a call at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email and one of our technicians can evaluate your system.