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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Refrigeration System?

Install a Refrigeration System Costs
Average reported costs
$549
based on 12 cost profiles
Most homeowners
spent between
$307 - $791
Low cost
$135
High cost
$900
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There are many reasons why a person would want to have a refrigeration system installed. They are used to keep food and beverages cold, create ice, and cool the air in homes, buildings, and vehicles.

Why Install a Refrigeration System?

Refrigeration systems can be useful in homes and restaurants alike. For example, those who have a bar or want to build one will absolutely need a refrigeration system to keep beer, mixers, and other drinks cold. Furthermore, a refrigeration system can include an ice maker, which is a must for making drinks.

Even those who don't need a full-on bar can benefit from a refrigeration system. For example, those who like to enjoy an ice-cold beer from time to time may want to invest in a beer cooler with a quality refrigeration system. A refrigeration system is also a must for those who want to install a wine cellar. After all, many wines need to be chilled to a perfect temperature in order to be enjoyed to their fullest extent.

For those who enjoy smoking cigars and hand-rolling cigarettes from time to time, a refrigeration system can also be used to keep tobacco moist.

How Refrigeration Systems Work

There are a few different types of refrigeration systems, and each type functions in a slightly different way. However, for the most part, the operation of a refrigeration system can be explained as follows:

Refrigerant gets cycled through the compressor, which is perhaps the most vital part of any refrigeration system. Once this happens, it causes the pressure of the refrigerant to increase, allowing it to begin flowing through the condenser, which is another major part of the system. The condenser is then responsible for converting the refrigerant from vapor into a liquid.

Next, the now-liquid refrigerant is sent through an expansion valve, which reduces the pressure and once again vaporizes the refrigerant. The evaporator can then draw in air from the area that needs to be cooled, and the refrigerant causes a temperature drop. This process continues in an ongoing cycle for as long as the refrigeration system is running.

Types of Refrigeration Systems

There are essentially three main types of refrigeration systems: through-the-wall units, ductless units, and ducted units.

Through-the-wall units tend to be the least expensive, but are also the least efficient. They run on electricity and usually only cool a small area at a time. The average cost of one of these units is just $500 to $1,600.

Ductless units, on the other hand, can cool a larger area and do not require the installation of any duct work in the home, making this an ideal option for older homes and buildings. Depending on the number of units installed, ductless refrigeration systems can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $12,000.

Finally, ducted units rely on pre-existing or newly installed duct work and vents to carry cold air throughout the space. These also tend to be the most expensive refrigeration systems available, easily costing between $3,000 and $5,000.

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