Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Do You Understand the Function of Your A/C’s Evaporator and Condenser Coils?

Inside your air conditioner, there are two important components that constantly work together to produce indoor cooling — the evaporator and condenser coils. Here is a brief explanation of how these coils operate and why they’re important for proper A/C function.

Basic Air Conditioner FunctionDo You Understand the Function of Your A/C's Evaporator and Condenser Coils?

Air conditioners remove heat from indoor spaces by using refrigerant, a substance that circulates through the evaporator and condenser coils. As the refrigerant changes state from liquid to gas and back again, it either absorbs or releases heat.

In the evaporator, the refrigerant turns to gas and absorbs heat. Blower fans then move air across the cold evaporator coils to generate the cool air you need for home comfort. The gaseous refrigerant is then moved to the outdoor unit, where the condenser pressurizes the gas and causes it to become liquid again. As it changes state, it releases the heat it contains before the liquid refrigerant returns to the indoor unit and the cycle starts again.

Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils contain the refrigerant during the change from liquid to gas. These coils are usually made of copper, a material that allows easy heat transfer. Fins or vanes are often added to increase the heat-absorbing capacity of the coils. An expansion valve reduces the pressure on the liquid refrigerant, letting the refrigerant change to gas. The gaseous refrigerant in the evaporator coil absorbs heat from your indoor environment and cools the evaporator, providing a source of cool indoor air.

Condenser Coils

Outside, your compressor increases the pressure on the gaseous refrigerant and pumps it into the condenser coils. The heat then dissipates into the outdoor air, aided by fins or vanes on the copper condenser coils causing it to return to liquid form thus when the refrigerant changes state it releases the heat it gathered in the evaporator into the air outside. The liquid then goes back inside to the expansion valve starting another cycle.

Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company has more than 62 years of experience providing HVAC and electrical services in and around Yuma. Contact us today for more information on evaporator and condenser coils, and how these cooling system components can keep your indoor space comfortable.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about evaporator and condenser coils and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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