Copper Piping VS Aluminium Piping

Copper pipe versus Aluminium piping

Copper Piping VS Aluminium Piping

South African summers can get really hot, from temperatures that soar to the high 30’s leaving you desperate to cool your home or office, but did you know that there are factors to consider when choosing the piping material when having your air conditioner installed? 

Most air conditioner installers use one of two types of metals for piping which includes aluminium or copper. Aluminium piping is slowly becoming obsolete, and most modern-day air conditioners use copper.

Both the piping technologies have their own pros and cons but we here at All-Temp Services want you to choose the best and so we have listed out some points that can help put an end to any confusion regarding your installation piping.

All major components within an air conditioner are connected through either Copper or Aluminium piping. The entire cooling process works in a closed circuit, so piping plays a key role. If these pipes are of poor quality, there are chances of leaks and cracks that can result in ineffective cooling. There is also the fear of if the compressor fails due to leaks and oil loss due to the piping cracking or leaking most warranty’s on the compressor fall away.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Copper and Aluminium Piping for Your Unit Installation

Copper as a metal has highly anti-corrosive properties compared to aluminium. During the cooling process, the pipes come into contact with air which causes oxidation within these pipes. Copper can better handle oxidation and corrosion for longer periods which ultimately gives air- conditioners a longer lifespan.

Winner is – Copper pipe

Faster cooling
Cooling on copper pipes is much faster due to its lower specific heat quality. The term ‘specific heat’ describes the amount of heat per unit mass required to raise the temperature by one degree Celsius. The lower the specific heat quantity, the better the heating-up and cooling-down capabilities. As copper
pipes have low specific heat quantity, they can rapidly dissipate heat into external environments and cool down quickly to absorb more heat. As aluminium pipes require more time to heat and cool down, they consume more energy and have comparatively lower cooling effectiveness.

Winner – Copper pipes

Due to copper’s less ductile nature, copper pipes are stronger and can easily withstand minor accidental damages whereas Aluminium is fragile and more prone to get leaks or cracks. Even in the case of cracks or punctures, copper pipes can be easily soldered and restored. Aluminium pipe on the hand is fragile thus making soldering or repairing them a chore and is better replaced.

Winner – Copper Pipes

When it comes to pricing copper is more expensive than aluminium. Due to copper pipe’s less ductile nature, the quantity of piping material required is higher than aluminium, which makes installing an air conditioner using copper pipes a more expensive choice. Aluminium on the other hand is cheaper and also more pliable so less material is required.

Winner – Aluminium Pipes


Copper piping, being superior in most cases, is a preferred choice for many customers when installing their units. Despite the higher cost, its durability and efficiency make it a worthwhile investment. With copper piping, you can enjoy a longer service life and avoid the headaches of cracks or leaks, which can lead to costly repairs or voiding the warranty due to compressor issues caused by oil leaks.
Copper Piping VS Aluminium Piping
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