6 Best HVAC Vacuum Pumps For Thorough Moisture Removal

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

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An HVAC vacuum pump is essential for proper maintenance, and it’s more important than ever to have one handy.

Even experienced professionals can struggle to find the best vacuum pump for HVAC systems with so many on the market.

I wanted to simplify it, so I researched, tried, and tested over 35 devices.

Eventually, I narrowed it down to the best 6, and I’ll introduce them in this guide. So keep reading if you want a high-performing and great-value vacuum pump.

Quick Glance - My Recommendations

VIVOHOME 110V 1/4 HP 3.5 CFM Single Stage...

VIVOHOME 1/4 HP 3.5 CFM

Editor’s Choice

SPECSTAR 110V 9.6 CFM 1 HP Dual-Stage Rotary...

Specstar 1 HP 9.6 CFM

Heavy Duty Unit

XtremepowerUS 3CFM 1/4 HP Vacuum Pump HVAC...

XtremepowerUS 3 CFM 1/4 HP

HVAC Vacuum Pump Kit

6 Highly Rated Vacuum Pumps for HVAC Professionals

Over 60% of homes in the US now have HVAC systems - that’s millions of air conditioners and refrigerators that need regular repairs and checkups.[1]

Here are my top six choices for vacuum pumps to keep them in tip-top condition.

1. VIVOHOME 1/4 HP 3.5 CFM

4.8

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

5.0

Current Progress
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Performance

4.5

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Value for Money

5.0

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Who is the VIVOHOME 1/4 HP 3.5 CFM best for?

The VIVOHOME AC Vacuum Pump is best for refrigeration and AC units in homes or small businesses.

Pros
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Tough and durable
  • Effective oil lubrication system
  • Compact and portable design
  • Affordable
CONS
  • Not suitable for large-scale HVAC systems
  • No anti-suck valve

The VIVOHOME AC vacuum pump is my top pick because it's simple, user-friendly, and efficient.

It's suitable for users of all experience levels and makes it easier to do HVAC repair work.

The VIVOHOME has a robust but compact design. It weighs under 11 pounds and has an easy carry handle for easy lifting between jobs.

It also has a solid aluminum housing to protect the internal components from accidental damage.

It's far more durable than the ZENY AC vacuum pump and should last 5-7 years if properly maintained.

The VIVOHOME may not have the raw power of the commercial-grade RobinAir VacuMaster, but the CFM and vacuum rating make it well-suited for medium-sized HVAC systems.

The quality is impressive, but the simple operation makes the VIVOHOME AC vacuum pump stand out.

The controls are straightforward, and the connection system links easily to AC units.

It also has a separate pump oil bottle (with an oil fill port) that's easy to refill cleanly. There's even an oil viewing port, so I can see when it needs topping up.

Making the lubrication system simple helps prevent unnecessary wear and tear and prolongs the pump's lifespan.

The simplicity and versatility make VIVOHOME the best HVAC vacuum pump for beginners or experienced HVAC technicians.

The VIVOHOME vacuum pump isn't for prolonged industrial use, but I recommend it for DIYers or experienced HVAC technicians working with small-to-medium-sized HVAC systems.

Feature

Details

Vacuum Pump Capacity

3.5 Cubic Feet Per Minute

Ultimate Vacuum Level

37.5-micron rating

Operation

Single-Stage Vacuum Pump

Motor power

¼ HP

Pump Power Rating

110 Volts


2. Specstar 1 HP 9.6 CFM

4.8

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

5.0

Current Progress
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Performance

5.0

Current Progress
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Value for Money

4.5

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Who is the Specstar 1 HP 9.6 CFM best for?

The Specstar AC vacuum pump is best for HVAC technicians and professionals handling larger-scale systems.

Pros
  • Best HVAC vacuum pump for industrial AC units
  • High CFM rating for efficient and effective evacuation
  • Versatile - with a variety of fittings
  • Tough and durable
  • Comes with all accessories as standard
CONS
  • Noisy
  • Not as portable
  • More expensive than domestic models

The Specstar AC vacuum pump is a big step up from the VIVOHOME in terms of power.

It can handle much larger air conditioning systems, and the performance during testing impressed me - taking just under 30 minutes to drain my 40,000 BTU AC unit completely.

The rapid and efficient air and water vapor removal is partly thanks to the high CFM and horsepower and the 2 stage rotary vane system that allows it to reach a lower micron level than the XtremePowerUS or ZENY devices.

The commercial-grade AC vacuum pump is also versatile and easy to use.

It has several inlet fitting options compatible with different HVAC systems, an angled oil drain plug for faster lubrication delivery, and an easy-to-read sight glass to monitor the oil level.

It also has all the accessories and fittings as standard, so there's no need to pay for extras.

The Specstar is heavy-duty and durable but is noisy compared to other models, so I wouldn’t recommend using it in smaller homes. 

It’s also relatively heavy, so don’t expect to move it as effortlessly as the XtremepowerUS pump.

However, the performance-to-cost ratio of the Specstar makes those issues seem small because you’ll struggle to find a higher-capacity AC vacuum pump in this price range.

I recommend this powerful and reliable AC vacuum pump for HVAC professionals handling large air conditioning systems.

Feature

Details

Vacuum Pump Capacity

9.6 Cubic Feet Per Minute

Ultimate Vacuum Level

35-micron rating

Operation

Two-Stage Vacuum Pump

Motor power

1 HP

Pump Power Rating

110 Volts


3. XtremepowerUS 3 CFM 1/4 HP

4.6

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

5.0

Current Progress
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Performance

4.5

Current Progress
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Value for Money

4.5

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Who is the XtremepowerUS 3 CFM 1/4 HP best for?

The XtremepowerUS AC vacuum pump is best for DIYers and HVAC technicians who want a simple vacuum pump.

Pros
  • Easy to get started - comes with all kit included
  • Compact and portable
  • User-friendly design
  • Versatile
  • Affordable
CONS
  • Not suitable for larger HVAC systems
  • Lower build quality and less durable

The XtremepowerUS is affordable, has a user-friendly design, and is versatile.

It's the perfect pump for those with less experience.

The display gauge makes monitoring and diagnosing HVAC system issues easy, and the easy-fill oil port (with spillage meter) means you can drain and refill it easily.

It also comes with a full HVAC pump kit, including various adapter connections for HVAC systems - making it a very versatile model.

This unit is well suited for beginners, but it still performs well.

The airflow rating and vacuum level make it perfect for residential use, and it even has a slightly better cleaning performance than the Zeny vacuum pump.

What I value most about this vacuum pump is its portability. It's lightweight, compact, and easy to maneuver.

It takes minutes to set up and fits into smaller spaces than other models, making it a real asset for HVAC technicians.

The XtremepowerUS vacuum pump may not be as tough as the Specstar or as powerful as the Robinair VacuMaster - but it is a great starting point for building your residential HVAC tool kit.

If you want a reliable and portable vacuum pump suitable for regular transport, I recommend the Xtremepower US.

Feature

Details

Vacuum Pump Capacity

3 Cubic Feet Per Minute

Ultimate Vacuum Level

40-micron rating

Operation

Single-Stage Vacuum Pump

Motor power

¼ HP

Pump Power Rating

110 Volts


4. ZENY 3.5 CFM 1/4 HP

4.6

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.5

Current Progress
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Performance

4.5

Current Progress
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Value for Money

5.0

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Who is the ZENY 3.5 CFM 1/4 HP best for?

The ZENY vacuum pump is best for DIYers on a budget, primarily working on residential units.

Pros
  • Great value equipment
  • User-friendly and low-maintenance
  • Portable
  • Comes with kit and tool bag included
  • Low noise output
CONS
  • Not suitable for heavy industrial use
  • Lower build quality and durability than other brands

The ZENY AC vacuum pump proves you don’t need a big budget for good functioning equipment.

This residential HVAC vacuum pump offers great value and is ideal for DIYers or hobbyists.

Don't let the price fool you because the ZENY pump is still high-performing.

The 3.5 maximum airflow rating is more than enough for most AC units, and it had no trouble with my medium-sized AC unit (18,000 BTUs) during testing.

The single-stage operation can't match the Robinair Vacumaster or Specstar pump power rating. However, it's still better than most domestic HVAC equipment.

The ZENY pump is also versatile. It has a portable case for easy moving and comes with a tool kit (with adapters).

It doesn’t have the full range of connections the XtremeUS vacuum pump has, but it should still connect to most AC units.

What stands out with this vacuum pump (other than the price) is its user-friendly design. It has simple controls and a low-maintenance direct drive motor.

It’s also easy to refill and has an oil sight glass to monitor the oil levels easily.

The ZENY equipment may not have the features and robust quality of Specstar or VIVOHOME brands and isn't as long-lasting.

However, it's still the best HVAC vacuum pump for the money and perfect for beginners.

If you want a budget vacuum pump, I recommend this model.

Feature

Details

Vacuum Pump Capacity

3.5 Cubic Feet Per Minute

Ultimate Vacuum Level

50-micron rating

Operation

Single-Stage Vacuum Pump

Motor power

¼ HP

Pump Power Rating

110 Volts


5. Robinair VacuMaster (15500)

4.5

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.0

Current Progress
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Performance

4.5

Current Progress
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Value for Money

5.0

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Who is the Robinair VacuMaster (15500) best for?

The Robinair VacuMaster is best for HVAC professionals on a budget or DIYers performing maintenance on bigger AC units.

Pros
  • Powerful two-stage mechanism (generating 5 CFM)
  • Efficient and fast-acting moisture/gas removal
  • Portable
  • Tough and durable build quality
  • User-friendly
CONS
  • Can overheat
  • Noisy

The Robinair VacuMaster offers commercial-grade performance without being a complicated industrial device.

It's simple enough for people of all experience levels, with a high vacuum level perfect for large AC units.

The device is high-performing (an impressive 5 CFM airflow rating) with an efficient design.

The simple, 2 stage rotary vane mechanism works with a streamlined inlet to maximize airflow and create vacuums more quickly.

It operates closer to the ultimate vacuum level of any of the pumps I tested, and it can remove moisture and gas even quicker than the Specstar HVAC pump.

Despite the quick and powerful operation, it’s still portable. The whole unit is sturdy and feels secure as you move it around.

It's not as light as the XtremePowerUS pump but more useful for field service personnel who need more robust equipment.

The only thing to watch with this model is that it can overheat, so I recommend running it in shorter bursts and keeping it ventilated (the fast operation means you don't need to use it for extended periods anyway).

This rugged and dependable vacuum pump is more expensive than the VIVOHOME or ZENY. Still, it offers exceptional long-term value thanks to its durability.

If you want a powerful and efficient vacuum pump for frequent use in commercial or domestic settings, I recommend the Robinair VacuMaster.

Feature

Details

Vacuum Pump Capacity

5 Cubic Feet Per Minute

Ultimate Vacuum Level

35-micron rating

Operation

Two-Stage Vacuum Pump

Motor power

1/3 HP

Pump Power Rating

115 Volts


6. Elitech SVP 9

4.5

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.5

Current Progress
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Performance

4.5

Current Progress
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Value for Money

4.5

Current Progress
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Who is the Elitech SVP 9 best for?

The Elitech SVP 9 vacuum pump is best for professional HVAC technicians with a larger budget who need the most precise equipment.

Pros
  • Remote control and monitoring through a high-quality App
  • Large display screen for easy programming
  • Suitable for industrial use (high airflow rating)
  • Long-lasting, with a durable aluminum body
  • Low noise output
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Advanced features not needed for home use

The Elitech SVP 9 is a big step up from other models on my list in terms of features and price.

It's the best HVAC vacuum pump for professional use in high-demand environments requiring complete and accurate control.

The Eitech SVP 9 offers advanced performance with a high airflow rating and vacuum level that's a cut above even the Specstar pump.

It's also intelligent, with excellent user interface options.

The large touchscreen display makes the vacuum pump easy to monitor and configure, with preset modes and automatic functionality options.

The display even tells you the completion times so you can leave it unattended and move on to other tasks.

Elitech has also created an App that allows you to control, program, and monitor the pump through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

You can even use it to track historical performance data for your HVAC system and see any recurring trends.

The App is one of the best I've used and will make an HVAC professional's life much easier.

The only downside of the Elitech is the price because it is more expensive than other models on the list.

The VIVOHOME, Robinair Vacumaster, and ZENY models offer better value if you only need a domestic unit.

However, with its smart features, Elitech offers HVAC professionals a lot of convenience and precision.

This model is an excellent investment if you have a larger budget and regularly work on complex systems.

Feature

Details

Vacuum Pump Capacity

9 Cubic Feet Per Minute

Ultimate Vacuum Level

25-micron rating

Operation

Two-Stage Vacuum Pump

Motor power

1 HP

Pump Power Rating

110 Volts


Comparing HVAC Vacuum Pumps Models

Preview

Name

Rating

Vacuum Pump Capacity

Ultimate Vacuum Level

Price

VIVOHOME 110V 1/4 HP 3.5 CFM Single Stage...

VIVOHOME 1/4 HP 3.5 CFM

4.8

3.5 CFM

37.5-micron rating

SPECSTAR 110V 9.6 CFM 1 HP Dual-Stage Rotary...

Specstar 1 HP 9.6 CFM

4.8

9.6 CFM

35-micron rating

XtremepowerUS 3CFM 1/4 HP Vacuum Pump HVAC...

XtremepowerUS 3 CFM 1/4 HP

4.6

3 CFM

40-micron rating

ZENY 3.5CFM Single-Stage Rotary Vane Vacuum...

ZENY 3.5 CFM 1/4 HP

4.6

3.5 CFM

50-micron rating

Robinair (15500) VacuMaster Economy Vacuum...

Robinair VacuMaster (15500)

4.5

5 CFM

35-micron rating

Elitech 9 CFM Vacuum Pump 2 Stage Intelligent...

Elitech SVP 9

4.5

9 CFM

25-micron rating


How To Choose a Reliable HVAC Vacuum Pump

The HVAC vacuum pump capacity is the volume of the air conditioning system it can work with.

If not sized appropriately, the pump won't function effectively, which can lead to incomplete air and moisture removal or short cycling.

1. Sizing the HVAC Vacuum Pump

The capacity of HVAC vacuum pumps is shown in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM), a measurement of how much air the vacuum pump can move in one minute.[2]

The CFM rating indicates how quickly the pump can evacuate the air or water vapor from the system.

You can usually find the CFM in the product specifications or label.

Small, residential HVAC vacuum pumps (like the ZENY) will have a 1-4 CFM rating. Commercial HVAC vacuum pumps (like the Elitech SVP 9) will have a 5-25 CFM.

TL;DR: CFM is one of the most important rating to look for when buying an HVAC Vacuum Pump.

2. Determining the Pumping Capacity Needed By Your AC

The capacity needed from your vacuum pumps depends on the size of the air conditioning system - not the physical size but the output in BTUs.[3]

You can find the BTUs on the packaging or in the user manual.

Residential air conditioning systems typically have a BTU rating of 5,000-30,000. It's sometimes shown as AC tonnage, where 12,000 BTUs equals 1 ton of air conditioning.

Generally, you need 2-4 CFM for every 12,000 BTUs (1 ton of air conditioning).

Therefore, you need a 4-8 CFM HVAC vacuum pump for a 24,000 BTU AC unit.

Pumping Capacity of the Pump

The CFM of the HVAC vacuum pump should match the size of the air conditioning system.

The table below gives a rough guide to how you should size your HVAC vacuum pump, but bear in mind that CFM is determined in test conditions and can also be impacted by:

  • Pump design
  • Hose and system conditions
  • Blockages that change the free air displacement (FAD) [4]
  • Vacuum Level
The above factors may mean you need a slightly higher or lower CFM for your HVAC vacuum pump.

AC BTU Output

AC Tonnage

Suggested Vacuum Pump Capacity (CFM)

12,000 BTUs

1 Ton

3 CFM

24,000 BTUs

2 Tons

6 CFM

36,000 BTUs

3 Tons

9 CFM

48,000 BTUs

4 Tons

12 CFM

60,000 BTUs

5 Tons

15 CFM

TL;DR: Pumping capacity is based on the BTU of the refrigeration system.

What is the Vacuum Level of the Pump

The vacuum level of your HVAC vacuum pump is the level of pressure reduction (or vacuum) it can achieve.

It's measured in microns (millionths of a meter) and is one of the most important factors to consider.[5]

The lower the pressure (micron level), the higher the vacuum level and effectiveness of the pump.

You can find the vacuum level on the HVAC vacuum pump specifications.

However, this is the ‘ultimate vacuum level’ - the best vacuum level the system can achieve. The actual vacuum level may be slightly lower.

The vacuum level is important for 4 reasons:

  1. 1
    The higher the vacuum level, the better the vacuum pump can remove moisture and air. It also lowers the evacuation time.
  2. 2
    High vacuum levels will help to remove residual gases that could otherwise remain in the system.
  3. 3
    Deeper vacuum levels help to prevent contamination and keep your home clean.
  4. 4
    A high vacuum level will improve your HVAC system's efficiency by removing all potential blockages.

Useful Tip:

Domestic HVAC vacuum pumps typically range between 50 and 500 micronsAnything below 100 is considered a ‘deep vacuum’.

Generally, the higher the vacuum level, the more expensive the vacuum pump, so you need to balance cost with efficiency.

I recommend an HVAC vacuum pump with a minimum of 100 microns for most residential HVAC systems.

For refrigeration systems (like freezers and walk-in coolers), I recommend an HVAC vacuum pump with under 100 microns (like the VIVOHOME or Elitech SVP 9) to help prevent contamination.

TL;DR: The higher the vacuum levels, the better is its performance. HVAC vacuum pumps that come close absolute vacuum are expensive.

Single-Stage vs Two-Stage Pumps

There are two main types of HVAC vacuum pumps:

  • Single-Stage Vacuum Pumps
  • Two-Stage Vacuum Pumps

The table below gives a summary of both:

Vacuum pump type

Single-stage vacuum pump

Two-stage vacuum pump

Operation

One rotor or impeller performs both compression and exhaust in a single stage.

Two rotors or impellers operate to compress and exhaust the air in two stages.

Benefits

  • Simpler operation
  • Lower cost
  • Can achieve deeper vacuum levels
  • More efficient

Drawbacks

  • Can only reach moderate vacuum levels
  • More expensive
  • Complex design needs greater maintenance

Systems it’s Best For

  • Residential HVAC systems
  • Small refrigeration systems
  • Commercial and industrial HVAC systems
  • Large and complex refrigeration systems
  • Systems that require a high vacuum level

Recommended Model

VIVOHOME vacuum pump

Robinair VacuMaster
OR
Elitech SVP 9

TL;DR: Single stage vacuum pumps are cheaper; dual stage units are more expensive but have a greater performance.

Motor Horse Power

The HVAC vacuum pump horsepower is how large the motor is.[6] It shows how powerful your vacuum pump is and how much air it can move.

The average HVAC vacuum pump model has ¼ - 5 horsepower.

Higher-horsepower devices are typically larger and consume more energy, whereas lower-horsepower devices are more portable and energy-efficient.

The best vacuum pump is not always the most powerful, as high-horsepower models will use more energy and be less portable. It's important to balance utility with power:

  • For residential use: I recommend a vacuum pump with a ¼ - ½ horsepower motor that balances performance and energy consumption, like the VIVOHOME or XtremePowerUS.
  • For commercial use: I recommend an HVAC vacuum pump with at least 1 horsepower, like the Elitech SVP 9.

TL;DR: Motor horsepower is an indicator of how powerful the pump is. The higher the HP, the larger the motor and the more difficult it will be to carry around.

Size of Inlet Ports and Hose

The HVAC vacuum pump connects to your HVAC system using a hose that fits into an inlet port.

The hose and inlet port need to be compatibly sized, or the vacuum pump won't work.

I recommend closely checking your HVAC system and vacuum pump specifications to ensure compatibility.

If you are using your vacuum pump with multiple HVAC systems, I recommend a model with several inlet ports and adapters, like the VIVOHOME or XtremepowerUS, that will accommodate different hose sizes.

TL;DR: It is recommended that you check the size of the ports and hose and check if they are compatible. You can also find adapters.

Overall Portability and Size

The physical size of your vacuum pump will determine where you can use it, how you store it, and whether you can move it.

A light and portable HVAC vacuum pump is useful for on-site or field service work and allows HVAC technicians to use it more flexibly.

The downside is that smaller, portable vacuum pumps are typically less powerful.

Always check the physical dimensions and weight in the specs to ensure the pump is suitable. If you want a portable vacuum pump, I recommend the XtremePowerUS.

TL;DR: The size of the pump will determine its mobility. For larger systems, HVAC vacuum pumps can get very cumbersome.

Power Source (110 vs 220)

Most HVAC vacuum pump systems use electricity as their power source to function (there are a small number of mechanical vacuum pump models, but they are increasingly outdated).

You should check whether your vacuum pump is compatible with 110V or 220V:

  • 110V is most common, especially for domestic models. These will work on any standard power supply.
  • 220V is only for large industrial vacuum pumps. 220V supplies are usually only found in professional settings, so you need to make sure you have an appropriate outlet.[7]

Useful Tip:

Always check the specifications and electrical system beforehand so you can use your vacuum pump efficiently and safely.

Additional Features to Consider

Noise Level:

The noise levels of vacuum pumps vary depending on the size and design. Models with a high-volume cooling fan are usually the loudest.

For domestic use, I recommend a quieter model that operates under 70 decibels - like the ZENY pump.
Sight Glass:

The vacuum pump sight glass is a transparent window on the system that lets you see the oil bottle, refrigerant flow, and internal components.

The best vacuum pumps have sight glass because it makes it easier to stay on top of oil changes and maintain a high-efficiency rating. 

It’s a feature I highly recommend, and all the models listed above have sight glass.

Anti-Suck Back:

When the vacuum pump shuts off, contaminants (particularly oil) can be drawn back into the system. 

Many of the best vacuum pump models use a check valve (or similar) system to stop unwanted backflow into the HVAC system.

I recommend choosing a model with anti-suck-back functionality - like the Robinair Vacumaster if using a vacuum pump in an environment where contamination is a concern.

Various Size Intake Fitting:

Some vacuum pumps have multiple intake fittings for different-sized hoses. 

It's useful if you need to connect to different HVAC systems and makes the vacuum pump more versatile.

I recommend a model with multiple ports and flexible intake fittings (like the VIVOHOME device) if you work with a variety of air conditioning systems.

Isolation Valves:

Isolation valves are part of the HVAC system and allow individual sections to be portioned off for repairs or maintenance.

If your AC unit or HVAC system has isolation valves, you should choose an AC vacuum pump compatible with the valves so you can use it sectionally. 

You can check the AC vacuum pump specifications to see compatibility with isolation valves.

Type of Pressure Readings:

The outputs and readings from an AC vacuum pump will vary depending on the model.

The table below shows the most common outputs and should help you choose a model that presents the information you need:

Pressure Reading

Purpose/Use

Microns

Measures vacuum levels/lower microns indicate a deeper vacuum, essential for HVAC system efficiency.

Inches of Mercury (inHg) [8]

Indicates the vacuum level, with a higher negative value indicating a stronger vacuum.

Pascals (Pa) [9]

Metric unit for pressure, commonly used in scientific or international contexts.

PSI (Pounds per Square Inch)

Not typically used for vacuum pumps; more common in positive pressure applications.

Some vacuum pumps will also have a 'vacuum relative to atmosphere' pressure (this impacts how quickly pumps evacuate gas), but it's only common with advanced models.

Does it Come with a Kit?

An AC vacuum pump kit usually includes accessories like hoses, fittings, and a gauge.

You can buy an AC vacuum pump kit separately but if you value convenience, I recommend a model that includes all the kit as standard - like the XtremePowerUS vacuum pump.

TL;DR: Units may or may not offer these additional features. If any of these features is important to you, then you must actively look for it in the unit you decide to purchase.


How We Review & Rank Our Product List

At Air Conditioner Lab, our team follows a similar process when evaluating all products reviews before formulating our final lists for readers.

We begin by gathering data sources directly from brands, e-commerce platforms, online retailers and press releases.

These are then added to a master file we use to compare features specifications from all humidifier models. You can access this HVAC Sheet Here.

Next, we narrow down all the products on the market by evaluating user reviews, ratings and feedback from a wide variety of online and in-person sources.

Our team then discusses and co-ordinates our first hand experiences using these products, as well as gather independent opinions and feedback through Youtube and customer reviews.

Types of Vacuum Pumps Explained

Rotary Vane Pumps

These pumps use rotating vanes in a chamber that draws in and compresses the gas to create a vacuum.

They are simple, reliable, and effective and work best in residential systems that only need a moderate vacuum level.

Diaphragm Pumps

Diaphragm pumps expand and contract a gas chamber to create a vacuum (similar to breathing in and out rapidly).

They don’t need oil for lubrication, so they’re useful for HVAC systems where oil contamination might be an issue.

Piston Pumps

Piston pumps use two pumping pistons to draw in and compress the gas.

This method is robust and versatile and can create high vacuum levels. It’s commonly used in refrigeration and larger HVAC systems.

Scroll Pumps

Scroll pumps use a spiral element to trap and compress the gas, creating a vacuum.

They don’t use oil and are low maintenance, making them ideal for an AC system where contamination is an issue.

They can create moderate vacuum levels but can’t match the pressure of piston pumps.

Turbo Pumps

Turbo pumps use high-speed rotating blades to accelerate gas molecules and create a vacuum.

The high-speed pumping creates very high vacuum levels, making it best suited for an HVAC/AC system that needs low pressures to remove all contaminants.

TL;DR: There are many different types of pumps. Depending upon the model, CFM, and vacuum levels, some types are more used than the others.


FAQs

How Many PSI is a Vacuum Pump?

The pressure in vacuum pumps is usually measured in microns, not PSI (pounds per square inch). HVAC vacuum pumps typically reach 100-500 microns, equivalent to 0.07-0.035 PSI.

How Do I Increase the Pressure in My Vacuum Pump?

You can change the vacuum level in HVAC vacuum pumps by altering the pumping speed or changing the gas level (usually by adjusting a valve). However, you should check the specifications first because most vacuum pumps are not meant to be altered.

What Should I Do If My Vacuum Pump Overheats?

If your AC vacuum pump overheats, turn it off, check the ventilation around the HVAC equipment, ensure it’s not overloaded, and inspect the oil levels. Check the manual or contact the manufacturer if the issue continues.

Can I Use Motor Oil in a Vacuum Pump?

Most vacuum pumps use specific vacuum pump oil, not motor oil. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and check the manual before use.

So Which HVAC Vacuum Pump Is Best?

The VIVOHOME HVAC vacuum pump is my top pick and the best rated HVAC vacuum pump. It’s affordable, versatile, has a high airflow rating, and is user-friendly.

It’s suitable for domestic or light-industrial repair work and is a good choice for beginners or experienced professional HVAC technicians.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you find the best vacuum pump for HVAC systems in your home or business.

My #1 Recommendation
VIVOHOME 1/4 HP 3.5 CFM

  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Tough and durable
  • Effective oil lubrication system
  • Compact and portable design
  • Affordable

References: 

  1. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/ahs/data/interactive/ahs-2019-summary-tables/Air-Conditioning.html
  2. https://academic-accelerator.com/encyclopedia/standard-cubic-feet-per-minute
  3. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/units-and-calculators/british-thermal-units.php
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0042207X83900891
  5. https://sciencenotes.org/what-is-a-micron-definition-and-examples/
  6. https://www.britannica.com/science/horsepower
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country
  8. https://www.noaa.gov/jetstream/atmosphere/air-pressure
  9. https://www.britannica.com/science/Pascals-principle 
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Josh Mitchell

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Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

My Favorite Home Appliance?

Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

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