What Are the Coil Types in an AC and How Do They Work?

Coil TypesThe two coil types in a central air conditioner perform different functions to produce one very important result: cool comfort.  That feeling you enjoy when your central AC is functioning up to manufacturer’s specs is actually the result of removing heat energy from the house. In an air conditioner, two coil types help get that job done efficiently and effectively. Here’s how they work together to keep you cool all summer long.

Evaporator Coil Types

It’s the inside coil component, located in the indoor air handler. Warm air removed from rooms in the house flows through return ducts and into the air handler.  Here’s what comes next:

  • Warm air from the house passes through evaporator-coil passageways.
  • Heat is extracted from the air and absorbed by frigid refrigerant circulating through the coil.
  • Cooled air enters supply ducts and is circulated back into rooms.
  • Warm, low-pressure refrigerant vapor flows through a conduit to the outdoor unit that includes the condenser coil.

Condenser Coil Types

Located in the outdoor half of the central AC, the condenser coil is accompanied by the system compressor and the condenser fan.

  • The refrigerant flow is pressurized by the compressor and converted to a superheated vapor.
  • The flow of hot gas enters the condenser coil and rapidly depressurizes, changing into a liquid as it releases heat energy.
  • The condenser fan disperses released heat into outdoor air.
  • The flow of warm liquid refrigerant circles back to the evaporator coil as the cooling cycle continues.

Potential Issues

  • Dirty coils. Dust and other airborne contaminants accumulating on coil surfaces degrades AC efficiency. Coil inspection and cleaning is part of regular annual preventive maintenance available from your local HVAC contractor.
  • Low refrigerant charge. An air conditioner doesn’t consume refrigerant. If the charge is low, there’s a refrigerant leak somewhere. Equipped with leak-detection technology, a certified HVAC technician can locate the leak, perform required repairs, then restore the refrigerant charge to meet system specs.

Ask the professionals at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating for more information about coil types and issues that may affect these components.

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