Aluminum Vs Copper Condenser in AC – Explained

Summer heat is what we can never adapt to and we search for heaven. The moment you get into a room and switch on your air-conditioner with the coolness occupying the room steadily, you realize you are in heaven.

There is always a dispute on which air conditioner would usher in the coolness faster than the other but that depends on the coil too. It has always been a question of which type of coil would serve the purpose better. Is copper better than Aluminum?

It is imperative to understand the function, benefits, and weaknesses of both types of the coil as found in the passage below.

Aluminum Vs Copper Condenser in AC – Explained

Aluminum Vs Copper Condenser in AC – Explained

Understanding the basic functions of an Air conditioner coil-

  •   Compression occurs when one turns on the air conditioner and the pressurized gas gets transformed into the hot liquid with high pressure.
  •    The hot liquid would now flow through the coil. As the flow takes place, the liquid gets converted into a cooler form,  since the heat is released into the air outside. The importance of coils starts with this step.
  •   With the heat away, the liquid which is under high-pressure gets converted into low pressure.
  •   The liquid has now been converted into low pressure and forced to go through the same coil which absorbs the heat spread in the room. Upon such absorption taking place, the liquid gets converted into gas and the room becomes cool.
  •  Thus the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning functions depend on the type of coil used aluminum or copper in this case. The dependency or the efficiency of the coil increases when it is considered easy to clean and maintain.

Copper Coil Vs Aluminum Coil

1.Replacement Vs Repair.

Damages or repairs are bound to occur to the coils, and they need to be repaired immediately at a cost that is lesser. Copper is an outright winner here as it is much easier to repair. Aluminum is bound to get damaged and replacement is the only solution. This makes the repair costlier and the metal exhibit its weakness.

2.The Heat factor:

As stated above, the coils are responsible for the heat transfer. Therefore, the coils should be made of a material that can withstand maximum heat. Copper obviously has an advantage over aluminum here as it can withstand heat more.

3.The Cost Factor and the ability to be pliable:

Air conditioners became an affordable product when aluminum coils were introduced replacing the copper coils. Aluminum has more than an edge over copper in costs and the difference in pricing made it more commonplace. The second factor which helped aluminum outscore copper is pliability. Aluminum can be bent into any shape that is desired whereas copper would cost more if the same process was adopted.

4.Maintenance factor:

Condenser coils can be found in the unit that is placed outside the confines of the house. It is quite natural for the coils to get dirty in the harsh climate outside and warrants maintenance regularly to ensure smooth functioning.

Copper coils are easier to access and clean compared to aluminum coils which are protected by a heavy-duty cabinet from weather conditions. They are highly susceptible to harsh weather conditions, unlike copper. Moreover, the aluminum coil is difficult to locate, and clean and thus consumes more time.

5.The Corrosion Factor:

If there is one major factor that determines the durability of coils, then it has to be Corrosion. The coils are responsible for heat transfers and this function is hampered as corrosion sets in with the coil starting to leak. Once the leak sets in, the whole process is defeated as the air conditioner ushers in hot air.


Q1. Would regular cleaning of Coils have an effect on its performance?

Ans: Results from many studies reveal that regular cleaning of the coils and which includes both sets, once annually would bring down the operating cost by approximately 25%. Translated into money, it is above$400.

Q2. What could be the cost of cleaning both coils in the AC?

Ans: The cleaning and maintenance of air conditioners would cost depending on the type of maintenance you resort to. If you have it regularly done once a month it would cost you less than $200  annually. In case you opt to have the cleaning done once a year the cost would go up to $400 per year.


At the outset, Copper does seem to have an edge over aluminum. The cost factor plays an important role too. Therefore it’s best to choose between the two metals based on usability and weather conditions. If the weather is harsh it’s best to go for Copper coils. If the usage is low aluminum coils are better, and the cost would also fit into your budget.