While we purchase an air conditioner, we usually get confused about copper coil vs aluminum coil. The dilemma comes in our mind that which coils are better and which one we should buy.
Apart from star ratings, tonnage, power consumption, coils are also a significant aspect to consider. Coils play an important role in the efficiency of an air conditioner. The inside heat gets transferred to the outside air through these coils.
In an air conditioner, we can see two types of coils one is the condenser coils and the other is the evaporator coils. These coils usually come either in copper material or in aluminium material.
In this article, we will discuss the difference between the copper coil vs aluminium coil. Before discussing further we will first let you know about the history of air conditioner coils and why it is important for an AC.
The History Behind Air Conditioner Coils
Previously air conditioner coils were only made of copper. Copper was used to manufacture air conditioner coils for so many years for its several benefits. But an air conditioner with copper coils is always expensive, hence everyone could not afford them.
Later in the year 1970, General Electronics took a revolutionary step to introduce aluminium coils in the air conditioning industry.
In comparison with copper coils, the aluminium coils were much affordable. Hence, aluminium coils brought down the subsequent rates of air conditioners and made air conditioners affordable for every people.
Since that time the dilemma started between copper coil and aluminium coil.
Why Are Coils Important For An Air Conditioner?
The core of an air conditioner is the coolant or refrigerant gas that transforms from gaseous state to liquid condition by compression procedure. Then again the liquid gets transformed into gas form by absorbing heat from the room.
This entire circle passes through 4 steps that include compression, condensation, expansion, and evaporation.
Through the compression process, the gas gets pressurized and transformed into a high-pressure hot liquid.
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Through the condensation procedure, the liquid passes through a coil where hot liquid gets converted into the coolant. In this procedure, the air conditioner coils play a crucial role.
Then the next step is expansion, where a valve transforms the high-pressure liquid into a low-pressure liquid.
Lastly, through evaporation, the low-pressure liquid again passes through the evaporator coil and transforms into gas. Only this process takes place in the indoor unit while the three other steps take place in the outdoor unit.
This entire functioning procedure remains the same in all types of air conditioners, just the size varies from one to another. Therefore the coils have a significant role in the efficiency of an air conditioner.
The material of the coil, size of the coil, everything plays a major role in the functioning of an air conditioner.
Copper Coil vs Aluminium Coil
There are several aspects that differentiate copper coils from aluminium coils. These aspects are:
The Ability of Heat Transfer
When it is about the ability of heat transfer, the copper coil ranks first. In comparison with aluminium coils, copper coils are better for heat exchange and they make the room cool faster.
Therefore an air conditioner with copper coils saves more energy.
When it comes to strength, copper is comparatively stronger than aluminium. If the copper coil damages it’s easy to repair. Though some of the AC manufacturers use thin copper coils, it makes the coils less durable.
But it’s not the same in the case of aluminium coils. If aluminium coils get damaged, you have to replace it with a new aluminium coil.
In an air conditioner, the coils are fitted in a condenser that gets mounted outside the home. Therefore the coils face hot weather and it requires regular maintenance for better performance and functioning.
In comparison with aluminium coils, copper coils are strong enough for hot weather conditions and require less maintenance.
On the other hand, aluminium coils are prone to hard climate and get damaged easily. Hence, it demands frequent maintenance.
Corrosion damages the coils and it causes refrigerant gas leaking. Therefore it is necessary to save the air conditioner coils from corrosion.
Copper coils tend to formicary corrosion, still it can be prevented by proper cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis. Though corrosion damages the copper coil, still it is economical to repair these coils.
On the other hand, aluminium coils are subjected to galvanic corrosion that causes refrigerant leaking. But the problem is when an aluminium coil gets damaged.
It is hard to repair and most of the cases you have to replace the coil.
Price is the one of the most important aspects that differentiates copper coil from aluminium coils. From every perspective copper is better than aluminium. Still, many AC manufacturers use aluminium coils instead of copper coils. Here the only reason is the price.
Copper is always more expensive than aluminium. Hence, many can’t afford an air conditioner with copper coils. Therefore most of the AC manufacturers presently use aluminium coils so that everyone can afford an air conditioner.
The pliability of copper is much less in comparison with aluminium. Aluminium is much malleable than copper. Hence, you can give any shape to it.
You need almost 3 times more copper to make a same shaped and sized aluminium coil.
Copper Coil vs Aluminium Coil
What to choose between Copper Coil and Aluminium Coil?
Previously we have discussed the three parts of an air conditioner that include a compressor, evaporating coil, and the condensing coil. You have already understood the importance of the air conditioner coils.
Above we have mentioned some aspects that will help you to choose the best between a copper coil and an aluminium coil as per your preference.
Every metal has its own benefits that make it a perfect choice for condensers and evaporators. Both copper and aluminium are used in air conditioners for making coils.
You should always consider both the pros and cons of copper and aluminium before buying the best air conditioner.
Hopefully, this information will help you to choose the best between the copper coil and aluminium coil.
Santanu Bit Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of REVIEWCIRCLES. He is Bachelor of Science has experience of 5+ years in Technology Blogging, Consumer Behaviour study and his expertise area includes Heavy To Large Appliances and Consumer Electronics.