Whether you want to become an air conditioning (HAVC) technician or want to do your own repairs on your own HAVC system, the HVAC manifold pressure gauge is an indispensable and essential tool. This device tests the pressure of gases and liquids in the cooling system and can also be used to read vacuum pressure. Identify any blockages or leaks in the HVAC system, perform evacuations and refill coolant, etc.
With so many HVAC manifold gauges on the market, how do you choose which model will simply and effectively meet your needs? In this primer, you will learn about the main types of HVAC manifold gauges and how to choose these devices. Find the best HVAC manifold pressure gauge for your needs and budget.
Types of HVAC Manifold Gauge
There are two main types of HVAC gauges: analog and digital gauges.
Analog (Mechanical) HVAC Manifold Pressure Gauges
Also known as HVAC mechanical gauges because of their round dial and pointer appearance and their internal mechanical gear and shaft assembly. Since analog gauges are compound gauges, they measure pressures above and below the zero point and require manual calibration at the 0 point out depending on the altitude.
Analog gauges consist of two gauges: a blue low pressure gauge and a red high pressure gauge, connected by a central manifold. This central manifold has either three or four ports.
In the three-port manifold, the blue hose connects to the low-pressure port for vapor, the yellow hose connects to the center port for recovery or charging, and the red hose connects to the high-pressure port for liquids. This center manifold allows the flow of gas and liquid and controls the flow of gas and liquid through valves on the manifold.
Analog gauges are less expensive and simpler to maintain. Pressure readings can easily be off by several percentage points if not operated properly. Since analog gauges have been around for a long time, the production techniques are more mature and you can purchase a good quality analog HVAC manifold pressure gauge for a relatively low price.
Digital HVAC Manifold Gauges
Digital HVAC manifold gauges work on the same principle as analog gauges, but are much better at getting accurate pressure readings. Digital gauges have LCD screens that display a large amount of information and have built-in pressure-temperature (P/T) charts for different types of refrigerants.
The digital gauges all have thermometers, and superheat and subcooling numbers can be displayed simultaneously during operation, making system analysis easier and faster. While digital meters have many features not found in analog meters, they are more expensive and require careful maintenance to ensure proper use.
How to choose HAVC manifold gauge kit?
For general air conditioning system maintenance, an analog HVAC manifold gauge is more than adequate to handle the job without spending more money on a digital gauge. Next I'll tell you what to look for when purchasing an analog manifold gauge kit.
The maintenance of your air conditioning system is not a one-time thing, you need to maintain it every once in a while. So when buying an HVAC manifold gauge set you need to consider the materials used and the accuracy of manufacturing.
2. Standardized color coding
For analog gauges, you need to choose a gauge set with standardized colors of blue and red. to help you identify the low and high pressure side and ensure proper use.
3. Number of ports
Normally, a three-port manifold is adequate for general tasks. For vacuum pull applications and larger HVAC systems, four ports may be necessary.
4. Refrigerant Compatibility
Modern air conditioning systems use a variety of refrigerants (e.g., R134A, R12, R22, and R502 refrigerants), so you need to make sure the HVAC manifold pressure gauge set is compatible with your car. But remember to clean the hoses and manifolds after each use.
Your budget is tied to the type and quality of HVAC manifold set you can afford. While it may seem tempting for a unit to have all the features, expensive units can break down without careful maintenance. That's why it's enough to buy a HAVC gauge that will meet your maintenance needs.
Orion Motor Tech's HVAC manifold pressure gauges are made from high-quality materials and boast excellent durability and accuracy. Suitable for a wide range of refrigerants, there are also different accessories to match, making it perfect for novices and professionals alike.
Now that you have a more basic understanding of what type of HVAC manifold pressure gauge to buy, it's time to get your own exclusive air conditioning system maintenance equipment based on your own needs.