HVAC Pasadena: Do You Understand the Difference Between Evaporator and Condenser Coils?
Your air conditioning service pro has probably mentioned evaporator and condenser coils during a maintenance visit. Perhaps you were unsure about what these coils do.
In a split system air conditioner, the evaporator is located indoors, in what is called the plenum. The condenser and compressor are outdoors, usually mounted on a concrete slab. Refrigerant passing through the indoor “side” of the system absorbs heat from the home and moves from the evaporator to the compressor and then to the condenser, exhausting the heat outdoors as it moves. The cycle begins again as the cool refrigerant is pumped back indoors.
Following is a more precise explanation of what the coils for each side of the air conditioner do.
The evaporator coil is a copper tube located in a framework of aluminum fins. Cold refrigerant passes through this coil and, as the air handler blows air from the home over it, evaporates as it absorbs heat from the air. The cooled air is then distributed through the ductwork of the home. In the meantime, the refrigerant is now in a gas phase and travels through a copper tube to the outdoor compressor.
After leaving the compressor, the hot, vaporized refrigerant enters the condenser coil. This is another copper tube located in a frame of aluminum fins. The condenser fan draws in cooler outside air, which cools the refrigerant as it flows through the coil, while heat from the refrigerant is exhausted outdoors. The refrigerant then changes back into a liquid and flows back indoors, where it goes through the cycle of absorbing heat and turning into a gas again.
If you’d like to know more about condenser coils and other A/C/ issues, contact Air-Tro, Inc. We’ve served Pasadena homeowners since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Pasadena, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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