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Kaskaskia College HVAC Program Receives Donations


The Kaskaskia College Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Program recently received a donation of a vacuum pump, a Bluetooth refrigerant manifold, a Bluetooth micron gauge, a Bluetooth refrigerant scale as well as some small refrigerant tools.  The generous donation was given by JB Industries (Just Better Industries) of Aurora IL.


According to KC HVAC Professor Mark Kohnen, “In a refrigeration system, there cannot be any presence of air or moisture. The vacuum pump is a tool that is used to not only remove air from the system but pulls the system into such a deep vacuum that moisture will actually boil off into a vapor and be pulled from the system by the vacuum pump”. 


A Micron gauge is used to make sure a proper vacuum is indeed performed before charging of the system with refrigerant.  The Bluetooth scale is used to accurately measure in refrigerant into a system. Kohnen adds, “Many manufacturers equipment has a critical charge. This means that the manufacturer informs you as a service technician how much refrigerant goes into a system. So, electronic scales are a must in the industry”.


The Bluetooth gauges that were donated are considered hose-less. Kohnen says, “The refrigerants that we use, can possibly be dangerous to the ozone layer and/or be a factor in global warming. Bluetooth gauges are used in the trade more often now to eliminate the charging hoses found on traditional refrigerant gauge sets. This does indeed help eliminate refrigerant leakage into the atmosphere”.


Another company, Refrigeration Technologies, also recently made a very nice donation to the HVAC Program.  Kohnen and representatives from Refrigeration Technologies recently spoke at the AHR EXPO about the company sending KC some of their products and a donation of condenser coil cleaners, evaporator coil cleaners and leak detection agents for finding refrigeration leaks in systems was received.


Another donation that was recently received was a container of One Shot Refrigerant from ICOR International. This generous donation is manufactured to replace older refrigerants used in equipment that are no longer available to purchase.  The newer systems use refrigerants that are safer for the environment and use a Polyester oil whereas, the older systems used mineral oils. According to Kohnen, “The new refrigerants and the mineral oils do not work well together and will ultimately ruin the system. ICOR International has developed a product that can solve that issue. They have a blended refrigerant that is safe for the environment and will work well with mineral oils. ICOR International is a company that was also at the AHR EXPO in Chicago and I did indeed reach out to them for this donation”. 


The AHR EXPO was held in Chicago in January and Kohnen had the opportunity to attend.  “This Expo is one of the best places for persons in the HVAC trade to learn more about the latest equipment, systems, and technologies across every facet of the industry”, said Kohnen. The EXPO offers complete systems engineered for large commercial and industrial buildings to labor saving tools and profit generating services for residential and commercial contractors. Thousands of booths are available to visit and Kohnen was able to meet representative and forge relationships. “I have been able to gain valuable knowledge moving forward in the industry as well as meet companies who support education”, says Kohnen.


The AHR EXPO also works with the equipment testing company AHRI who will also make random donations to the KC HVAC Program. AHRI will test the equipment and once they are no longer in need of equipment, they will send vocational schools the equipment free of charge.  Kohnen says “These relationships are one of the reasons the KC HVAC Program has been successful in placing students in careers. The commitment that many companies have made to this program is absolutely amazing. I encourage anyone who has not seen our lab at the Crisp Center to please stop by to check us out.  We all need air conditioning and heating in our life. This is a great way to make a living and be prosperous”.


According to Kohnen, “These donations save our program money and keep us up to date on tools, products and technology”.


For more information, contact Kohnen at 618-545-3414, or 618-407-9951 or email mkohnen@kaskaskia.edu.

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