Why copper pipes are used in air conditioners

If you look at all the air conditioners working in the whole world, you will realize that more than 99% of the ACs are equipped with copper pipes. This is one of the few basic things that are common in all kinds of air conditioners in all countries of the world. Where some people consider it a simple part, many people think that why copper tubes are used for air conditioning?

This guide will tell you that copper is not just simple equipment but it also brings an immense amount of benefits and features.

Major advantages of copper pipes to be used in air conditioners

  1. Copper has Good Corrosion Resistance
  2. Copper is inexpensive than all other metals having the same properties
  3. Copper is strong, flexible, and durable
  4. Copper is a good thermal conductor

Copper has good corrosion resistance

Copper has an extremely good corrosion resistance as it does not react with any kind of acids or chemicals. Pipes in air conditioners have to deal with water and air on a constant basis that too with varying temperatures. This kind of environment can easily break down any metal but the copper has the ability to perform well at this spot.

Copper is inexpensive than all other metals having the same properties

Although copper is expensive, it is far less costly as compared to other metals having the same kind of properties and chemical composition. Aluminum is less costly but it will cost you even more than copper because of its complexity during the installation process.

You can only do welding to join two pipes and this is more than difficult because of aluminum’s softness. This can require some extra tools and you may get a few damaged pipes as well that will obviously add up to your total cost. This is one of the basic reasons that make copper an economical option for air conditioners.

Copper is strong, flexible, and durable

Pipes being used in air conditioners have to bend from various places and you need a metal that can withstand this bending and pressure. Soft metals can easily break down or cause a crack while bending, adding up to your cost and stress as well. Copper is the best choice in this regard as it has the flexibility to bend properly and has strength as well to stay as perfect as it was before.

Copper is a good thermal conductor

An air conditioner needs pipes that can enhance its energy efficiency so that it can provide cooling with minimum power consumption. To achieve this factor, pipes in air conditioners should have a high level of thermal conductivity.

In terms of thermal conductivity, copper stands at third place in metals and minerals and first in the list of metals that can be used for air conditioner pipes. It has a thermal conductivity of 398 W/m.k.

Is it necessary to insulate copper pipes or tubes in an air conditioner

Although copper pipes are suitably thick, they should always be insulated with good material. The basic reason behind this need is that copper is an extremely good thermal conductor which means that the efficiency and cooling of your air conditioner can easily disappear or decrease.

If there is no insulation on the pipes, you will see an icy effect on the pipes and if there is an icy effect, this is a clear indication that your air conditioner is losing its cooling in the outer atmosphere that should be given to the indoor environment of the room.

So, insulating the copper pipes of your air conditioner will improve its performance in one place while it exceptionally decreases the utility bills because of low energy consumption on the other.

What type of copper pipes is best suitable for air conditioners

Type M and Type L are probably the most common and popular copper types that have been used in various home appliances and plumbing activities for decades.

Where type M can also be used for air conditioners, type L copper is widely recommended because of its good strength and protection.

Another reason for type L copper recommendation is its rigidity and flexibility which allow plumbers to take pipes from different curves of your walls from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit.

Normally L type copper pipes can easily live up to 50 years if not 100 or even more. Experts claim that even if you pass acidic water from L-type copper pipes, it can live for decades without showing any decay. This factor gives you complete peace of mind while enjoying the cool air of AC.

Can copper pipes be reused in an air conditioner

Although copper pipes can be reused in an air conditioner without showing any issues in terms of durability and strength, this practice is not usually recommended by experts and professionals.

There are a few factors that make this practice not so good such as the extent of damage, difference in technology, difference in sizes and length.

The difference in sizes and length is probably the most common reason that prohibits plumbers from using the same copper pipes for different air conditioners.

Apart from this, there are possibilities that air conditioners have varying technology that can not support used copper pipes.

Can we use any other metal as a copper alternative

People usually look for other materials or metals that can be used instead of copper pipes because copper is a bit expensive. Although this factor is right to some extent, using copper should be your first priority. If you still look for other alternatives, aluminum, and stainless steel may assist you in this regard.

Aluminum is usually the first metal that comes to mind after copper and can be used as well but there are a few flaws in its composition that does not make it a perfect metal for this job. Even though aluminum is inexpensive than copper, you should prefer quality over price.

When it comes to steel, it has very good properties in terms of resisting corrosion but the fact is that stainless steel can cost you a lot of money even more than copper as well.

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