An exergy-based thermoeconomic optimization application is applied to a subcooled and superheated vapor compression refrigeration system. The advantage of using the exergy method of thermoeconomic optimization is that various elements of the system-i.e., condenser, evaporator, subcooling and superheating heat exchangers-can be optimized on their own. The application consists of determining the optimum heat exchanger areas with the corresponding optimum subcooling and superheating temperatures. A cost function is specified for the optimum conditions. All calculations are made for three refrigerants: R22, R134a, and R407c. Thermodynamic properties of refrigerants are formulated using the Artificial Neural Network methodology. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.