Your air conditioning system’s evaporator and condenser coils play important roles when it comes to keeping your Texas home cool and comfortable. This mass of aluminum and copper piping is what your air conditioning system’s refrigerant travels through in order to provide effective and efficient cooling.
A basic understanding of how evaporator and condenser coils work to provide your home with the utmost comfort is handy to have when it comes to taking care of common coil-related issues. It may even encourage you to care for your air conditioner and give it the proper maintenance it needs to live a long life.
How Evaporator and Condenser Coils Work
In spite of their similar appearances and functions, evaporator and condenser coils are located in two different areas of your central A/C system. The evaporator coil is located within the plenum of the indoor portion of the cooling system, while the condenser coil is located within the outdoor portion.
The evaporator coil doesn’t produce cold; instead, it takes away heat by absorbing the latent heat within the air using the refrigerant within the coils. Before the refrigerant enters the coils, it goes through an expansion valve that allows the pressurized gas to expand and cool, allowing it to readily absorb heat and carry it back to the condenser coil.
Once the refrigerant reaches the condenser coil, it’s compressed back into a high-pressure liquid. Heavy-duty fans help the condenser coil dissipate and ultimately release the latent heat that was captured by the refrigerant while it was traveling through the evaporator.
Problems Evaporator Coils Can Face
- Corrosion – Steel rusts, but the copper and aluminum plumbing that makeup evaporator coils can become corroded and pitted with age and exposure to harsh chemicals. These microscopic pinholes and fissures can cause dangerous refrigerant leaks.
- Occasional blockages – You’d be surprised at how much dust and debris can get inside of an air conditioner. This stuff can settle on the evaporator coil and block the airflow it needs to function properly and efficiently.
- Mold and mildew – It’s pretty dark and damp inside the plenum, and evaporator coils can get plenty dirty. Without a regular dose of sunlight to help combat mold and mildew spores, these two biological hazards can cause serious indoor air quality issues, as well as prevent air from flowing in between the fins.
Problems Condenser Coils Could Face
- Outdoor dirt and debris – Vegetation and assorted debris can collect along the bottom of the condenser, cutting off airflow to the condenser coil and its exhaust fan. Keeping this area clear of brush, tall grasses, leaves, and other stray debris can help prevent blockages from happening.
- Occasional blockages – Just like evaporator coils can become blocked with household dust and debris, A/C condenser coils can also become blocked, usually due to dust and pollen buildup.
Regular Maintenance Is the Key to Good Care
Taking care of the evaporator and condenser coils and the A/C system as a whole involves regularly scheduled care and cleaning.