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Top 10 Things We Learned in 2018

In Articlesby Elizabeth OrtliebLeave a Comment

2018 was quite a busy year for Bacharach. Just to give you an idea, we launched a new combustion and emissions analyzer, the PCA 400, and a companion mobile app; we completed the acquisition of Neutronics, Inc.; and we showcased the MGS-400 Gas Detection Series at Chillventa.

Countdown to 2019 with What We Learned in 2018

Throughout this action-packed year, we learned a lot. And before we embark upon a new year, we wanted to share with you the top 10 things we’ve learned in 2018.

10) New technology makes refrigerant safety compliance easier than ever.

Personnel working inside of an industrial cold storage facility.Starting our list of the things we learned in 2018 is that new technology is changing the game for refrigerant safety compliance.

As you may already know, refrigerant leak detectors must be configured and maintained appropriately for the application and site, as per any gas detector in any application. But, older instruments consume a lot more of your time because they usually require manual set up and more extensive training.

Advancements in leak detection are making refrigerant safety compliance easier and more intuitive than ever before; in fact, new instrumentation makes use of smartphones via dedicated apps and Bluetooth connectivity, eliminating much of the difficulties you encounter during configuration and maintenance… Read more.

9) Higher refrigerant prices could be the new normal.

Assortment of large refrigerant cylinders.What will make you appreciate advancements in leak detection technology even more is when you consider that F-gas regulations are driving up prices for high-GWP refrigerant.

Just look at what happened with R-404A in the latter half of 2017; the price of it increased by 700%. This is not an anomaly but rather a symptom of a much larger issue: High-GWP refrigerant is more expensive and thereby so is the maintenance on the equipment that uses it. Now see why newer instrumentation is all the more important under such circumstances?

To complicate matters further, these higher prices are not limited to just high-GWP refrigerants. In fact, the lower GWP refrigerant options available (e.g., HFOs and HFO / HFC blends), used to replace HFCs, do not have the low price-tag that we’re all used to… Read more.

8) Refrigerant management can have a bigger impact than sales for food retail executives.

Supermarket FreezerHigher priced refrigerant leads us to a bigger question that we explored this year. Do you have a strategy to reduce refrigerant leak rates? A refrigerant management strategy, that is.

Keilly Whitman, specialist in refrigerant management strategy for supermarkets, authored a guest post, “The Definitive Guide to Leak Rate Reduction,” on our blog, where she talks about the key parts to a successful refrigerant leak reduction program.

Interestingly and even shockingly, she makes the point that, when you consider the supermarket industry’s minuscule profit margins, refrigerant management can have a bigger impact than sales for food retail executives… Read more.

7) With the rising cost of refrigerant, low-level leak detection instruments will become of increased importance.

Racks of refrigerant cylinders leaving production facility.One element of refrigerant management, low-level detection instruments, will become of increased importance.

While monitoring for refrigerant leaks at 1,000 ppm (or higher) can be viewed as an effective way to enhance the safety of refrigerant applications, such a practice does not provide a method for catching smaller refrigerant leaks, which can result in a significant and expensive refrigerant loss.

That’s why, especially with the rising cost of refrigerant, you should consider low-level leak detection instruments that indeed detect smaller refrigerant leaks… Read more.

6) We continue to lead the way in refrigerant leak detection solutions.

And no matter what leak detection solution you ultimately choose, we truly have the solution for you.

Just to give you an example of our expertise, in the spring of 2018, we hosted a free webinar on the fundamentals of refrigerant leak detection, where we explained the common drivers behind the adoption of a refrigerant leak detection program and the most common sensor technologies used to achieve each desired outcome.

Learn more about the motivations, technologies and applications for refrigeration leak detection by watching this webinar, which is now available on-demand… Read more.

5) You should own a combustion analyzer.

Of course, our expertise also includes combustion and emissions analyzers, which leads us to number five in our list of things we learned in 2018: You should own a combustion analyzer.

As a boiler service technician, I’m sure, at some point, you have wondered whether you should own a combustion analyzer.

In our post, “Should You Own a Combustion Analyzer,” which was originally published by Plumbing & Mechanical Magazine, we answer that very question and more… Read more.

4) HVAC fleet owners benefit from owning combustion analyzers.

HVAC technician testing residential furnace with Bacharach Insight Plus Combustion Analyzer.On a similar note, the combustion analyzer provides three significant benefits for contractors and their customers: improved safety, increased efficiency and better service.

Plus, for fleet owners, working with standardized equipment on a common platform can increase overall profitability in a highly competitive HVAC environment… Read more.

3) You should find small leaks before they cause big problems.

As previously touched upon in numbers nine and seven of this list, refrigerant prices have recently skyrocketed. So, continuously refilling refrigerant instead of dealing with the actual problem—reducing refrigerant leaks—is not the best path forward in the new year ahead.

For more on this, check out our Refrigerant Leak Reduction Savings Calculator that we introduced earlier this year; with it, you can quickly calculate your potential savings from reducing refrigerant leaks… Read more.

2) HVAC technicians love the H-10 PRO.

HVAC equipment sitting on work benchThis list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our beloved H-10 PRO. As a result, the fact that HVAC technicians love the H-10 PRO comes in as number two on our list.

This isn’t much of a surprise for us, nor for all the technicians who use the H-10 PRO in their day-to-day. That’s because the H-10 PRO is the best refrigerant leak detector and has been a gold standard among HVAC-R professionals for decades.

This ultra-sensitive refrigerant leak detector has a timeless design with a tried-and-true heated diode sensor technology that helps you find small refrigerant leaks fast. It’s the choice of HVAC-R professionals everywhere. See what they say about in a few videos we’ve compiled from users… Read more.

1) Refrigerant management is good for business.

Supermarket freezer section.Finally, we’ve reached our last lesson learned and the number one thing on our countdown: Namely, refrigerant management is good for business. And at Bacharach, our various solutions, from our 1ppm leak detection hardware to our enterprise software, all work towards helping you achieve this business goal.

To illustrate the importance of refrigerant management as a business goal, consider the answer to this question: Are you fully aware of the significant financial impact refrigerant leaks can have upon your organization?

Take supermarkets, for example. In one of our best posts of the year, entitled “The Business Case for Refrigerant Management,” Keilly Whitman explains, “The average [supermarket] store leaks about 25% of … refrigerant every year. That refrigerant has to be replaced, and replacement refrigerant can cost anywhere from $8.00 for some HFC refrigerants to up to $30.00 per pound for R-22.

This leads to a cost line item every year in the millions for replacement refrigerant…” Read more.

Happy New Year from the Bacharach team

And with that concludes the top 10 things we learned in 2018, which means our countdown is over and so Happy New Year from Bacharach, to you!

It’s now time to look at the year ahead. Are you ready for the new, 2019 EPA refrigerant regulations? Check out our post from last week, the New EPA Refrigerant Regulations for 2019, to get what you need to know for the new requirements that take effect January 1.

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