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Why choose glycol over water?

Published date: 18 July 2020


Why choose glycol over water?


Product line:

All cooling units that require heat exchangers



All Product models, all serial numbers






Why choose glycol over water?

Advantages of Glycol:

  • Cleanliness - Enclosed glycol systems are not exposed to the typical dirt and ambient particulate of water systems.
  • No Chemical Treatment - Industrial grade glycol is formulated with anti-corrosion additives. The elimination of corrosion greatly reduces maintenance costs.
  • No Filtration - Since glycol systems are closed and dirt-free, no sidestream or full flow filtration is required. This eliminates the costs of filter maintenance and filtration pump power.
  • Maximum Heat Transfer - Did you know that just 1/16" of scale reduces heat transfer by 40%! By keeping all equipment in like-new condition with no scale build-up, glycol guarantees constant peak performance and efficiency.

Disadvantages of Glycol:

  • Cost - Glycol systems are usually slightly more expensive than water systems. There is a one-time initial cost to fill the system with 30-40% glycol.
  • Convenience - In cooling systems where components are frequently disconnected and reconnected, the glycol is typically captured and added back to the system.
  • Heat Transfer Efficiency - Glycol is 5-10% less efficient than water in transferring heat. However, this is more than recouped by the elimination of scale, dirt, and corrosion that can reduce heat transfer!



Note! The specific heat capacity of an ethylene glycol based water solution is less than the specific heat of clean water. For a heat transfer system the circulated volume must be increased.

In a 50% solution with operational temperatures above 36 oF the specific heat capacity is decreased with approximately 20%. The reduced specific heat capacity must be compensated by circulating more fluid.

Automobile antifreeze solutions should not be used in HVAC systems because they contain silicates that may cause fouling. Silicates in automobile antifreeze are used to protect aluminum engine parts.

Note! Distilled or deionized water should be used for ethylene glycol solutions. City water is often treated with chlorine, which is corrosive, and should be avoided.



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