There’s A Lot That Goes Into Keeping Your Home Cool
When you flip on your air conditioner during hot weather, you’re probably not thinking about all the pieces and parts that work together to make the unit “go.” You just expect everything to work smoothly. But you’d be doing yourself a favor by learning how these different parts keep your home cool. Once you understand how they work, you’ll be in a better position to keep them in good working condition and know how to troubleshoot if something goes wrong. That knowledge can help you determine if you need to call in HVAC repair specialists like USA Air Conditioning Services or if you can fix the problem yourself.
Two of the most critical parts of your HVAC cooling system are the AC’s evaporator coils and condenser coils. You’ve probably seen these two parts, and you may even know where they’re located, but you may not be sure how they work. Read on to find out.
What Is the Evaporator Coil, and What Does It Do?
Every single part of the air conditioner is essential, but this is especially true of the evaporator coil. The reason it’s so vital to the makeup of your AC is that it’s where it generates the cold air. Also called the evaporator core, it’s where the refrigerant absorbs hot air and transforms it into icy air.
Evaporator coils come in like aluminum, copper, or steel—materials that conduct heat. It’s formed into coils that are then slotted into A-shaped panels. These panels are lined with tiny pieces of metal called fins that push the hot air as close to the coils as possible so that the refrigerant can cool it more quickly and efficiently.
The air conditioner’s compressor then draws the refrigerant through the expansion valve, which reduces the amount of pressure in the refrigerant, allowing the liquid to turn cold very quickly. This cold liquid then pulls heat from the air, cooling it down.
While the refrigerant flows from the expansion valve to the evaporator coil, the blower fan pulls the hot air from the room over the evaporator coil, drawing the heat out and making it evaporate.
To reduce the humidity in the air, the water vapor from hot air in your house hits the chilled evaporator coils. Once it does, the gas turns into liquid and drips into the condensate pan, where it’s then directed away from the AC to the outside of your house.
What is the Condenser Coil, and What Does it Do?
While the evaporator coil handles the first part of the cooling cycle, the condenser coil handles the final part. The condenser is in the part of the air conditioner that’s located on the outside of your house. This condenser unit consists of several essential parts, including the compressor, valves, fan, condenser tubes, and switches.
Once the evaporator coils have finished taking in the hot air from the inside of your house, the AC sends the air outside and into the condenser unit via copper tubing. Warm refrigerant is sent to the compressor, where it’s pressurized and turned into heated, highly pressurized gas. This refrigerant gas exits the compressor and flows into the condenser coils, where the captured heat is released. The condenser unit’s fan cools the gas as it flows over the condenser coils, turning the gas into a hot liquid. That liquid then flows back into your house via the copper tubing, ending up in the expansion valve near the evaporator coil, where the entire process begins again.