Top Tips to Help You Choose the Right Heat Exchanger

Heat exchange units are a type of equipment used that transfers heat, usually between fluids. Heat exchanging units are commonly found in refrigeration and air conditioning units, sewage treatment, gas processing, and even cooling combustion engines. This makes exchangers highly adept at maintaining internal temperatures, which is why choosing the right one is so important.

There are three main types of heat exchangers, classified based on how they operate. The main types are shell and tube, compact, and air cooled. While the shell and tube heat exchanger is the most popular, there are situations in which a compact or air cooled heat exchanger would be better suited for the task.

Types of Heat Exchangers

First things first: here is a bit more information about the three main types of exchangers.

  • Shell and Tube: One of the most commonly used exchangers, shell and tube exchangers are not only popular but incredibly easy to understand and use as well. They can be used in rugged environments and are made to withstand anything. They work at a wide variety of pressures and temperatures.
  • Air Cooled: Air cooled exchangers are good for cooling that involves cooling water, especially when cooling water is expensive. These kinds of exchangers often offer low operating cost and much less maintenance.
  • Compact: Compact exchangers are a much more affordable option compared to other exchangers. However, even with the discount, they are still available in a wide range of configurations for different uses.

Total Cost for Initial Purchase and Use

While many individuals only look at the initial cost of buying a heat exchanger, it’s important to consider the total cost, which includes monthly usage costs and often some repairs. While some units may be expensive up front and in use, many exchangers are worth the investment since they can save you money when in use.

Also, when you decide to save money by choosing a cheaper unit, you may have to settle for high usage costs instead of investing. In general, it’s better to invest in an expensive unit and save on usage instead of the other way around.


Don’t forget to consider the task that your heat exchanger will be used for as well. What you need a heat exchanger for will help you decide what kind of unit you need to best accomplish your task.


Depending on how easy your unit is to service and access, this may affect the longevity of your unit. Since routine maintenance is key to keeping any tool such as a heat exchanger running for longer, it’s important to have an accessible unit.


Heat exchange can be required anywhere, even under demanding conditions, which is where durability comes into play. This means that the exchanger will hold up longer when you choose a more durable model, protecting your investment.

Before you buy a heat exchanger, you should be sure to outline all of the features you want to find when looking for a unit. This will help guide your search and narrow down your options.