A resounding YES! Refrigerant lines should be and need to be insulated for improved energy and thermal efficiency as well as condensation control. Now, the even more pressing question to be asked is 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.

The main purpose for refrigerating piping insulation is to control condensation and maintain line temperature. Controlling condensation and moisture on refrigeration cold-water lines is also essential for long-term thermal performance. While condensation and moisture are known as culprits in mold growth, they also have a significant impact on system efficiency. Energy efficiency is vitally important to chilled systems that need to function at top performance. It takes just 4% moisture infiltration by volume to reduce insulation effectiveness by 71%. Wet insulation simply cannot insulate, but often the water ingress isn’t spotted until major system performance is affected…or worse. The consequences of poor insulation to system performance are incredibly high, and care should be taken to specify of the right material.  

When the temperature surrounding the cold piping drops below the dew point, condensation will form on the pipes creating a playground for mold, mildew, and even corrosion. Armacell’s 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.

Armacell’s insulation systems are ideal for insulating miles of liquid and suction lines, chilled water piping, chillers and cooling tanks. Insulating pipes, refrigeration lines or cooling equipment not only promotes energy efficiency, but it also prevents condensation on below-ambient temperature surfaces — a critical issue for this industry. 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. 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.

For more information visit our Supermarket Solutions page here.