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What Is My Air Conditioner’s Evaporator Coil?

When reading up about your air conditioner, you’re likely to come across words that sound like something out a science fiction movie. One of those odd terms that surfaces the most is the “evaporator coil.” You get the feeling that it’s important because Google is telling you that it’s expensive to replace--but what exactly is it, and what does it do?

Below, we’ll explain what your air conditioner’s evaporator coil is and what role it plays in the cooling process.

What Does the Evaporator Coil Do?

Your home contains heat and moisture. When you run your air conditioner, you’ll notice that your home not only feels cooler, but it also feels less humid. The evaporator coil in your air conditioning system is the component that removes heat and moisture from the air. Essentially, the evaporator coil is where your cold air comes from.

What Does the Evaporator Coil Look Like?

Even though it's referred to as the evaporator coil (singular), this component is made of a bunch of metal coils running in U shapes from side to side. The metal used for these coils is usually aluminum, steel, or copper, and often they are set into two panels that come together to form an "A" shape. Your evaporator coil is located inside your home.

How Does the Evaporator Coil Remove Heat from Air?

Your evaporator coil receives cold, liquid refrigerant from your AC's condenser coil and compressor (parts located in your AC's outdoor unit). A fan blows the warm air from your home across the evaporator coil. While this happens, the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air. In other words, the refrigerant the evaporator cools the air by "stealing" its warmth.

As mentioned above, your evaporator coil also dehumidifies your home’s air. While the fan blows air across the coils, the water vapor in the air condenses on them. These liquid droplets fall into a condensate pan and drain out through a pipe called the condensate drain line.

Do Evaporator Coils Require Maintainance?

YES. Just like any other part of your HVAC system, your evaporator coil can get dirty and suffer from decreased efficiency. When this component accumulates dust, it will have a harder time absorbing heat, which means that it will cool air less effectively. Also, if the refrigerant inside the coil doesn’t absorb enough heat, it can actually cause the water vapor on the coil to ice over. A frozen evaporator coil puts a lot of stress on your system and can cause it to break down.

For reliable AC repair in Dallas, you can always count on Rescue Air Heating and Cooling: (972) 201-3253.