How to Calculate Your Refrigerant Leak Rates Like A Pro

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How to Calculate Your Refrigerant Leak Rates Like A Pro

How to Calculate Your Refrigerant Leak Rates Like A Pro

Are you wondering how to properly calculate your refrigerant leak rate in accordance to EPA 608? 

Knowing how much your HVAC/R equipment is leaking is crucial to comply with these regulatory requirements and operate your cool air and AC units within budget. It’s also important for environmental sustainability, decreasing your environmental footprint, and meeting corporate sustainability goals.

Are You Unsure of Your Refrigerant Leak Rate Calculations?

Indeed, any uncertainty with your refrigerant leak rate calculations increases your risk and leaves gaps in your maintenance process and refrigerant tracking. With changes to the EPA 608 leak repair requirements taking effect very soon, you just can’t afford to be unsure…

This post is going to help you understand how to properly calculate your refrigerant leak rates using a greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator, so you can get consistent outcomes across your building portfolio and reduce worry!

In fact, by the end, you will be able to test your knowledge of refrigerant leak rate calculations with our refrigerant leak rate calculator form and guide.

Let’s get started. 


U.S. EPA Recognizes Two Methods for Calculating Refrigerant Leak Rate

First things first, the U.S. EPA in its National Refrigerant Management Program, otherwise known as Section 608, calls out two methods for calculating your refrigerant leak rate: the (1) Annualizing Method and the (2) Rolling Average Method:


#1: Annualizing Method

This method is “future-oriented” and “considers the amount of time since the last refrigerant addition and then scales that up to provide a leak rate that projects the amount lost over a whole year if not fixed” (81 FR 82272). 

#2: Rolling Average Method

This is a retrospective approach to refrigerant leak rates and “accounts for all refrigerant additions over the past 365 days or since the last successful follow-up verification test showing that all identified leaks were successfully repaired (if less than 365 days)” (81 FR 82272).

This is the foundation of EPA 608’s leak repair requirements… If you’re not careful and you get your refrigerant leak rate calculation wrong, everything else from there will go downhill… 

So, it’s important that you get down the basics and the interworkings of these two methods. 


8 Things to Keep in Mind About the EPA’s Refrigerant Leak Rate Calculations

Now that we’ve shown you the two methods you need to properly calculate your AC refrigerant leak rates, here’s a few things you need to keep in mind about these refrigerant leak rate calculations for HVAC units to avoid expensive repairs (that most people forget): 

  1. They are NOT per occurrence leak rates.
  2. They look at a period of 365 days. 
  3. They are not just based on weight. 
  4. You need to pick a method, and stick with it.

In fact, it states, “the same method must be used for all appliances subject to the leak repair requirements located at an operating facility” (40 CFR Part 82 Subpart F). 

  1. If you exceed the maximum allowable refrigerant leak rate for your appliance, you are out of compliance.
  2. And you must repair the leak within 30 days. 
  3. Starting on Jan. 1, 2019, per the EPA 608 Update, if you surpass the maximum allowable refrigerant leak rate, you are also subject to mandatory leak inspection requirements
  4. Plus, starting on Jan. 1, 2019, there is a new reporting requirement for chronically leaking appliances, which gives you all the more reason to ensure your refrigerant leak rates are within compliance. 


Your Refrigerant Leak Rate Calculation Form and Guide

We’ve walked you through EPA’s two refrigerant leak calculations, and we’ve also told you 8 things to keep in mind about them. 

Get My Free Refrigerant Leak Rate Guide


(No more guessing—Learn how to easily calculate your refrigerant leaks using the Annualizing or Rolling Average Method!)

Grab the download now, and check your refrigerant leak rate calculations at your own convenience. We’ve made it that simple for you.

And if you’re looking for a tool to help you with leak rates, turn to Trakref. We’re a software corporation that has been in the regulatory compliance software and environmental compliance calendar software space for years. As an environmental software provider, we make sure our refrigerant capabilities will help you in your journey toward compliance and sustainability, as well as helping with ESG reporting and answering sustainability audit questions. Get in touch with a Refrigerant Geek today


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