Aluminum Condenser vs Copper Condenser

Aluminum Condenser vs Copper Condenser in AC

When it comes to getting rid of summer heat, an air conditioner is one of the most preferred electronic devices. People look for an AC in their homes, offices, vehicles, shopping malls, or almost everywhere. However, today’s market is flooded with countless numbers of AC models.

It makes it difficult to decide which AC will be the best option to buy. Apart from the various factors like size, price, model, brand, the type of condenser used in an AC also helps in making the right decision.

A condenser is a fundamental component of electronic gadgets, especially cooling devices like air conditioners and refrigerators. It condenses a substance from its gaseous state to a liquid state. There are two types of AC condensers, categorized on the basis of their coil material – Aluminum condenser and copper condenser.

Before you seek the best AC for your home, it is recommended to decide whether you want an AC with aluminum condenser or copper condenser. For this, you need to know the difference between both type of condensers, what are their advantages and disadvantages and other related information. Without wasting much time, let’s start with the answer to each question.

How does a condenser work in an AC?

As we have mentioned above, a condenser is a device which turns gas into the liquid form. Its primary function is heat exchange. It consists of a metallic coil, filled with the gaseous coolant.

When electricity passes from the condenser system, its coolant absorbs the indoor heat and turns it from gaseous state to the liquid state. It collects all the warmth or humidity from the indoor air and throws it with the help of a fan.

On the basis of the external fluid, there are three types of condensers are available in the market of HAVC system – Air cooled condenser, Water-cooled condenser and Evaporative condenser.

Air-cooled condenser

This type of condenser is commonly used to eject the heat from inside to the external environment. Since cleanliness is essential as dirt interrupts its functioning, it is easy to install and clean air cooled condensers. You need not to include any water piping; it requires the removal of excess water from the unit.

Water-cooled condenser

It is a little bit pricey to install, but it is more efficient type as it consumes very less power. It lasts longer than other types of condensers. It is used in the swimming pools and condenser pipes for the city water flow. However, they need regular service and maintenance.

Evaporative condenser

It is a combination of an air-cooled and water-cooled condenser. It rejects more heat as compared to other types, hence consumes very less power. However, it is the least favorite type of condenser as it is best used for commercial buildings during extremely unfavorable conditions.

While these are the types of condensers, its metallic coil can be made up of aluminum or copper. Aluminum is much cheaper than copper. Hence, it is also preferred by some manufacturers of the electronic items. However, the copper metal is sturdy and can withstand heat pressure.

It has a long lifetime. Hence, copper condenser coils are better than aluminum condenser coils. If you are looking forward to buying an AC, you need to know the reasons to use a copper condenser. In this guide, we are going to tell the benefits of a copper condenser.

Why use a copper condenser?

Environment-friendly: Non-copper or aluminum condensers are less efficient than the copper condenser. They get damaged within 2 to 3 years. It leads to the production of many harmful gases like R22 and R410A, which causes global warming and harm our environment. But with copper condensers, this problem reduces to the minimal as copper is much stronger than aluminum.

Less maintenance: A copper condenser requires less maintenance as compared to the aluminum condenser. It does not require any extra efforts to take care of them and can last up to 5-7 years without any issues. Hence, it is also a cost-effective solution. It is found that the number of service calls for a copper condenser is reduced to half as compared to the other others. Furthermore, aluminum condensers are prone to leakages. Due to this, they failed within the use of 2-3 years.

Easy to repair: A service mechanic can repair the copper condensers easily on-site, while aluminum condenser can’t be repairable on-site. You need to take it to the service center in case of any leakage or seized cool air.

Easy to clean: Being an outdoor unit a condenser is prone to dust; it accumulates dust which requires regular cleaning. The gap between the condenser tubes and fins is very small. Hence, it is difficult to clean the condenser. A stream of high-pressure water is used to clean the condenser.

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However, aluminum is available in the form of thin sheets and also delicate in nature. A very high-pressure can damage the aluminum condenser tubes, which results in leakage. And, you have to replace its tubes in the span of three years. It also hampers the heat transfer capability which leads to reduced efficiency.

Long-term star life: The electronic devices are rated with stars as per their energy consumption criteria standardized by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE); more star means the device is more efficient and consumes less electricity. However, the consumption of electricity also depends on the metal used for heat exchange.

Dirt accumulation on the tubes affects the functioning and efficiency of the condenser. It is scientifically proved that heating efficiency of an aluminum condenser is reduced by 27-30% after dirt accumulation whereas in copper condenser the percentage of reduction is only 15-17%.

Hence, in the case of an aluminum condenser, the 5-star rating of the electronic devices automatically drop down to 1-star rating after the use of two to three years. And in the case of a copper condenser, it drops down to 3-stars.

Corrosion resistance: Last but not least, copper metal can last for a long time in a corrosive environment than aluminum. Hence, it requires less maintenance or replacement, especially in regions like the coastal areas, regions with a high level of dust and pollution, or fumes from sewerage, etc.

While these were the reasons to use copper condenser as compared to an aluminum condenser, there are many more such as durability, reliability, eco-friendly, etc.

However, it has some disadvantages too as each coin has two faces. Before you go ahead and buy a copper condenser, you need to know its disadvantages. In the next part, we are going to tell the cons of a copper condenser.

Disadvantages of copper condenser:

Although there are no serious disadvantages of using a copper condenser, still there are few disadvantages of copper:

Expensive: Though copper condenser is more efficient than the aluminum condenser, copper is expensive than aluminum; not everyone can afford it as money matter a lot. It is the primary reason that aluminum is more preferred by the manufacturers. However, an AC has become a necessity of today’s life; for every homeowner, the capital cost of their investment also matters.

And, the cost of copper condenser reduces to the half of aluminum condenser when it comes to annual cost. In short, copper is expensive for the manufacturers but can turn out to be a cheap option for its customer.

Material Quality: Aluminum is easy to work on as it is a ductile metal and can be easily extruded. Aluminum is easy to bend. Hence, it can be shaped in any form whether tabular form or other without much efforts. Furthermore, material consumed in the manufacturing of aluminum condenser is three times less than metal consumed in the manufacturing of copper condenser with the same specification. It will further enhance the manufacturing cost of a copper condenser.

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Thieves target the copper appliances: As copper is expensive than aluminum, and a condenser is an outdoor unit; it can lead to theft at the premises. It becomes necessary to secure the copper as well as condensing units to avoid unnecessary thefts. It will add more expense to your budget.

Look-wise Selection: Not every person is a huge fan of copper color, but silver color is a choice of many. So, if you are a huge fan of a silver color, then definitely you will not be going to like the copper condenser.

These are some disadvantages which make aluminum condenser stand in front of the copper condenser. However, if you still have some doubt about which one is best, then let’s have a look at the difference between an aluminum condenser and copper condenser.

Copper Condenser vs Aluminum Condenser

On the basis of heat transfer: The entire process of heat transfer in the air conditioners takes place through the condenser coils. Hence, they should have excellent heat transfer capacity. Copper has a better heat transfer coefficient than aluminum which makes copper better than aluminum in terms of heat transfer.

On the basis of pliability: Aluminum is a more flexible and pliable metal than copper. You can easily bend aluminum into a lot of shapes and size rather than copper. The process is quite easy for the manufacturers while casting aluminum into condenser coils. Hence, they choose aluminum over copper as more efforts are required to bend copper which enhances the labor cost more, thereby, making the whole manufacturing process expensive.

On the basis of reliability and strength: Copper is a much stronger metal and can be easily repaired than aluminum. Most of the times when an aluminum condenser gets damage, it cannot be fixed; you need to replace it with a new unit immediately. However, in the case of copper condensers, you can repair them easily. Hence, it requires less replacement.

On the basis of durability and long-term companionship: The copper condenser is durable enough that it can last for more than 5-years while aluminum condenser is only last for 2-3 years. Furthermore, copper condenser decreases the cost per year cost of the electric equipment, whether it is used in an air conditioner or refrigerator.

These are some differences between both types of condensers. We hope that it will help you to take the right decision. Now you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of a copper condenser, differences between these two, it is up to you which one you will buy.

Whether you choose to buy a copper or aluminum condenser, it is essential to know the factors you should consider when making a final call. In this next section, we are going to tell things and tips you should keep in your mind before making a final call.

Things and Tips to Remember:

Decide your budget: Budget is the most important criteria for every consumer regardless of every other factor. While choosing an electronic item, you have to think about the near future as well as the long-term aspect. Electronic items are expensive, so durability is another important factor you need to consider while deciding your budget as it can reduce per year cost.

If you buy a product which is not durable, then your small investment will be of no use. Furthermore, you have to invest more in its maintenance which will automatically increase your per capita cost.

Maintenance: Every electronic device needs regular maintenance for its proper functioning. However, no one has spare time to spend on cleaning and washing of dirt or maintenance of a device. Hence, everyone looks for the items that require less maintenance. Not only it will reduce your work, but also save your hard earned money. Hence, you need to choose the condenser which is more durable and demands low maintenance.

Environmental conditions: Another important factor you need to consider, especially in the case of electronic items. If it is not compatible with the environment, then it will not last long for a sustainable period.

For instance, if you use aluminum condenser and you’re living in a highly corrosive environment, then your condenser will not support you in the best way. Its five staring rating will drop down to one star within a period of one year. So, it is recommended to choose wisely according to your environmental conditions.

Thermal Conductivity: Thermal conductivity is termed as the rate at which the heat is transfer from the substance. And, copper transfer the heat more quickly than the aluminum condenser. Hence, it will cool your living space faster as compared to an aluminum condenser. If you want your AC to cool your room fast, then definitely copper condenser is the right choice.

Conclusion

These are some tips and things you need to remember while buying a condenser, there are many more, such as material quality, durability, eco-friendly, corrosion, etc. The study shows that the costs of the electronic items are more with the copper condenser.

However, it will serve you for a sustainable period of time. And copper condenser also withstands galvanic corrosion too.  So, think twice before choosing and spending your hard earned money on something. A happy customer is our first priority than anything else. We hope that this small guide will help you to choose the best condenser for your home.

All the best Pals!!!

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