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What is an Evaporator Coil in an Air Conditioner? (The Definitive Guide)

Air conditioners are a must to bear the extreme climates of Dubai. Apart from handling external operations of air conditioners, you might be curious about a few basic facts about the AC unit. For example, how an air conditioner helps in cooling your surrounding air or how the cooling system works in sync. 

On the other hand, you might have heard about evaporator and condenser coils from AC maintenance experts. They might have mentioned how crucial it is for the evaporator coil to run smoothly for the sake of a well-functioning air conditioning unit. 

What’s an evaporator coil? How does it work to maintain optimum cooling? This guide will assist you in having a comprehensive idea about evaporator coils and much more. Let’s get started.

What is an Evaporator Coil inside an Air Conditioner?

The system that helps the coolant absorb the heat is known as the air conditioner’s evaporator coil, and it’s also called an evaporator core. The cool air originates from the evaporator coil inside your air conditioner.

The evaporator coil of the air conditioner resides near the blower fan and air handler. Usually, evaporator coils are manufactured with steel, copper, and aluminium as metals can conduct or exchange heat easily. Evaporator coils inside most residential air conditioners are bent into U-shapes, and there are corresponding panels.

Fins are parallelly positioned with these A-shaped panels. It’s Fins’ responsibility to direct airflow closer to the coils so that the airflow can become cool. Additionally, it maximises the cooling efficiency of the AC refrigerant.

Air Conditioner’s Evaporator Coil: What does it do and How?

Your property, such as a home or office, has its heat and moisture contained within its boundaries or walls. When you power the air conditioner, your home feels cooler and more comfortable. The evaporator coil of the aircon unit extracts heat and humidity from indoor air. You already know that, but how does it work?

As soon as you turn on your air conditioner, the compressor starts drawing low-pressure, cold liquid coolant via the evaporator coil. The coolant also passes through the expansion valve before it reaches the evaporator coil. Now, the expansion valve reduces pressure from the liquid coolant, and it consequently cools the refrigerant way faster.

Since the refrigerant gets colder, it can now absorb heat from the surrounding air. On the other hand, the expansion valve also decides the quantity of coolant that should go into the evaporator coil. For instance, thermostatic expansion valves are pretty good at controlling energy efficiency.

Next, the blower fan starts pulling the hot air from the room over the evaporator coil as the refrigerant flows. The coolant absorbs the heat from the air passing through the evaporator. The refrigerant starts warming up and evaporating while absorbing heat.

After that, the water vapour gets in touch with the evaporator coil. The vapour condenses into liquid as the evaporator coil is still cold. The condensing water drips down and accumulates into the condensate pan. 

This drains out the water outside your home if the plumbing installation is done accurately. Hopefully, you have an idea of how an air conditioner’s evaporator coil works to cool down your home’s temperature.

Is there a Connection between the Evaporator Coil and Condenser Coil?

It’s impossible for the evaporator coil to cool down your home on its own. Both the evaporator coil and condenser coil work together to create an environment cosy. However, the condenser coil works in a very different way compared to the evaporator coil.

The refrigerant releases the heat in the condenser coil while the evaporator coil absorbs the heat. They work in a consistent loop where the evaporator coil absorbs heat, and the condenser coil releases the absorbed heat. Thus, the air conditioner can run in harmony, and your home’s optimum temperature remains maintained.

Brief about Air Conditioner’s Condenser Coils 

Condenser coils reside within the condenser unit of the air conditioner. As you know, the condenser unit is the portion that remains outside the building. Therefore, the condenser coil is situated in the external part of the air conditioner.

Apart from releasing the absorbed heat, the condenser coil turns the coolant into a high-pressure, hot gas. The gas flows via the condenser coils, releasing the heat from your indoor air.

Why Should the Evaporator Coil be Clean?

The cleanliness of the evaporator coil inside your air conditioner is directly proportional to the overall energy efficiency of the appliance. Dirty and clogged evaporator coils can trigger a hike of up to 30% in your energy bill. 

Apart from a surge in electricity consumption, a clogged evaporator coil can put stress on the cooling performance. Additionally, it can cause the following issues, such as:

  • Reduced heat transfer
  • Overheating compressor
  • Frozen coils
  • Disgusting cooling capacity
  • Higher temperatures and pressures

How do You Know Whether the Evaporator Coil has Turned Clogged?

A dirty evaporator coil can lead to severe damage. However, it might be a little tricky for you to guess whether the evaporator coil is guilty or not. 

Still, a few symptoms can determine that your air conditioner has issues with the evaporator coil. You might face one or more of these signs below if it’s an accident with the evaporator coil:

  • The air conditioner refuses to turn on.
  • You can feel the hot air from the vents whenever you turn on the aircon unit.
  • The air conditioner might shut down without any indication of malfunction.
  • You might hear strange and loud noises from your air conditioner.
  • Worse, refrigerant starts leaking.

You should be alert if you notice that your air conditioner’s refrigerant is leaking. Mishandling the air conditioner refrigerant can lead to health risks. Make sure that you turn off the air conditioner. Additionally, keep your kids and pets away from AC refrigerant leaks. Seek expert intervention to treat AC refrigerant leaks and other evaporator coil issues.

Evaporator coils: Preventive Maintenance Tips for Maximum Functionality

Dust and dirt will inevitably stick to the evaporator coil over time. The evaporator coil will lose efficiency when excessive dust deposits onto it. In addition, the refrigerant will face difficulty in wrapping up the coil. Hence, the water will directly freeze up instead of condensing into liquid.

Moreover, leaks can arise due to condensed water and chemicals in the absorbed air. An oily residue around the evaporator coil might inform you that there can be a leak in the coil. However, it’s easy to prevent all these scenarios if you go through a few checklists.

For example, keep the air filters clean every month. Besides this, you should schedule routine air conditioning maintenance for regular inspection. This helps you take action before a repair need becomes a replacement essential.

Is it Possible to Repair an Evaporator Coil?

The evaporator coil can’t be repaired if it’s leaking or there is frost. However, an air conditioner professional can clean the evaporator coil and look for signs of wear and tear. They can replace the evaporator coil if it has lost its efficiency. After a proper cleaning or replacement, your air conditioner should run like a new appliance. Contact AC Repair Dubai if you have any problem with your AC.