In this study, the effect of heat exchangers on the system performance in an aqua-ammonia absorption refrigeration system has been investigated. For this purpose, the thermodynamic performance of the system is analysed, and the irreversibilities in the thermal processes have been determined for three different cases. These cases are: both of the heat exchangers are included in the system, only the refrigerant heat exchanger is included in the system and only the mixture heat exchanger is included in the system. It is assumed that the ammonia concentration at the rectifier outlet is independent of the other parameters, constant and equal to 0.999. The coefficient of performance, exergetic coefficient of performance, circulation ratio Cf) and non-dimensional exergy loss of each component of the system are calculated separately. After these calculations, some graphics indicating the change of the variables with the system parameters have been plotted. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.