When we go out and buy an AC we have a lot of options available but there is a big deal of confusion as which coil is better in an AC, is it Copper or Aluminium? We are here to help you and answer this question for you.
As we know, the main element of an air conditioning system is none other but refrigerant. It travels between the different components of the system to cool down the air. So best AC would need a high quality coil in it.
Now since the refrigerant turns into both gas and liquid form, so there needs a channel that helps it to travel well. It has to be in this way that we can reuse the gas once used as a Cycle. So to manage this principle, piping is used inside the air conditioner units in the same way as we see some pipes at the backside of our refrigerators!
What is the Importance of Coils in an AC?
The refrigerant needs to change the state from gas to liquid by the process of compression. It again comes back to gas with heat absorption of the area where it has been installed. So the complete refrigeration procedure is commonly divided into four sections;
- Compression – In this phase, the gas has been pressurized and turned into a hot liquid of high-pressure.
- Condensation – Now, the fluid travels in a coil and converts back to cold liquid. It is done by dissipating its heat to the outside environment. Here coils play a significant role!
- Expansion Valve – It is responsible for decreasing the overall pressure of the liquid.
- Evaporation – The low-pressured liquid at the evaporator coil section absorbs heat. It is possible while traveling through the evaporation coil and changes its state back to gas form. It happens in an indoor unit while the above three are part of an outdoor unit in case of a split system.
Thus, the coils are the medium using which a refrigerant can take out the inside air and transfer it to the outer environment. The overall principle lies in the transfer of heat from one environment to another!
Now you know how vital the coils are for an AC system. So we need to think well about the size, maintenance, and ease of cleaning of coils as a significant element of an air conditioner. Each of them is responsible for their overall functioning and performance.
Currently, in the market, you will find AC systems featuring either Aluminum or Copper coils. No doubt, copper is expensive than Aluminum, so the AC units that are using them comes at a high price, but experts highly suggest them! Well, to clear the reasons let us check out the differences between them;
6 Factors to be considered when comparing Copper Vs Aluminium Coil
1) Comfort of Maintenance
The condenser coils are exposed to dust and harsh climatic conditions every time since they are placed on an external unit of a house. It can be either a window or a split AC system.
So the air conditioner requires regular cleaning and maintenance for it to function well for many years to come. Now the copper coils can be maintained well and are easy to clean whenever required due to their durable nature.
In the case of an aluminum coil, they are not that strong enough as compared to copper. Hence, it requires a robust enclosure that can protect it from any damage. So, aluminum is more difficult to maintain and clean as compared to copper coils. Copper Wins!
When buying an Air Conditioner, you are must consider the price and when compared between Aluminum vs copper. Aluminum is much cheaper as compared to Copper. If you buy an AC which is locally assembled then it is often seen that they would use the aluminum coil. but if we strictly consider the price point then Aluminum Wins!
The overall life of an AC unit depends on many factors, and an important one among them is corrosion! It is a common thing that can result in damage in coils, and hence this can disturb the efficiency of heat transfer from indoor to outside.
In severe cases, it will result in leakage of coils. It might affect the amount of refrigerant that is required inside an air conditioner system to cool down room space properly.
So, we need to take the utmost care to prevent corrosion from happening on coils that are common in different scenarios. It includes areas where the amount of moisture is higher in the air, like houses near salty water bodies, seacoasts, or in humid climates.
While buying an AC, it is best to check out for any layer of protection. It is mostly provided on the coils. It is necessary to repel the non-conducting layer to be formed on it and protect the same from corrosion.
Aluminium corrodes faster as compared to copper but that doesn’t mean Copper doesn’t just that its rate is letter as compared to the Aluminium. Copper Wins Marginally!
4) Ease of Use
An AC system, especially in the case of split AC, requires complicated installation steps. So it has to be performed only by trained professionals. By the way, the coil has to be passed from an indoor unit to the outdoor. Hence, the refrigerant can travel well amid both the AC indoor and outdoor units.
So, while installation or re-installation, the expert generally needs to face different conditions. They might need to twist the coils as per the requirement to pass through holes or walls.
Hence, it can be well hidden and does not disturb the ambiance of a house, from inside and outside! Aluminum coils are more pliable as compared to copper. But today, in modern systems, the manufacturers are using thinner copper coils are in practice to match up with the benefits of an aluminum coil. Also Aluminum is lighter so Aluminum wins!
5) Reliability and Strength
No one can question the truth that copper is stronger, durable, and easy to repair in comparison to aluminum coils. So, if you are buying an AC with aluminum coils in it, that might cost lower at the time of purchase. But be prepared to replace them entirely in case of any damage since they cannot be repaired under most of the cases. Copper Wins!
6) High efficiency of Heat Transfer
The coils are the only component inside the air conditioners that is responsible for heat transfer. So it is essential to have a coil made up of metal with excellent characteristics of heat transfer. In comparison to aluminum, the co-efficiency of copper is higher, and it can exchange the heat more effectively. Copper Wins!
Conclusion – Aluminum vs Copper Coil in AC
After doing above comparison we can say that the Copper win against Aluminium 4-2!
But we also recommend that you must consider other factors as well while buying an AC. We have a lot of topics and user guides to help you make this decision easy for you!