Why Do Air Conditioners Use Copper Pipes?

Copper is expensive and many people are trying to find a cheaper alternative to copper pipes. Understanding copper’s advantages over other materials will give us a good understanding of why copper is more popular despite its higher cost.

Advantages of copper in air conditioners

1. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat

Air conditioners require efficient heat transfer in order to save energy and reduce power consumption. Therefore, the finned tube heat exchanger in the air conditioner must be a high thermal conductivity material.

Finned tube heat exchangers consist of copper tubes and aluminum fins. The copper tubes carry the cold refrigerant, and the aluminum fins increase the air contact surface to help transfer energy faster.

Copper and aluminum are used in many types of heat exchangers, such as computer radiators, automotive radiators, and air conditioners that require efficient heat transfer.

2. The copper tube is strong and easy to weld

Installing air conditioners often requires sharp bends in pipes. Fragile materials simply cannot withstand the kind of bending required for air conditioning installations, and there is a high risk of duct rupture.

Copper is not brittle and can be deformed without losing toughness. Therefore, copper pipes are suitable for refrigerant pipes and heat exchangers in air conditioners.

Also, copper is easy to solder. When installing refrigerant copper pipes, multiple welds are required to connect all the pipes together. Copper pipes can also be easily repaired by welding cracks. This gives copper a huge advantage over aluminum as it is nearly impossible for the average person to weld aluminum as it requires torch temperatures as high as 300℃ or higher.

Therefore, copper is very suitable for the actual installation of air conditioners.

3. Copper is more economical than other metals with similar properties

Copper is more economical than any other material due to its similar material properties and practicality for applications. Although the material cost of aluminum is 4 times cheaper than copper as of this writing, aluminum tubing is much more expensive and difficult to install.

We already know that it is impossible to join aluminum pipes by welding, so another method is welding. Welding aluminum is also very challenging due to its softness. Because of this, the cost of skilled labor, tools, and preparation far exceeds the budget for installing an air conditioner.

All in all, the use of copper in air conditioners still makes the most sense and has been historically proven.

4. The corrosion resistance of copper is very good

Copper does not react with other chemicals. This means it is very good at resisting corrosion.

The copper pipes inside the air conditioner are constantly in contact with air and water at different temperatures. Most untreated metals corrode very quickly in this environment. The anti-corrosion performance of the copper pipe ensures that the air conditioner will not have reliability problems such as pipe rupture and air leakage, and has a longer service life.

Therefore, copper is preferred over other inexpensive materials that are less resistant to corrosion.Do copper pipes need insulation?

Yes, you should always insulate copper pipes for refrigerants, as copper pipes are an excellent conductor of heat and if not insulated, energy will quickly dissipate where it shouldn’t be.

Without insulation, your refrigerant copper pipes will be cold. This means it’s losing cold energy to the environment where it shouldn’t, it should travel to the indoor unit and provide cooling to your room.

Well-insulated refrigerant copper pipes can improve the energy efficiency of air conditioners, thereby reducing the power consumption of air conditioners.

The above describes in detail why copper pipes are used in air conditioners. If you want to know more or want to buy an air conditioner or air conditioner accessories, please contact us.

ComforPlanet is a professional custom air conditioners and accessories manufacturer. We are committed to the business philosophy of “customer first, people-oriented, leading quality, leading technology, and continuous profit growth” to create a trustworthy brand image and a respected public image.

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