Air Conditioning

Air conditioning with copper tube is economical and eco-friendly

The air conditioning and refrigeration market is a growing and increasingly significant user of copper tube.

Copper tubes and coils have been used for many years in all types of heat exchangers. Responding to market needs and regulatory goals, innovative thinking from the copper industry has reshaped the traditional heat exchanger into a resource-efficient, eco-friendly and cost-effective unit.

Small-diameter copper tube packs all the advantages of copper into more compact, more efficient heat exchanger coils, reducing the cost of high-efficiency air conditioners and refrigerators for homes and businesses.

Using proven, cost-effective copper fabrication processes and familiar assembly techniques, suppliers and manufacturers are producing new commercial and residential air conditioning and refrigeration products based on small-diameter copper tubing known as MicroGroove.


  • Cost-effective fabrication and assembly.
  • Smaller size, less weight and lower material costs.
  • Higher heat transfer coefficients.
  • Well-suited for new refrigerants.
  • Uses less refrigerant.
  • Overall reduction in system cost.
Are small diameter tubes necessary for increasing the energy efficiency of air conditioners?

No. The system energy efficiency can also be achieved with conventional tubes (such as 3/8 inch diameter tubes) simply by using more tubes and thereby increasing the surface area available for heat transfer. Nevertheless, a penalty is paid in terms of the increased weight of tube material and fin material as well as increased refrigerant volume. In general, if larger diameter tubes are used then a larger coil size is necessary to achieve the same performance and energy efficiency that could be achieved in a more compact system with smaller diameter tubes.

What are the major benefits of copper tubes for air conditioning applications?

Energy efficiency: reducing the diameter of copper tubes in coils provides an economical path to energy efficiency for air conditioning and refrigeration (ACR) products.

Less material: tube-diameter reduction results in more effective heat transfer and consequently smaller, lighter coils. Less tube and fin material could provide equivalent heat transfer or more heat transfer; or the same material could provide much more heat transfer.

Less refrigerant: a dramatic reduction in refrigerant volume is a further benefit of copper tubes.

Durability: coils made of copper tubes and aluminium fins (CTAF) or copper tubes and copper fins (CTCF) are durable and dependable. They set the industry standard for corrosion resistance and long, reliable service life.

Familiarity: tube suppliers, OEMs, mechanical systems engineers and HVAC contractors are all highly familiar with CTAF technology.  Up and down the value chain, the materials and processes are well understood.

What is meant by ‘more effective’ heat transfer?

The same or better performance can be achieved with less tube and fin material. In other words, more heat can be dissipated with less material. Less tube, more heat! Technically speaking, a coil made with smaller diameter tubes can be designed with a higher ‘heat transfer coefficient’ compared to a coil made with larger diameter tubes.

What is the main advantage of small diameter tubes for the design of air conditioner coils?
Smaller diameter tubes allow for more effective heat transfer.

This website supports the use of economical and eco-friendly small-diameter copper tube in air conditioning and refrigeration.