The best air conditioner is one that works properly. However, the way an air conditioner works is a mystery to the average person.
When it breaks, you need the help of a professional technician. However, knowing a few facts about how air conditioners work can help you diagnose the problem and get your unit working again.
The components of your AC unit work together in a delicate balance to cool your indoor air, and one of the most essential parts of your AC unit is the evaporator coil. So where is the evaporator coil on an AC unit, and what does it do?
This article explains everything you need to know about the evaporator coil. When you need professional servicing, our team at World Class Services can help. Call us at 614-587-8985 to schedule AC maintenance services in Westerville, OH.
How to Identify the Evaporator Coil
The inside of your air conditioner can be a scary place. There is a fan, wires, and a lot of tubes. There might even be dust, dirt, and spiders.
As such, locating any part of the unit can be intimidating. So where is the evaporator coil on an AC unit? Since we call it an AC evaporator coil, you probably have an idea of what it looks like.
However, it may surprise you to discover that it’s not just one coil but a series of curved cylindrical tubes inside your AC unit’s air handler (the fan). Evaporator coils can consist of aluminum or steel but typically use copper. You can also find them in cars and refrigerators.
What’s the Difference Between an Evaporator Coil and a Condenser Coil?
In the AC unit refrigeration cycle, the AC evaporator coil works in synchronicity with the condenser coil to remove heat from the air.
Air conditioner coolant moves continually from the evaporator coil through the compressor to the condenser coil. Then, it moves through the expansion valve and back to where it started in the evaporator coil. This cycle runs continuously as long as the unit is on.
The evaporator coil removes heat from the air, which goes into the coolant. Once the coolant flows into the condenser coil, it blows the heat through a vent leading to the outside. The remarkable thing about this cycle is that it doesn’t work by blowing cool air into the room but by simply removing heat from the existing air.
Some states require licensure for anyone handling refrigerants because of the in-depth knowledge it takes to keep a machine running efficiently. Even if your state does not have that requirement, calling a trained technician to handle AC repair is always the safest option.
Care and Maintenance of Evaporator Coils
The constant flow of air turns the evaporator coil into a dust magnet. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to prevent dust from collecting on AC evaporators.
When you schedule a yearly inspection, a trained HVAC technician will check the air quality in your home. If there is debris on your evaporator coil, a professional can clean it for you. If you would rather clean it yourself, you can easily do so with a brush and special coil cleaner.
When to Bring in a Professional
Even with meticulous care, your AC unit will eventually need professional repair. The worst-case scenario for your evaporator coil is discovering it has a leak.
While it may be possible to repair a minor leak with sealant, it won’t work for larger leaks. When the leak is too big for the sealant to work, the only option is to replace the coil completely.
Replacing an evaporator coil can easily cost $2,000. If your unit is still under warranty, the cost of replacement may be partially covered.
If your unit is no longer under warranty, it may be more cost-effective to replace the unit entirely. While a new unit can cost at least $4,000, you will save money on your electric bill and may also get a tax credit for upgrading to a more environmentally friendly unit.
Don’t Hesitate to Contact the Pros
So, where is the evaporator coil on an AC unit? Now you know.
Think ahead and inspect your air conditioner before you find yourself sweltering in the middle of summer. If your evaporator coil is leaking, your unit needs cleaning, or your unit needs replacement, don’t wait until it’s too late.