Heating Systems

Ice rinks need heating systems as well as refrigeration systems. The heating system of most arenas is a heat recovery system. This means that the heat created by the refrigeration system can be recycled, which is both energy and cost efficient. Heat is a by-product of all compressors. The hot gas from the discharge side of the compressor is diverted to a heat exchanger. From here it is sent to the evaporative condenser (cooling tower) for cooling. A closed circuit water system is then recirculated through the heat exchanger to absorb and use the “waste heat” to create hot water for the facility. This system is also used to heat the underfloor piping, Zamboni water, fresh air preheat (dehumidifier), and snow pit melt.


The floor heating element is very important to properly maintaining the concrete ice slab. If the soil below the concrete slab is not heated it will eventually freeze. When the soil freezes it expands which causes the floor to rise. This is called “frost heave” in the industry. This can cause extensive damage to the refrigeration system and crack the concrete slab the ice layer rests on.