Where is the AC Evaporator Coil & How Does It Work?

What is an evaporator coil

If you’ve ever seen the inside of your Sacramento air conditioner system, you’ve likely been surprised — and maybe even a little confused — by all of its many components. Each is important in its way, but without a properly working evaporator coil, it wouldn’t work at all. Since it’s doing so much to keep your home cool and dry, we thought we should take a moment to explain what it’s doing, and when it’s time to call Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning for AC repair in Sacramento.

Can’t Tell an Evaporator Coil From a Slinky? We Can Help!

Where is the Evaporator Coil Located

The evaporator coil is part of the air handler. It may be located in a dedicated air handler, or might also be built into your furnace if the furnace is pulling double-duty as an air handler for the AC. It’s made of steel or copper for better heat conduction and is often surrounded by fins that assist in both protection and dissipation of heat.

Evaporator Coil vs Condenser Coil

The evaporator coil doesn’t work alone. There’s another important coil, called the condenser coil, that works in tandem with it to keep the air cool.

Note that we said “keep the air cool” and not “cool the air.” That’s because an air conditioner isn’t adding cold, it’s removing heat. The refrigerant evaporates in the evaporator coil, turning to gas. That gas is sent to the condenser coil, where it changes phase back to a liquid; its heat is vented outdoors, and the liquid is sent back to the evaporator coil. This cycle can repeat multiple times per hour, starting and stopping based on the indoor temperature measured by your thermostat.

Air Conditioning and Evaporator Coil Maintenance in Sacramento

Air, indoor and outdoor alike, is often filthy. The pollen, dust, pet dander, and other contaminants it contains get drawn into your air conditioning system. When they do, they can collect on the coils and fins, and when that happens, they act as an insulator, preventing heat exchange and causing your system to work harder. This is easier to prevent than you think:

  • Clean your outdoor unit, and keep it free from dirt and debris.
  • Change filters regularly, since they’re doing the hard work of keeping the system clean.
  • Get annual air conditioner tune-ups in Sacramento so your system always works its best.

Air Conditioning and Evaporator Coil Repairs in Sacramento

Systems age, slow, and even break. When they do, you’ll need Sacramento air conditioning repairs. These can arise for any number of reasons.

  • You were lax about air conditioner maintenance.
  • You tried to handle air conditioner maintenance on your own, only to realize that the system was a bit more fragile than you thought.
  • High indoor moisture causes the evaporator coil or fins to corrode; if this happens, talk to us about dehumidifiers and other indoor air quality solutions.
  • You were lax about filter changes, and the dirt that resulted caused the coils freezing.
  • Your refrigerant has aged to a point where it needs to be changed or changed.
  • Your system developed a leak, so less refrigerant and less cooling are going on as a result. 

Call for Comprehensive AC Service

The good news is that if you’re diligent about maintenance, you can prevent many repairs. If repairs or replacements are necessary, the team at Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning will ensure that you can quickly go back to efficient and effective home cooling. Click or call today!