Ammonia Refrigeration is Still Going Strong

Ammonia (NH3) refrigerant has been around since 1876 and has been used in many applications over the years. In fact, it is a very good refrigerant but was discontinued for residential and domestic use some time ago. However, today ammonia refrigeration contractors are busy installing and repairing industrial systems all over the country. Here are some good reasons why.

Should You Choose NH3 or Freon?

The basics of refrigeration are the same for both NH3 and Freon. However NH3 is a more efficient cooler or refrigerant. Let’s examine what refrigerant does in an air conditioning system to help explain:

A compressor pumps refrigerant through the system which includes two sets of coils, evaporator and condenser. With the help of a blower fan, warm interior air is blown over evaporator coils. This causes the refrigerant to boil and evaporate and it is turned into gas. Evaporating gas removes heat and this warms the refrigerant. By the time refrigerant gas reaches the condenser coils, it condenses back to a liquid, releasing its heat within the coils and the cycle repeats itself.

NH3 has the capacity to remove more heat than Freon. This is why many ammonia refrigeration contractors are called upon to install large industrial systems.

How Does Greater Efficiency Help?

If you have two cooling systems (rated at the same capacity) the one with Freon will need considerably more refrigerant than the NH3 unit. It takes more horsepower to operate a Freon system so it uses more energy. In other words, it’s cheaper to use NH3.

Which Do You Choose?

Most commercial refrigeration professionals recommend ammonia installations for systems with 100 ton capacity or more. Because NH3 is considered hazardous by the EPA, your company will need to meet special requirements also. Commercial ammonia refrigeration contractors can help you make the right decision for your business.


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