The 10 Best Refrigerant Leak Detectors
This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in October of 2018. For the HVAC technician who needs a safe and reliable way to quickly identify problems with various heating or cooling equipment, one of these refrigerant leak detectors is just the tool for the job. Our selection includes compact, easy-to use models with powerful and long-lasting sensors designed to deliver the highest levels of accuracy possible in any type of working environment. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 16, 2020:
When it comes to health, energy efficiency, and saving both time and money on extensive repairs to HVAC systems and other appliances, these refrigerant leak detectors are definitely a necessity for in-home professionals and even automobile enthusiasts. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are all highly toxic gases that contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer. Additionally, refrigerants contain these toxic gases, so if one of these tools is not used, then leaks might not be discovered until an appliance has stopped working the way it should. When these refrigerants leak, they are odorless, colorless, and more substantial than air. If left unchecked, they can ultimately cause asphyxia to people in the surrounding area. These devices can help prevent dizziness, headache, asphyxiation, and other illnesses associated with potential gas leaks.
This year, we've added both the Elitech ILD-200 and Elitech WJL-6000, the former of which has an integrated earphone port for use in noisy environments while the latter offers a rapid response time and seven sensitivity levels.
I realize the Inficon D-Tek Stratus is quite expensive, but what's really cool about this one (and our reasoning for including it) is that its portable monitor guides you with a numeric parts-per-million readout, a value that increases as the concentration of detected refrigerant also rises in a given area, giving you the advantage of using this data to pinpoint the exact source of a leak, as opposed to trying to hunt for it around an invisible cloud of gas.
The LS-Pro High Sensitivity is equipped with a brushless DC fan for quiet operation and it also has an extra-long steel probe for accessing hard-to-reach locations.
Also newly added is the Mastercool Blue Raptor with 15 detection levels and a handy pair of UV glasses.
November 06, 2018:
Added Inficon D-Tek Select for its extended sensor cell life and resistance to being affected by temperature fluctuations. Also included the Fieldpiece SRL8 for its rugged construction and moisture-resistant internal filter. Also included the LotFancy Freon due to its detection versatility and affordable price point.
Bacharach PGM-IR Offering a built-in library of over 50 refrigerants, the portable and very expensive Bacharach PGM-IR is capable of finding the source of the smallest leaks at a minimum detectable level of one part per million. Its level of accuracy is not affected by sudden changes in temperature or humidity and it can also store up to 200 readings in its internal memory. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 8 hours of continuous use. mybacharach.com