The air conditioner is a complex system of different components that work together to cool the indoor space. With so many things going into making one, it is difficult to learn about them all. But one critical component of every AC is the evaporator coil. It also happens to be one part directly responsible for the cold air that blows indoors. Therefore, it is best to know as much as possible about the evaporator coil.
The Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil is housed inside the indoor unit of the HVAC system. Although it may sound like a single thing, it is, in fact, made up of metal coils that run in a U shape from side to side. The coils are usually made of aluminum, copper, or steel and are incorporated into two panels that join to form an “A” shape.
The Need For Evaporator Coil In An AC System
In summers, the air inside the house is both hot and humid. Humidity adds to the feeling of clamminess and discomfort. When you switch on the AC, you feel a significant drop in the temperature, and the humidity also decreases. This is thanks to the presence of an evaporator coil in the air conditioner.
The evaporator coil in an AC serves a vital purpose: cooling the air. When the warm indoor air passes over the coils, it extracts or pulls out the heat from it. As a result, the temperature of the air drops. It becomes cooler, and this cold air is sent back indoors to cool the entire indoor area.
How Does The Evaporator Coil Extract Heat From Air?
When the cooling cycle in the air conditioner starts, the compressor draws cold and low-pressure refrigerant in liquid form via a tubing present in the evaporator coil. Before the refrigerant can enter the coils, it passes through an expansion valve. This valve relieves the pressure from the liquid refrigerant and forces it to cool rapidly. When the refrigerant leaves the expansion valve to enter the evaporator coils, it converts into a high-pressure gas with an extremely low temperature. It forces the coils to become chilled. As warm air meets the chilled coils, its temperature drops.
The water vapor or humidity in the air condenses and forms water droplets when it encounters the cold coils. These water droplets collect in a drip tray and are expelled outdoors through a drain line. Consequently, the air becomes cool.
What Problems Can An Evaporator Coil Develop?
There are two main issues that one may have to face in regards to the evaporator coil. These are –
1. Dirty Coils – The evaporator coils are located inside the indoor unit, yet they are not immune to gathering dust. Over days and months, the coils become dirty. When the layer of dust coats the complete surface of the coils and then some, it starts having a negative impact on cooling. The air entering the home will no longer seem as cool as before. Even the efficiency of the AC will take a nosedive.
2. Leaking Coils – Nothing is built to last forever. Although sturdy, the coils are prone to corrosion. Improper handling and trauma to the system can also damage the coils. They may crack or develop punctures. The problem occurs when the refrigerant leaks from these gaps. With insufficient coolant inside the coils, your AC will not cool properly. You may even notice the icing of the coils. A hissing sound may also accompany it.
The Solution To All Evaporator Coil Problems – Maintenance
A sure-shot solution for all evaporator coil problems follows a strict annual maintenance plan. If you thought it was an unnecessary activity, now is the time to think again. An important activity undertaken by the technicians during the tune-up is cleaning the system. Since the evaporator coils are a crucial part of the system, they, too, are given a thorough cleaning.
One cannot reach the evaporator coil without uncovering the indoor unit. Therefore, we strongly urge you to stop any thoughts of undertaking its cleaning as a DIY activity. The HVAC technicians are trained to handle such jobs and are better equipped to complete them accurately.
Maintenance will also highlight the condition of the coils. If the technician finds that your air conditioner’s evaporator coil is deteriorating, they will inform you. It will give you plenty of time to plan the purchase of a new heating and cooling system.
What Can I Do To Prevent Evaporator Coil Problems
Sometimes being proactive is all it takes to ward off problems. A little dedication and commitment from your side to see to the well-being of your HVAC system will go a long way to extend its life. Here are some things you can do to help the process:
1. When you clean your home, clean the vents and registers as well.
2. If you live in an area where dust storms are common, clean your home more often.
3. Stay on top of the annual maintenance routine. Try not to skip any maintenance. Even if that does happen, schedule it as soon as possible instead of waiting until the following season.
4. Do not ever undertake any repair, maintenance, or cleaning activity that requires opening up the HVAC system. Such jobs are specifically for professionals.
No AC is complete without the condenser and evaporator coil setup. The evaporator coils draw the heat out of warm air present indoors, and the condenser coils expel the extracted heat outdoors. Consequently, it is of vital importance and needs careful looking after. Thankfully, the annual AC maintenance routine is more than enough to maintain the excellent health of the coils. All you have to do is ensure that it happens timely year after year.
In West Palm Beach, Florida, Aztil Air Conditioning is one of the top HVAC contractors. We have a fully trained staff capable of handling all HVAC service maintenance requests. If your residential or commercial system needs some TLC, call us at +1-888-729-8452 and book an appointment.