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Understanding Evaporator and Condenser Coils: How They Help Cool Your Home

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Ever wondered about the inner workings of your AC system? Whether you need AC repairs or your technician is providing a report of their maintenance findings, you’re likely to hear about both evaporator coils and condenser coils. But what are they exactly, and how do they work?

In short, evaporator coils in your indoor unit remove heat and moisture from the air by circulating refrigerant. On the other hand, condenser coils in the outdoor unit work to dissipate heat from the refrigerant. Together, these coils facilitate the cooling process, ensuring comfortable temperatures indoors during hot summer.

To further explain this technical topic, in this blog, we’ll explain:

Is your AC not working? Call the Cooper Green Team for fast and efficient maintenance and repairs.

Your AC’s evaporator and condenser coils need routine cleanings to operate efficiently. If you’re looking to prevent problems or you’re currently dealing with one, contact Cooper Heating & Cooling for trustworthy AC maintenance and repairs. We’re proud to offer fast response times, clear and honest prices, and a guarantee of 100% satisfaction.

What Are Evaporator Coils?

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Located inside your AC’s indoor unit, the evaporator coil is made up of several copper tubing coils that are designed to remove heat from the air in your home. Filled with chemical refrigerant (a heat transfer fluid), as warm air passes over these copper coils, the refrigerant absorbs heat and begins to transfer it outdoors. 

In addition to cooling the air, the evaporator coils also help dehumidify the indoor environment. As warm air comes into contact with the cold coils, moisture in the air condenses on the coils, forming water droplets. These droplets are collected and drained away, reducing the humidity in your home.

So long as your AC is turned on, your AC’s evaporator coils will continue to cycle refrigerant, ensuring your indoor air is cooled and dehumidified.

What Are Condenser Coils?

Located in the outdoor unit of your AC system, condenser coils are responsible for releasing the heat absorbed by the evaporator coils. 

After the evaporator coils have extracted warmth from your indoor air, the refrigerant carries this warmth to the mass of condenser coils (also made of copper tubing). By the time the refrigerant reaches the condenser coils, it’s in a gaseous state and is ready to be expelled outdoors. If you’ve ever stood near your outdoor unit while the AC is running, you’ll feel warm air being expelled from it. This is the blower fan working to push warm air from the condenser coils. 

Once the process is finished, the high-pressure liquid refrigerant exits the condenser coils and flows back to the evaporator coils through a valve called the expansion valve” or metering device. This completes the refrigeration cycle, and then the cycle begins again.

How Do Both Types of Coils Cool Your Home?

Evaporator and condenser coils work hand in hand to cool your home. Facilitated by refrigerant, the evaporator coils extract heat and humidity from the indoor air, while the condenser coils release the absorbed heat to the outdoor air, through the help of the blower fan. Without one or the other, the cooling process wouldn’t be complete; It’s a continuous cycle of heat transfer and release that allows you to maintain a cool and comfortable indoor temperature.

Why Routine Maintenance Is Crucial

Your air conditioning works through a delicate balance of heating and cooling the refrigerant inside your system’s evaporator and condenser coils to pull warmth from your indoor air and distribute it outside. Any disruption to this balance can lead to a malfunction, resulting in a loss of efficiency and higher costs for you.

Routine AC maintenance is essential in preventing dirty or frozen evaporator and condenser coils. Inspecting and cleaning the coils removes any accumulated dirt, dust, or debris, preventing them from obstructing the heat transfer process. Additionally, an HVAC technician can identify and address potential issues, such as refrigerant leaks or airflow problems that could lead to reduced cooling capacity or system breakdowns. Airflow is crucial to the health of your system. Blockages such as dirty coils or even dirty air filters will restrict the airflow causing the evaporator coil to freeze making the unit non-operational.

How Long Should Your Coils Last?

The lifespan of air conditioning evaporator and condenser coils can vary depending on the quality of the coils, maintenance practices, and environmental factors. On average, well-maintained coils can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. However, it’s important to note that certain factors can influence their longevity. Regular maintenance, including cleaning and inspection, helps to prevent issues such as corrosion or dirt buildup that can shorten the coils’ lifespan. Additionally, exposure to corrosive environments, extreme temperatures, or excessive strain on the system can contribute to coil deterioration.

By scheduling regular AC tune-ups, you can address any coil-related issues and help maximize their lifespan. As key components of your AC system, they will ensure optimal performance and cooling comfort.

Need AC repairs or maintenance? Call the Cooper Green Team!

Whether you have frozen coils, high energy bills, or other unknown issues impacting your AC’s performance, we’ve got you covered. We have one of the highest first-time fix rates in the Colorado Front Range area, and we back up our work with 1‑year labor warranties and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Rest assured, our highly-trained technicians will get your AC back up and running as efficiently as possible!

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Luke Cooper