The coils play a very important role in the functioning of an Air Conditioner.
You have the condenser coils and the evaporator coils. Each of these coils has its specific duty. Naturally, you require them to function efficiently.
In the normal course, copper is the most popular choice for the manufacturing of AC coils.
However, copper can be expensive. Hence, aluminum coils are the best alternative.
Let us make a comparison between the copper coils and the aluminum coils and see who wins the race.
Transfer of heat
The main function of the coils is the transfer of heat. Copper has a higher heat transfer coefficient when compared to aluminum. Hence, copper coils are better when it comes to heat transfer.
Copper is definitely costlier than aluminum. Therefore, an AC with copper coils can be expensive. The use of aluminum has brought a sense of sanity as well as parity to the issue. This reduces the manufacturing price of the ACs considerably. Hence, aluminum coils are better when it comes to considering the cost factor.
Aluminium is more malleable than copper. You can give it any shape you desire. Statistics show that you require three times more copper to equate with the size and shape of aluminum coils. This can make it a costly affair.
Certain manufacturers have found a way out by reducing the thickness of the copper coils. Flexibility-wise, aluminum is any day more comfortable than copper.
Copper is definitely more durable and long-lasting than aluminum. When damaged, you usually have to replace aluminum coils. It is not the case with copper coils. You can repair and reuse them. Hence, copper wins as far as durability is concerned.
The durability has a direct impact on the maintenance of the coils. As copper is more durable, the maintenance costs reduce drastically. It is difficult to maintain aluminum coils in comparison. Therefore, copper is preferable over aluminum in the maintenance category.
The atmospheric and climatic conditions play a vital part in the maintenance of the coils. Corrosion can always happen over a period. This can have a great effect on the heat transfer process. There are chances of developing leaks as well.
This can have an adverse effect on the functioning of the ACs.
The compressor has to work harder to maintain the same efficiency levels thereby reducing the life expectancy of the AC unit. Hence, one should take care of both types of coils, copper as well as aluminum as far as corrosion is concerned.
You have just seen the difference between the use of copper coils vs aluminum coils.
In some categories such as heat transfer, durability, and maintenance, the copper coils have an upper hand. At the same time, aluminum is comparatively cheaper and definitely more flexible than copper.
Hence, we have a mixed reaction to the issue. Both these coils have their individual advantages and drawbacks. It boils down to how you use the AC and maintain the same with regular servicing.
How do you negate the corrosion factor?
The main objective is to protect the condenser as well as evaporator coils from humidity and moisture. One way of doing so is to paint these coils with anti-corrosive materials.
Certain brands of ACs use the ‘Blue fin condenser’ to protect the condenser coils from humidity. This technique is very helpful to protect the AC units that are exposed to the higher levels of salt content in the moisture.
You can also make use of micro channel condenser coils to negate the effect of corrosion. The refrigerant flows through micro channels made of aluminium. This system makes the use of flat aluminum fins between the tubes and the refrigerant manifolds.
This system involves the use of Aluminium alone and hence, protects against galvanic corrosion. This type of AC system is a good option for people living in coastal areas where you have a high concentration of salt in the atmosphere.
Now, you know the difference between copper coil and Aluminium coil. If you have any queries regarding Air Conditioner selection, post them in the comments section below and I’ll try to answer them.
Hi want to buy AC with Durability and less power consumption non inverter within budget plz suggest
I live near waste water drainage which results in my normal air conditioner losing gas almost every year.I am told that because of the fumes of dirty drainage the copper tubing gets eroded.
I have not tried AC with Aluminium tubes.
Do you think I will be better off buying AC with Aluminium tubes?
Thanks for your help.
Are you saying that aluminium coils are better than copper for coastal areas? I live in Cochin.
Lots of help in choosing an AC. The detailed and thoughtful analysis is great; thanks a lot!
Both Aluminum and Copper can corrode. Go for the AC that Provides Corrosion Protection (Gold Fin, Blue Fin Micro Channel). Copper Air Conditioners are good in general if you live near to sea.