Refrigerant lines require insulation for energy efficiency, but an even greater reason to insulate the lines is to control condensation and maintain line temperature. Controlling condensation and moisture is essential for long-term thermal efficiency and it is vitally important for chilled systems like supermarket freezers which need to function at top performance. It only takes a small 4% moisture infiltration by volume to reduce insulation effectiveness by 71%! Wet insulation simply cannot insulate. Often water ingress isn’t spotted until major system breakdowns, corrosion, or indoor air quality concerns, like mold and mildew growth, occur. 

Now that we know why, we can discuss what type of insulation product should be used when insulating refrigerant lines. Since there are many options in the marketplace for insulation products, but not all products perform the same, it is crucial to select the right insulation solution for the job. Armacell’s insulation systems are ideal for insulating miles of liquid and suction lines, chilled water and refrigerant piping, chillers, and cooling tanks. AP/ArmaFlex, a closed-cell elastomeric rubber material, possess a low permeability rating and is a sure way to prevent moisture (and therefore heat gain) from invading the piping system. Not only does closed-cell foam insulation not require an additional vapor retarder indoors, but it’s durability and flexibility make it much less vulnerable to punctures and tears that can impair the thermal effectiveness of open-cell and fibrous materials. 

Along with the right selection of insulation, another critical aspect for the performance of a system is the installation. Properly installing insulation and using the right accessories is vital. The seams of the insulation joints must be sealed with ArmaFlex® adhesives and firm pressure must be applied for long term system performance. Also the pipe support locations tend to compress the insulation thickness and lead to local condensation. Installing ArmaFix® Ecolight and Insuguard® saddles and shields prevents the compression of insulation at the pipe support locations. 

Specifying Armacell’s Supermarket Solutions is prudent as we offer two insulation package levels, High Performance and Superior Performance, each tailored to code compliance, system performance and budget, making specifying easier. Our products are always fiber-free, formaldehyde-free, and low VOC making them an excellent option for any environment. Its closed-cell structure also prevents moisture ingress and naturally resists the growth of mold and mildew with the added protection of MICROBAN®. AP/ArmaFlex tubular pipe insulation comes in many ID sizes and thicknesses from 3/8" to 2" to accommodate diverse climate temperatures and humidity levels, making it an excellent choice for sustainable systems around the world.