Optimization of the heat recovery devices such as heat exchangers (HEs) and cooling towers is a complex task. In this article, the widely used fin and tube HE (FTHE) is optimized in terms of the total costs by the novel gradient-based optimization (GBO) algorithm. The FTHE s have a cylindrical tube with transverse or longitudinal fin enhanced on it. For this study, various constraints and design variables are considered, with the total cost as the objective function. The study reveals that the GBO provides promising results for the present case study with the highest success rate. Also, the comparative results suggest that GBO is the robust optimizer in terms of the best-optimized values of the fitness function vis-a-vis design variables. This study builds the future implications of the GBO in a wide range of engineering optimization fields.