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What Are Evaporator and Condenser Coils and How Do They Work?

What Are Evaporator and Condenser Coils and How Do They Work?

We know that you may not spend much time contemplating the inner workings of your home air conditioning unit or even how it works, but if you’re a DIYer (or are looking to try your hand at it), it’s a good idea to know what the evaporator and condenser coils with your unit do.

The cool air that helps you deal with the Austin area heat does not come from a cold-air generating part inside your AC unit. Instead, both standalone AC and combination HVAC units remove heat from indoor air via the refrigerant that courses through the evaporator and condenser coils. The warm air is transferred outside, while the now-cool air is then circulated back through the unit and into your house.

Evaporating Coil

Most home air conditioning units utilize a closed-loop system, in which the frigid refrigerant vapor passes repeatedly between the evaporator (in) and condenser coils (out). It is in this gaseous state that the refrigerant reaches its highest rate of heat absorption.

A blower inside your AC unit pulls warm air from inside your house through the copper evaporator coil, which most likely is located in an air-handling unit. The drawn-in heat energy is absorbed by the now-vaporous refrigerant, resulting in cool air that is blown back through your system to all parts of your house. The evaporator coil also acts as dehumidifier, and this moisture is drained into a condensate pan at the evaporator base, at which point the remaining moisture drains out of a pipe.

Condensing Coil

The now-hot refrigerant vapor passes into the condenser coil and immediately becomes liquid. This change of states releases and then disperses the heat into the outdoors by an exhaust fan. The refrigerant passes back into the evaporator coil, and the cycle begins once more.

It’s a Working Partnership

In almost any brand name home air conditioning on the market today, the two coils are a matching set, calibrated to meet the efficient needs of your AC unit’s BTU capacity. As such, you’ll have to know your home’s BTU requirements. If you’re not sure how to calculate that, give the pros at Texas AC Specialist a call. They’ll know how to make sure all your components are working together so you get the most comfort at the best efficiency.


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