What is A/C tubing insulation and what happens when it gets damaged?
What is this torn black pipe?
That torn black thing is actually tubing insulation often called by the brand name “Armaflex” in the trade. Usually you will find it torn or damaged near the outside portion of an air conditioning unit. This is often do to a combination of sun damage and / or damage from lawn implements such as weed eaters and edgers.
The insulation on most system types covers the large refrigerant line that is traveling back to the compressor called the “Suction line”. This refrigerant line carries cool, vaporized refrigerant back from the indoor unit and this low temperature vapor helps to keep the compressor cool and running properly. On a “heat pump” system this line can also turn into into a hot gas line during the heating season. This means that the what was previously a cool line carrying refrigerant from inside out it is now a VERY HOT line carrying high pressure vapor from out to in.
The good news is that the small section of tubing insulation that is exposed outside actually has very little effect on the operation of your system overall, however there is a small operational toll that can affect the compressor over time in an air conditioner.
On a heat pump the insulation also serves to prevent an unwitting victim from receiving a burn as well as protects and wires that happen to be touching the line from melting.
At Kalos when we install a new system we coat the lines with a manufacturer recommended UV coating. this white coating not makes the lines outside look a little nicer, it also protects the lines from damaging sunlight.
If your line insulation is torn or damaged it is certainly no emergency, you may want to ask your service provider about replacing it on their next scheduled A/C maintenance visit.
If you are interested in an A/C upgrade you can fill our the form below or call us at 352-243-7088 for any of your repair, maintenance or replacement needs.