How to choose copper tubes for the installation of air conditioners

How to choose copper tubes for the installation of air conditioners

During installation, it is extremely important to choose the right components for the air conditioner. The efficiency of the entire air conditioning system depends on their quality and technical characteristics.

It is for this reason that it is so important to pay close attention to the selection of copper pipes. After all, freon will subsequently circulate through them. It is also important to take into account some features of the installation of a copper pipeline. With an inept installation, any, even the most positive, qualities of copper can be useless.

In this article, we will tell you in detail which copper tubes should be chosen for the installation of a split system, what nuances to pay attention to, and how the installation of a copper freon line is carried out.

About the material

copper pipes for air conditioning

Copper is the most suitable metal for the manufacture of tubes, through which freon will subsequently circulate. Copper pipes are plastic and at the same time retain their strength, which is extremely important. After all, when laying the route, the tubes have to be bent.

And copper is not afraid of corrosion and the chemical composition of the refrigerating agent. It is also worth adding that copper tubes have a small weight and wall thickness, while having excellent thermal conductivity. In short, it is an ideal material for the production of freon pipes.

Below is a complete list of the advantages of tubes made of copper:

  • Long service life (up to half a century!);

  • A variety of diameters and, in general, a large variability of sizes;

  • Flexibility, thanks to which the process of laying the pipe in the route does not take much time and effort;

  • High frost resistance, the pipe does not break when freezing and thawing;

  • Resistance to corrosion, to temperature fluctuations and to ultraviolet light;

  • Low permeability for the refrigerating agent, freon does not evaporate through the pipe wall;

  • Withstands temperatures up to +100 degrees Celsius;

  • Copper is eco-friendly, the tubes can be dismantled and melted down to be reused in the production of other copper products;

  • At the bend point, the tightness of the pipe remains unchanged, which is extremely important when laying a freon line.

However, even copper has its drawbacks:

  • High cost;

  • When using pipes with a large diameter, there are pressure restrictions;

  • The operating temperature range is limited;

  • More labor-intensive installation, compared to plastic pipes;

  • Less strength, compared to plastic or steel tubes;

  • Due to the high plasticity, creases may form on the pipe during careless installation.


copper pipes and insulation

There are only two types of copper pipes:

  • Annealed. Plastic and flexible, but less durable. They are easier to bend and lay in the track, but the work should be done with extreme care;

  • Not burned. Stronger than annealed, but less plastic. Because of this, the installation will require a lot of time, but the strength of the pipes will remain.

What type of tubes should I choose? Both are equally well suited for use with an air conditioning system. If you plan to mount the track yourself, it is better to choose an annealed tube. It is easier to bend it. But be careful, do not allow the formation of creases. Also, the annealed tube is sold in the bay, you can immediately measure the material of the desired length and cut it off.

Section. Most often, round tubes are used when laying the route. There are materials of square and rectangular cross-section on sale, but they are extremely rarely used when installing air conditioners.

Diameter and wall thickness. It is recommended to use tubes with a diameter of 3/4, 1/4, 1/2, 3/8, 5/8 inches. To choose the optimal pipe diameter for your air conditioner, look at its technical passport. There are recommended diameters and other useful information. The optimal pipe wall thickness is not less than 0.6 mm and not more than 0.8 mm.

Additional properties. In recent years, new varieties of pipes have appeared on the market, which are already covered with thermal insulation material from the factory. This is very convenient, because you do not have to additionally insulate the pipes. Also, they can be covered from the inside with a coating that protects against corrosion, or consist of several layers. For example, the inner layer is copper, and the outer layer is steel.

Please note

We recommend buying copper tubes for air conditioning only in large hardware stores that value their reputation and can be responsible for the quality of the product.

As for the manufacturers, Germany was ahead of the whole planet, as always. The products produced in this country are distinguished by a good price-quality ratio. If you want to save money, buy domestic pipes. They are not bad, and they are significantly cheaper.


installation of copper pipes кондиционера

You will need

  • A set of wrenches;

  • Gas key;

  • Pipe cutter (we do not recommend using a hacksaw!);

  • a tool for rolling pipes;

  • File;

  • Sandpaper;

  • A tool for bending pipes (you can bend them manually, but in this case creases often form);

  • FUM-tape.

How the work is done

The work must be performed AFTER the installation of the outdoor unit and BEFORE the installation of the indoor unit.

First, you need to measure the distance along the wall from the indoor to the outdoor unit and add 50-60 cm to the resulting figure. This way you will get the total length of the pipeline that you need to lay. If you are not sure about the calculations, add a meter. The pipe supply will never be superfluous.

If you bought insulated pipes, remove part of the insulation at the ends. If the tubes are not insulated, you need to do this work before laying communications. Thermal insulation of copper pipes is mandatory. Without proper insulation, the device will work inefficiently, while consuming more electricity than it actually needs.

The cut edges of the tubes must be carefully cleaned. There should be no burrs or metal shavings. That is why we do not recommend using a hacksaw. It leaves an inaccurate cut, which is inconvenient to work with.

Next, a nut is put on the end of the tube and a rolling is performed. These works must be performed carefully and with the help of a special tool. The tightness and reliability of the future connection largely depends on the quality of the rolling.

After carrying out the work, the pipe is attached to the outdoor unit and the nut is tightened. It must be twisted slowly, without excessive force, so as not to damage the tube.

It remains to place the tubes for air conditioners in the strobe and fix them. When installing the indoor unit, the tubes are connected to it, and the system is tested.


Installation of an air conditioner is not such an easy task as it may seem at first glance. Installation takes a lot of time and requires the installer not only to have tools, but also certain knowledge. However, even before installation, it is important to choose the right components so that all the work does not go to waste.

Today we shared our opinion about copper pipes. About their advantages and disadvantages, features of selection and installation. There are always disputes about components between installers and home craftsmen. In this article, we told you which copper pipes fall under our quality criteria and how to mount them correctly.

Any other questions? Ask them in the comments below. Also read other articles on our website and share them on your social networks. We wish you good luck!

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