HVAC Questions / Answers
Q. what warranty comes with this unit: A. the gas/elect and the Hvac carry the same warranty, 3 yr free with a additional 3 yrs available. A total of 6yrs
Q. What is the cooling unit charged with: A. R134A same as your dash air
Q. Does its cool better than the gas/elect unit A. the Hvac system is known for its fast cooling ability, they both will perform well in hot humid temps but the Hvac is 70% faster. For coldness the gas/elect is known for 38F to 42F fridge 0 to10 freezer/ Hvac 33F to 35F fridge 0 to 10 freezer.
Q. is the compressor noisy A. a slight hum of the fan above the compressor is what you will hear, in order to see if the compressor is on you most times have to put your hand on it to feel the vibration
Q. we are told the residential fridges need lots of room, which requires cabinetry redone and also a windshield or side window taken out to remove the old and put in the new A. our cooling unit mounts on the back of your existing fridge just like your old gas/elect one did, and since you are not removing the fridge from the coach, there is no extra cabinetry work and removal or installation cost
Q. are these compressors made to bounce down the road A. unlike a residential fridge, we do not make them rigid, our compressor is sitting on 4 rubber feet and the housing that supports it is very flexible to handle the harmonics and bouncing down the road and our lines are not soldered but torch brazed to ensure the highest quality weld to prevent leaks.
Q. how do we know if we have enough battery power or solar to handle this extra draw A. again unlike a residential fridge that draws between 6-8A 960W AC, my unit draws only .8 A 92W which is less then what most inverters draw by themselves, so the power savings are a huge 350% less then what you had and up to 650% less the a normal residential fridge, so the summary is, it will be hard to tell the difference in your power consumption after this is installed in your fridge… to simplify it we normally say a 1 battery will last 24+hrs without charging, so 4 batteries will go approx. 5 days
Q. what is the duty cycle (run time) A in our testing @ 80F the AC compressor will run approx. 56% and the DC approx. 64%, that is not opening and closing the doors. So, this will vary some according to your usage
Q. which is most the power efficient 120V or 12V A. on paper the 12V is the most efficient @ 7.5A 90W, but it runs some slower than the 120V, so in the end they are practically the same. But if no inverter is on board then the 12V is still much faster than your gas/elect.
Q. how does this hook up to my fridge controls and will I need to keep my original control board A. yes my unit connects to your control board in the same fashion as your gas/elect unit did, meaning most times the fridge never knows anything changed, NOTE: if you are going 12V then 10% of the time the 12V wiring behind the fridge now might have to be upgraded to a bigger wire to handle the kick load of the compressor, and on some Dometic boards it will not accept 12V as power so a small relay kit needs to be added to complete the circuit.
Q does this unit create heat inside the coach like the gas/elect unit A No this unit does not create any heat at all on its own, the only heat it gives off is the heat removed from the box, but all vents need to stay open for proper venting, and if your fridge is in a slide out make sure the top side vent baffle is removed if it has one.
Q will this completely eliminate the fire hazard that is present with the gas/elect unit A yes, the fire hazard will be gone since this is freon that is non-explosive and the LP function is eliminated
Q can 120V or 12V be hooked to the same unit A no we make 2 different units, so at the time of the order we will need to know which one applies best to your needs, and then only the power chosen can be used
Q. is this serviceable in the field or do we need to remove the whole cooling unit if need be A. most all of the splice joints are accessible thru your side vent and if need be the compressor can easily be changed thru the side vent, we build them very user friendly and very easy to work on
Q. so what extra parts are needed to complete this install A unlike the gas/elect unit where you might need to change a lot of other accessories this unit comes with: board hook up pics, install videos, foam sealant, thermal mastic, foil tape, self-taping screws, LP gas plug, glass fuse, and interior frost-free fin fan, basically everything needed to do the install. No extra parts are needed
Q is there a certain depth needed to fit the compressor unit on the back of the fridge A the compressor unit is slightly deeper then the gas/elect unit and if you measure from the back of the box to out even with the outside of the coach you will need approx. 7 1/2″ to clear, see red mark. if you have less then this ( which is rare) the side vent can be fitted to make it work.
Q how hard is it to install A it depends some on the model of the fridge, but for the most part the biggest challenge where 2 people are needed is when you slide the fridge out onto the living room floor. This link covers our 4 door Norcold model, we have some much easier and some harder than this one. Additional info for your fridge is emailed to you when the unit gets shipped
Here is a sample of how we do things different on the gas/elect cooling units versus your old one, we look at 4 things that needs to be improved on your regular Dometic or Norcold gas/elect “cooling units”
#1 Safety: Our boiler tubing has a thicker wall thickness and welded by hand much cooler, to avoid burn thru, ending result is a boiler that is ammonia leak resistant
#2 BETTER COOLING: we build the unit to withstand hot humid climates (see pic above) adding more coils and larger cooling condenser.
#3 Faster Recovery: our boiler is designed to pump ammonia much quicker thus recovery is speeded up
#4 Quality: we are not a mass production, so every unit is individually made and tested, and coated with a rubberized rust and moisture resistance paint.
Q how long have you been making this type of cooling units A we started manufacturing absorption style refrigerators in 1994.
Q what is the life expectancy on the absorption type unit A we see them run for 20 to 25 years but as an average you should expect 15 yrs
Q My fridge is in a slide out, should I add ventilation fans A yes if your fridge is in a slide out then a couple things need to change to promote proper ventilation for the gas/elect, the baffle that covers part of the top side vent needs to be removed and a Slide Out Fan Kit needs to be added to make sure all the hot air is being removed from the back side of the unit
Q What extra parts are needed to complete this install A the gas/elect unit comes with, foam sealant, foil tape, thermal mastic, so you might want to grab extra screws, #10X1” for Norcolds and #10X 1 ½” for Dometics in case your smaller ones are not long enough or rusted. If your fridge is older than 10 yrs. then we recommend that you change the LP Burner, heating element, and ventilation fans on the Norcolds and Heating element and vent fans on Dometics while you are doing the upgrade.
Q. if I only dry camp occasionally is this still the better option A. we have coaches that are off grid 100% of the time using our Hvac system, but they have some solar and 4 -6 batteries, so if you have 2 batteries and you only dry camp 1 -2 days max your best option is still the Hvac but if you go 2 weeks and have only a 2 batteries and no solar you should probably stay with the gas/elect.
Q how hard is this one to install A this installs very close the same as the Hvac unit, here is a link to the 4 door Norcold unit