Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for in an HVAC Vacuum Pump

HVAC vacuum pumps are an essential tool for HVAC technicians and contractors, as they play a crucial role in removing air and moisture from the refrigerant system before charging it with refrigerant. A vacuum pump helps to ensure that the HVAC system operates efficiently and effectively, thus providing another happy customer indoor comfort and lower energy costs.

When looking for an HVAC vacuum pump, there are several key factors that you should consider to ensure you make the right choice. Here are some of the most important ones:

Oil Condition and Changes

Clean oil plays an important role in the performance of your HVAC vacuum pump, and is the single most important factor in how quickly a vacuum pump can remove all moisture and non-condensable gasses from an HVAC system. They should provide clear visibility of the condition of the oil, those with a backlit reservoir being the easiest to view and assess.

The best HVAC vacuum pumps also have technology that allows you to change oil without powering down and losing vacuum. The Fieldpiece VP67, VP87 and VPX7 with the RunQuick® oil change system are great examples, allowing for oil changes in less than 30 seconds with no mess.

Flow Rate: CFM

The vacuum flow rate is another critical factor to consider when purchasing a HVAC vacuum pump. The cubic feet per minute, or CFM, directly affects the time it takes to evacuate the air from the system, and the higher the CFM the faster the job can be completed given proper hose configuration. Most HVAC pumps flow rate vary between 2 and 10 CFM. As a rule of thumb, most residential homes require a 5-CFM pump. Systems with longer line sets require up to 10 CFM.

Pump Power

While pump power and CFM rate are related, they are worth considering separately. Most vacuum pumps have a power rating between 1/4 and 3/4 HP. This gives you an idea of how well the pump operates under real-world conditions.

Ultimate Vacuum Pressure

The ultimate vacuum pressure is the lowest pressure that the vacuum pump can achieve. The lower the pressure, the better the vacuum pump will perform in removing air and moisture from the system. Look for HVAC vacuum pumps with 15 microns ultimate vacuum or better to get the job done.

Size and Portability

The size and portability of the vacuum pump are also essential considerations given the variability of job sites technicians often work in. A vacuum pump that is lightweight and portable is easier to carry around, and does not always result in lesser performance.


A HVAC vacuum pump is an investment, and you want to ensure that it lasts for a long time. Look for vacuum pumps that are made from durable materials and that have a solid construction. Additionally make sure it has a wide base to help ensure it will not tip over or spill oil.

By considering these factors you can find the right vacuum pump for you and ensure you can service your customers effectively. Fieldpiece offers three levels of HVAC vacuum pumps. With 6 CFM, 8 CFM, and 10 CFM options that both feature the RunQuick® oil change system, and are lightweight and durable, you are sure to find a HVAC vacuum pump to meet your needs.








6 Points to Look for in an HVAC Combustion Analyzer

A combustion analyzer is a must-have tool for many HVAC professionals, especially those working in colder climates. It helps uncover issues that could lead to dangerous conditions, such as high levels of carbon monoxide.

You should look for six key features to ensure you get the most out of your combustion analyzer. This article details these features and why they are essential for HVAC professionals.


What Is a Combustion Analyzer?

A furnace uses the process of combustion to generate heat. Combustion occurs when oxygen, a fuel and a heat source are combined. In a natural gas furnace, the oxygen is provided by ambient air, the fuel is natural gas, and the heat source traditionally is a pilot light or a hot surface igniter. The right balance of these three elements will yield the most effective combustion.

Combustion analyzers help measure the safety and efficiency of heating appliances. Combustion analyzers complete this task by measuring the oxygen (O2), carbon monoxide (CO) and heat produced in the combustion. With this information, technicians diagnose potential problems and determine whether necessary adjustments or repairs are needed.


  1. Long-Lasting Sensors

Combustion analyzers typically have sensors to measure oxygen (O2) and carbon monoxide (CO). These sensors are tricky to maintain because they degrade by simply being exposed to the air. Meaning that whether the combustion analyzer is in use or not, the O2 and CO sensors are degrading over time. This leads to most sensors having to be replaced every year or two, which is expensive and increases the cost of ownership of the tool.  Look for a combustion analyzer with technology that manages this sensor degradation better.

A combustion analyzer’s sensors are vital in diagnosing and maintaining HVAC heating appliances. These sensors must be in good working order to ensure accurate results. Replacing faulty sensors is a costly endeavor which is why investing in a combustion analyzer with long-lasting sensors is vital.

Fieldpiece has patent-pending SensorVault™ technology that seals the O2 and CO sensors from exposure to air when the tool is powered off, thus prolonging the life of the sensors and lowering the overall cost of ownership. The Fieldpiece sensors are guaranteed to last for 4-years.


  1. Field Replaceable Sensors

Eventually, all oxygen and carbon monoxide sensors will need to be replaced and/or sent for calibration. This leads to downtime if the entire tool needs to be sent in.

Look for a combustion analyzer that has field-replaceable sensors to ensure little to no downtime when sensor replacement or calibration is needed.

The Fieldpiece combustion analyzers with field replaceable sensors include the CAT85 and CAT45 models. They allow technicians to swap out a bad sensor and get back to their job seamlessly. Plus, for calibration services, only the sensors need to be sent in. By having a backup pair of sensors on-hand, the combustion analyzer is ready to go.


  1. Water Trap Maintenance

Typical combustion analyzers have a water trap to condense and collect water vapor from the flue to prevent exposure to sensors. When the water trap fills up, the technician needs to remember to empty it or risk unreliable combustion readings or even potential damage to the tool. Plus, in colder climates a water trap filled with water can freeze in the truck overnight and crack the water trap. The best combustion analyzers protect the sensors from moisture with little to no water trap maintenance.

For example, the Fieldpiece CAT85 combustion analyzer features a patent-pending HydroCycle™ pump which condenses the water vapor and ejects it back into the flue pipe from where it came. Thus, it eliminates the need for a water trap all together.


  1. Live Draft Pressure

Harmful and often poisonous gasses are expelled outside by way of the exhaust flue pipe. In order to ensure that these unwanted gasses are flowing in the right direction the draft pressure in the flue should be measured. Most combustion analyzers will measure this draft pressure; however, typically it takes two separate tests to test for draft pressure and for proper combustion. Save some time by looking for a combustion analyzer that measures both draft and combustion at the same time.

The Fieldpiece combustion analyzer CAT85 measures a live draft pressure while simultaneously performing a combustion analysis. This not only saves time on the job, but uncovers any effects to the draft caused by adjustments made to the system or commonly vented appliances like a water heater.


  1. Dual Port Manometer

Checking for sufficient airflow through the furnace and verifying proper gas pressures at the gas regulator are essential for optimal system performance. A dual port manometer tool measures static pressures in the air handler to check for excessive airflow restrictions and measures gas pressures at the regulator. Typically, this is a separate tool the technician needs to carry to the job site.

The Fieldpiece combustion analyzer CAT85 has a built-in dual port manometer to streamline testing static pressures and dialing in the correct gas pressures at the regulator. Plus, it’s one less tool that needs to be carried to the job site.


  1. Ease of Use

When it comes to combustion analyzers, ease of use is essential. A combustion analyzer HVAC professionals can trust should be easy to set up and operate. It should have a large and easy-to-read display so technicians can diagnose issues with HVAC systems with speed and accuracy.

Additionally, apps help organize information for the technician and the customer. The Job Link® System App from Fieldpiece is an excellent example of how these apps can help streamline the job.

This app allows technicians to create, store and share combustion test results. These features make it easier than ever to provide customers with detailed reports. They also help you organize and pull up your data at later trips to the same customer.


Fieldpiece Combustion Analyzer Near Me

Finding a combustion analyzer with all these features may seem impossible. That is until you find out that Fieldpiece combustion analyzers provide all six necessary points and more.

Take advantage of HydroCycle™ pump and SensortVault™ technology while using our Job Link app with the CAT85 and CAT45 Fieldpiece Combustion Analyzers. Both models come with four-year sensor life warranty to lower the overall cost of ownership.

Find a Fieldpiece retailer near you to get the best HVAC combustion analyzer available!



Press Releases

Fieldpiece Instruments Launches Fieldpiece University

ORANGE, CALIF., September 30, 2021 – Fieldpiece Instruments, the leading manufacturer of professional-grade tools for HVACR pros by HVACR pros, announces the launch of Fieldpiece University – a new online training platform dedicated to providing application-based training to HVACR field pros, distributors and sales reps to help them do their job easier, faster, and better.

Designed to be the go-to resource for HVACR, Fieldpiece University features two modules: one channel to help HVACR distributors, sales reps and counter reps match HVACR technicians with the right tools for the job; and another to provide technicians in the field technical training to become masters of the trade with the latest best practices, industry insights, tips and tools to work smarter, not harder.

“Every day, we talk to HVACR professionals about how we can make their lives easier in the field,” says Tony Gonzalez, Technical Training Manager at Fieldpiece Instruments. “These conversations encouraged us to develop a new online training tool that anyone can use to improve their skills – whether you’re behind the sales counter talking to a contractor about a vacuum pump, or you work in the field and need to know the proper way to use a stand-alone vacuum gauge while performing a system evacuation.”

The Fieldpiece University platform was built in partnership with BlueVolt, a company that specializes in learning management system (LMS) tools used by more than 5,000 companies to educate professionals from a variety of industries. Featuring interactive training modules, helpful video content, and value-added resources with quizzes and assessments to cement new learning, the platform also offers technicians an opportunity to earn continuing education (CE) credits for select coursework.

The distributor module helps wholesalers and distributors better understand what field professionals are looking for out of their tools and offers insight to help a more knowledgeable sales staff better match customers with the right tools for the job.

Fieldpiece University’s field technician module offers training on specific products, techniques and applications, as well as myriad ways to extend HVACR industry knowledge and insight to stay ahead of the curve. CE credit offerings ensure field pros stay current with new technology, laws and regulations.

Fieldpiece University can be accessed at home on a desktop or while on break from work via a mobile device, making the program convenient anytime, anywhere. The platform offers a wide range of learning modules today, with new content expected to be added monthly to respond to industry demands and help keep industry professionals at the top of their game long-term. In-person trainings are also available via special request.

First time distributor or end user learners new to BlueVolt should click here to Sign Up for a free account:

End users already with an account on BlueVolt should click here to add Fieldpiece University to their BlueVolt account:

Distributors already with an account on BlueVolt should click here to add Fieldpiece University to their BlueVolt account:

For more information about Fieldpiece University, please visit:

ABOUT FIELDPIECE: Fieldpiece Instruments is an innovative technology company focused on helping industry professionals do their jobs easier, faster and better around the globe. We deliver on this promise through industry-leading devices with the broadest range of professional-grade tools and technology inspired by real-world application and field use. Fieldpiece is focused on serving the HVACR industry exclusively, enabling HVACR professionals to become Masters of the Trade. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow Fieldpiece on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.