Technology Overview

Micro-Channel all-aluminum coils are designed to use less refrigerant and facilitate better heat transfer. Because of the aluminum, the units are lighter, and not susceptible to formicary corrosion.

Unfortunately, because it is a newer design to residential HVAC products, there is a wealth of misleading information available on online platforms – such as forums and videos. Some believe these coils are more difficult to install. However, installation is no different than traditional tube-in-fin coils. Micro-Channel coils require proper charging, but what HVAC system doesn’t?

Micro-Channel indoor and outdoor coils are made up of three main components. The “channels” or “tubes”, aluminum fins and two manifolds. These components are brazed together during a hydrogen/nitrogen process. This process uses no water or oxygen, ensuring an uncontaminated, sturdy joint. Additionally, for every one braze on a Micro-Channel coil there are approximately 28 braze points on its tube-in-fin counterpart. That means there are far fewer opportunities for joint repairs on a Micro-Channel coil.

Micro-Channel indoor and outdoor coil installation is very similar to traditional methods. Contractors must:

  • Braze with nitrogen
  • Install a liquid line filter drier
  • Perform a thorough system evacuation
  • Carefully weigh in and fine tune any additional charge (For additional information, check out our How to Charge page.)

If there are questions about Micro-Channel coil installation, contractors should talk directly to the manufacturer or distributor – not immediately turn to online forums.

Nortek Global HVAC features Micro-Channel evaporator and condenser coils in models starting at 13 SEER and going up to 20 SEER. In fact, our air conditioners are 100% Micro-Channel, both indoor and outdoor. For further repair and installation instructions, heating and air conditioning contractors can watch free videos available on this site, EdgeTek or YouTube.

Installation Best Practices:

Brazing Micro Channel Coil


It’s critical to have a small flow of nitrogen when brazing. Without the nitrogen flow, oxidation and flaking will form on the inside of the refrigerant tubing. This can lead to a clogged coil.

Learn more about evacuation with Micro-Channel coils

Thorough Evacuation

Perform a thorough evacuation, which includes using a micron gauge to determine the correct vacuum level. We also recommend the use of additional items such as vacuum-rated hoses and vacuum-rated core removal tools. Technicians can’t rely on pump run time or a gauge set alone to make sure the correct vacuum is reached.
Installed liquid line filter drier

Liquid Line Filter

Install a liquid line filter drier close to the evaporator coil. This is to ensure that all of the debris or moisture is captured before it enters the metering device.
Contact a trained professional for smooth installation

Quick Reference Data

Read and use the information provided in the Quick Reference Data sheet (QRD). This is included with the equipment.

Micro-Channel Fact

Micro-Channel coils are no harder to clean than tube-in-fin. For the outdoor coil, it’s as simple as getting out a hose and spraying it down – no special cleaner required. For the indoor coil, make sure you always clean with a manufacturer recommended product.