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Air Cooled VS Water Cooled Condensers

Condensers see use in various commercial applications, though you`re likely most familiar with the ones that reside in your HVAC cooling system. The component's primary objective is to essentially exchange heat (more specifically exchange heat due to refrigerant compression) in the loop of your Air Conditioning system, rejecting hot air in one of two methods.

Method one is by way of air (air-cooled condenser), and two is by water (water cooled condenser). Which of these two your HVAC cooling system or heat exchange systems will utilize depends on a few important factors, and today Amrta Air Conditioning is here to discuss these in hopes of helping you make the right choice.

What Is an Air Cooled Condenser?

Air cooled condensers utilize ambient air in order to cool and cycle refrigerant. These can be readily seen oftentimes outdoors, as they are commonly used in residential and rooftop cooling systems, and are housed in your standard exterior unit.

The advantage of choosing an air cooled system is that they:

Are typically lower in initial purchase cost. Though there is a fair debate to be had on the matter, it is typically true that the initial purchase cost of air-cooled condenser and chiller systems are somewhat less costly on the overall spectrum. However, water cooled systems might win out in longevity which we will get to here in a moment.

Require less overall lifespan maintenance. Air cooled systems generally require maintenance services once, maybe twice, in a year in order to perform optimally. A water cooled system can need routine care considerably more often.

Do not require a mechanical room. Since the air cooled condenser is housed outdoors or in similar spaces, you needn't find space to store and operate towers and the rest of the assembly.

What Is a Water-Cooled Condenser?

Water cooling systems have seen considerable use for years, though they are also on the rise in smaller businesses and some residential applications. The system operates through a network of water coils used to transfer the heat from the condenser coils. These systems typically work in tandem with a cooling tower in order to circulate out and exhaust heat.

Water cooled systems are often chosen because:

They operate at better efficiencies. Overall a water cooled condenser unit will typically consume far less overall energy, which can lead to savings on energy costs and consumption.
Extended lifespan. Because of the efficiency of the medium, and the lack of weather exposed parts, a water cooled system will typically last years longer, assuming maintenance is not neglected.
Can operate better at higher temperatures. Industries such as manufacture may find that water chilled systems operate more effectively in high temperature areas.

Which Condenser Should I Choose?

The honest answer is that is depends. There are numerous factors that can influence whether you'd find more advantage with one system over the other, such as the size of your structure, the type of commercial business you manage, occupants in your space, and even more. This is why working with knowledgeable professionals is more than just advisable; it's the best method of matching your needs effectively.

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