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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    rockport texas
    Posts
    132

    Default Insulation on a/c refrigerant line

    the HVAC contractor tells the realtor that there is no code requireing that the refrigerant line from the condenser must be insulated. I puul out my code check & ask him if he's a 'betting man"? Sure enough there it is 1411.4 refrigant vapor (suction) lines insulated min. R4. i didn't feel to bad taking his money but he made a good point. "It only needs to be insulated inside the building envelope" So my question is how does everyone report insulation missing / damaged on the refergant line from the condenser to the house ? is it neccesary, isn't the purpose of the insulation to stop condensation from damaging the interior or of the house? Or are there other reasons to have it on the line outside?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,828

    Default Re: Insulation on a/c refrigerant line

    The return is insulated to help cool down the compressor. No insulation could result in overheating of the compressor and failure of the unit.
    This was the explanation from a lifelong HVAC expert at a recent HI meeting


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Insulation on a/c refrigerant line

    Any heat you add to the suction line reduces the efficiency of the system, not by much, but have a 20' line exposed to the sun and you will pick up enough heat to matter.
    And I agree that all modern hermetic compressors are cooled with the suction gas, make it too hot and bad things can happen.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Insulation on a/c refrigerant line

    The superheated refrigerant in the suction line removes the heat from the space, adding unwanted heat to that can drastically reduce the efficiency of the system and raises operating pressures.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Insulation on a/c refrigerant line

    During an R410A class, it was brought up that an uninsulated line reduces system efficiency by 2-4%. If not insulated on the inside closer to 2%, at the exterior closer to 4%.
    I write it up as such when not insulated. If not Insul at the interior I look for mold, water damage around drywall where the line is probably running. Condensation is common. I usually find some, especially around the wall/ceiling area where the line goes out the house.
    Don't run into un-insulated lines much though. The lineset you buy comes insulated. If they insulation isn't on, then I have to wonder why. Did the guy splice a bunch of left over short sections together on this job or what?

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

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