Best AC For Salt Air

Living near the ocean has many benefits and, unfortunately, some disadvantages. Humid, salty air leaves a thin layer of salt on your AC unit, corroding it twice as fast as inland units. This article looks at the best AC units for coastal areas and where to find them. Let’s find out!

The best air-conditioning systems developed specifically for coastal areas that apply anti-corrosion technology to the coils on air-conditioning units to resist corrosion from salty air are from companies like Trane, Carrier, Heil, Payne, Bryant, and Chiltrix. 

Salt air will significantly impact the life of an air conditioner in coastal regions. Typically, an air-conditioner lasts around 15 years. However, your AC needs to be replaced in salt air conditions within four years. Let’s look at the best AC units for salt air in detail to help you make the best choice for your home.

How Salt Air Affects an Air-Conditioning Unit on the Coastline

Salty ocean air increases the rate of corrosion than in inland AC units. Your AC is constantly attacked by humid and salty air in coastal regions. Metals corrode ten times quicker than metal in average weather conditions.

Salt air corrosion impacts the AC coils the most, turning the aluminum fins to dust, and in time, the only thing left is the copper tubes that the aluminum was connected to. Copper is not entirely immune to salt air corrosion either. Salt air is a silent AC killer.

Salt Air Shortens an AC Unit’s Life

The mixture of salt and water quickly corrodes metal parts of an air-conditioning system fast. Salt corrosion will cause an air-conditioner to deteriorate much quicker than it would in an average climate.

Salt corrosion will deteriorate metals like copper, aluminum, and steel rapidly. Most AC components are manufactured from these metals, exposing them to salt corrosion.

When this happens, the copper and aluminum fins begin to fall apart, and the condenser coil disintegrates so that the system struggles to operate. This can cause pressure to build up in the AC unit, causing it to shut down entirely.

Salt Air Damage Can Significantly Affect Energy Costs

The corrosion salt air causes your AC not to function properly, working less efficiently. Inefficient AC’s costs more to run because it draws more energy to operate correctly.

Salt Air Damaged Units Leads to More Cost and Technical Assistance Calls

Continuing salt damage to an AC unit results in more phone calls to an air conditioning technician. Salt corroded AA units require early replacement of components, parts, and sometimes even the entire unit, costing you more.

6 Best Companies for Coastal Air-Conditioning Units

The companies listed below have developed new technologies that deliver outstanding quality and energy efficiency for coastal areas.  

Some of these companies have led the air-conditioning industry in durability and reliability since the early 1930s.

  • Trane
  •  Carrier
  •  Heil
  •  Payne
  •  Bryant
  •  Chiltrix

Most homeowners know that these companies stand for innovation, quality, and reliability. They all offer high-quality, reliable air-conditioning units and after-sale service.

Living in a coastal area, homeowners know the environment plays a significant role in air-conditioning units’ efficiency and life expectancy. The coastal climate is harsh, with substantial temperature changes, humidity, wind, and precipitation, and coastal air-conditioning units should be able to withstand those conditions.

Coastal AC Unit Special Features

Air-conditioning units specifically designed for coastal regions have many features that are separate from other air-conditioning units manufactured for normal environmental conditions. These features are as follows:

All-Aluminum Coils

Specifically designed, all-aluminum coils stop galvanic corrosion that happens when two different metals next to one another are exposed to a conducting fluid, like saltwater.

That allows the two metals to behave like a battery, in which one metal deteriorates more rapidly than the other. The more the metals differ, the more corrosion occurs in these circumstances.

A copper tube combined with an aluminum plate-fin coil corrodes five times faster than an all-aluminum coil.

Coastal AC Units feature Seacoast Protection

  • Coastal AC units are manufactured with a seacoast protection shield that prevents corrosion on transitioning joints. A Seacoast shield is a coating applied to coastal air conditioner’s coils to withstand corrosive saltwater. Coated coils typically last longer than uncoated coils in coastal areas and other harsh environments.
  • Having a seacoast shield applied to an AC unit eliminates the need for corrosion-preventive material in the manufacturing process.
  • Seacoast shield offers added durability to AC units in salt air environments.

Coastal AC Units Feature Integrated Steel Cabinets

  • Coastal AC units have powder-painted louvered panels.
  • Cabinets that offer complete coil protection are manufactured from G90 galvanized steel.
  • Tight interlocking seams for extra protection.
  • The cross-brace construction promotes cabinet stability.
  • Features recessed screws with rounded edges.
  • The durable steel cabinets will not rust, corrode, fade or crack.

Ceramic Coated Weather Guard Fasteners

  • The ceramic fasteners are corrosion-resistant.
  • Undergone a 1,000-hour salt spray test for durability.
  • The corrosion-resistant screws create a long-lasting bond between the steel and the paint.

Coastal AC Units Undergo high Testing Standards

  • ARI’s testing standards are conducted following ASHRAE standards applied to all coastal air-conditioning units.
  • Coastal AC unit safety tests are conducted at higher than required industry standards. 

These tests exceed the industry standards of other air-conditioner units. A 2,000-hour salt spray test is applied to the fin-type coils to monitor the rate of corrosion in coastal air conditioning units. Most industry standards require a 1,000-hour test, but these companies go above and beyond to ensure their coastal AC units stand up against harsh coastal environments.

  • Coastal AC units are manufactured for durability. 
  • Coastal AC units are designed to withstand hours of heat.
  • Coastal AC units are manufactured to withstand severe cold weather conditions.
  • Coastal AC units can withstand 90mph impacts from a softball.

Best AC for Salt Air Environments

The best air-conditioning units for coastal environments are the following:

Trane XL18i Central Air-Conditioning Units

All Trane AC units are manufactured from high-quality materials that combat salt air corrosion. Trane coastal air-conditioners features:

  • A Climatuff™ compressor for longevity.
  • Louvered panels on all the AC units.
  • Weatherguard™ powder paint for added durability.
  • Corrosion-resistant fasteners.
  • All-aluminum anti-corrosive coils.
  • Variable-speed fan motors.
  • Non-corrosive bases. 
  • Advanced fan systems and sound insulators for low sound output.

The Trane XL18i Coastal AC Unit can be found online at:

Carrier Comfort™ 14 Coastal Air-Conditioning Units

The Carrier coastal air-conditioning units are designed with coastal environments in mind.  Manufactured with added corrosion protection and improved technology to maximize use in coastal regions. For extra humidity control, choose one of the two-stage compressor options available on some Carrier models.

The Carrier Comfort series model is available online at:–c/

Carrier Infinity® 17 Coastal Air-Conditioning Units

Another model from Carrier that works perfectly in coastal regions is the advanced Infinity 17, which is manufactured to withstand the harshest coastal weather conditions.

The Infinity 17 air-conditioner features a two-stage compressor perfect for high humidity. The Infinity series functions in a low stage setting that drastically help reduce energy costs.  Carrier coastal AC units run at the highest efficiency and best dehumidification and are incredibly silent.

The Carrier Infinity® 17 Coastal AC unit can be found online at:–c/

Chiltrix Ultra-Efficient CX34 AC Unit

The Highly efficient CX34 from Chiltrix acquired its efficiency using old technologies in a new innovative way. The CX34 is built to last with its anti-corrosion coils and unique coil technology that stop corrosion from salty environments.

The Chiltrix CX34 units are manufactured with anti-corrosion technology that is not a coating. Most anti-corrosion coatings wear off over time. Sometimes the coating can also act as an insulation layer, reducing the coil efficiency. At Chiltrix, they incorporated the anti-corrosion as part of the manufacturing process, not a coating added afterward.

The ultra-high quality anti-corrosion technology is incorporated into all Chiltrix AC units to protect against salt air environments.

The Chiltrix CX34 air-conditioning unit can be found online at:

Heil N4A5 Performance 14 Coastal Central Air-Conditioner Unit

All Heil coastal AC units are designed with durability, anti-corrosion, and energy efficiency in mind. They feature:

  • Low sound output at 75 decibels.
  • A Single-stage compressor.
  • Durable to withstand coastal weather conditions.
  • Manufactured with extra anti-corrosion technology.
  • Offers a 10-Year Parts Limited Warranty.

The Heil N4A5 Performance 14 Coastal Air-Conditioner unit can be found online at:

Payne Coastal Central Air Conditioner 14 – PA15NC

The Payne PA15NC coastal AC unit includes a single-stage compressor for quiet operation. This model is built with added anti-corrosion capabilities to provide extra protection in coastal environments. It features:

  • A single-stage compressor.
  • A single-speed fan motor.
  • Strong protective inlet grille panels for easy coil cleaning. 
  • A protecting filter drier.
  • A powder coat finishes over galvanized steel for extra durability.
  • It uses non-ozone depleting R-410A refrigerant.
  • And offers a 1.5 -5-ton cooling capacity.

The Payne Coastal Central Air-Conditioning unit can be found online at:

Bryant Legacy™ Line Coastal Air Conditioner – 114CNC

The Bryant Legacy coastal AC unit is manufactured precisely to withstand salt air and other corrosives. The 14 SEER Legacy Line AC air offers low-cost cooling for homes in coastal regions. The Bryant Legacy 114CNC AC unit features:

  • 14 SEER and 12.5 SEER efficiency.
  • It has a quiet single-stage compressor with a low sound performance at 73 decibels.
  • Bryant AC units offer remote access capability and in-depth energy reporting with the Wi-Fi® thermostat.
  • Bryant AC units are made from heavy-gauge sheet metal.
  • It features a dense wire coil guard.
  • And baked-on powder paint for added durability.
  • It uses environmentally sound Puron® refrigerant for its units.
  • Bryant offers a 10-year parts limited warranty.

The Bryant 114CNC Legacy Coastal Air-Conditioning unit can be found online at:

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Self-Help Solutions for Coastal Air-Conditioning Issues

Salt and sand particles that make their way into your AC unit’s system and block and corrode your AC will cause damage to your AC unit. Therefore, it is essential to protect your AC unit from the salty air. You can take several steps to prevent damage from salt air and help your AC unit last longer. You will extend your AC unit’s life if you follow these steps. 

Regularly Rinse the Condenser Coils

One solution is to rinse the condenser coils regularly to wash the accumulated salt away. Just spray the outdoor unit with a hose each day.

Sometimes constant spraying can wear the unit down; eventually, it should be replaced. However, this simple step will add several years to the AC unit.

Request Regular Air Conditioning Service

Regular air-conditioning service is always an excellent idea but is particularly important in coastal environments.

A certified HVAC contractor will service essential components like the air filter and condenser coils and check for corrosion.  Maintenance will also ensure your AC unit is regularly cleaned. Regular service and maintenance can mean the difference between an AC unit that dies after a couple of years and an AC unit that lasts fifteen years.

Place The Outdoor Unit Carefully

It is important to carefully place the outdoor unit in an area protected from direct wind and rain.  Also, don’t place the outdoor unit directly in the sun or rainfall. Even though living on the coast exposes the AC unit constantly to salt air protecting it from direct exposure can lengthen its life substantially.  

Extra care and maintenance are necessary to keep your coastal AC unit in the best condition. If you follow the tips we listed above, it will help your AC unit perform well for years.

If you think it is time to buy a new AC unit, you can contact any companies listed in this article and ask which unit is best for coastal environments.


Homeowners living near the coast know that the harsh coastal climates can damage AC units. Salt air and humidity are awful for air-conditioning units and increase corrosion tenfold.

Corrosion affects the coils of the air conditioning unit the most. Constant exposure to salt air causes the air conditioning coils to deteriorate much quicker than AC units located in typical climates.

It is vital to purchase an AC unit that can handle salt air and harsh coastal weather conditions by purchasing an AC system from one of the reputed companies listed in this article.