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AC 101: What Are Evaporator and Condenser Coils?

As homeowners, you aren’t expected to know every single thing about your HVAC system – that’s what the professionals at CCAC are here for! However, knowledge has power, and the more you know about your air conditioner, the better you’ll be able to understand when you require AC repairs. 

CCAC is dedicated to providing you with as much information as we can about your air conditioning system so that you can feel more confident about your home. Some of the most important components of your AC unit are the evaporator and condenser coils. Read on to learn what these coils do and how they contribute to that nice cool air in your Corpus Christi home.

What Do Evaporator Coils Do?

Evaporator coils are made of a tubing that is coiled around in a circular form inside your air handler. The air handler is the inside portion of your AC system, either located in the attic or directly on your wall if you have a ductless unit. The tubing houses a liquid called refrigerant which is kept in it’s chilled form by a cooling mechanism. 

The indoor unit is where the warm air in your home is sucked up. When warm air passes over the coil full of cool refrigerant, the liquid absorbs the heat from the air into itself, causing it to transform into a gas. This gas then runs through the lines to the outdoor unit where it goes through the process of releasing heat, cooling and returning to the indoor unit to absorb more heat from your air.

What Do Condenser Coils Do?

Condenser coils are very similar to evaporator coils in that they are coils of tubing designed to contribute to the cooling of your air. However, the only difference is that the condenser coils are responsible for the opposite part of the cooling process. When the gaseous refrigerant arrives from inside your home, it is compressed into an area that is too small to allow for the gaseous form.

This process causes the refrigerant to release the heat it has absorbed from your air and return to a liquid. That liquid refrigerant is sent back to the indoor unit to begin the process over again. Meanwhile, a fan blows through the condenser coil passages and pushes the hot air outside.

Common AC Coil Repairs

Since both sets of coils are exposed to liquid, gas and air debris, there are several malfunctions that can require AC repairs. The following are some of the most common evaporator coil and condenser coil repairs our experienced technicians see:

  • Debris buildup
  • Iced over coils
  • Refrigerant leaks

The coils use heat transfer as the main part of their job, and the transformation of temperature depends on clear air flow. When the coils are blocked by outdoor debris like yard clippings or branches, airflow can be blocked. The coils can also see a buildup of dust that needs to be cleaned periodically. Luckily, CCAC technicians complete this task as part of their comprehensive AC tune-up!

AC coils can also form frost or freeze over completely. If your condenser is cleaned regularly, this could indicate an airflow problem. Low refrigerant could also be the problem, which is why you should contact a friendly HVAC professional to help get your unit back in order.

In Need of AC Repairs?

If your evaporator or condenser coils ever have any of the issues listed above, you’ll be better informed and contact an HVAC specialist to get your system working again. Corpus Christi is a miserable place to have your AC not working, so count on the team at CCAC for quality HVAC service. Schedule your appointment today!

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