What is Micro-Channel?
Close-up view of a Micro-Channel evaporator coil all-aluminum construction.
A type of corrosion known as formicary corrosion or "ant's nest," "ant dust," or "pin-hole" corrosion can impact traditional copper tube-in-fin coils. Formicary corrosion can corrode copper when three other constituents are also present: oxygen, moisture (typically in the air), and an organic acid (found in numerous items, including household items such as cleaning agents).
Ultimately, if this phenomenon occurs, refrigerant could leak out of the coils and result in a repair or replacement. However, there is an effective way to help combat this type of corrosion, Micro-Channel coils.
An aluminum Micro-Channel evaporator coil manufactured by Nortek Global HVAC.
Anteater MC™ Micro-Channel coils are an all-aluminum, formicary corrosion-resistant evaporator coil found in Nortek Global HVAC's models up to 14-SEER. Because of the lack of copper, the reaction of moisture in the air, oxygen and organic acids that would normally occur in their copper tube-in-fin counterparts, doesn't happen. Although there have been tests with things such as coating the copper coils, the solution is found in eliminating one of the components. If there is no copper, it can't react with the other components to result in formicary corrosion.
These coils are tested up to 14-SEER and are undergoing testing for the 16-SEER models and above.
Did You Know?
90% of formicary corrosion leaks are caused by organic acids working from the outside of the coil and moving in, not the opposite.