Difference between Condenser and Evaporator Coils
The distinction between evaporator system coils and condenser coils in an air conditioning system extends beyond their physical placement. When an air conditioner fails to provide the desired degree of comfort, many homeowners assume that the internal coolness generator has failed and that they won’t air conditioner repair quickly.
Since there isn't such a component, that problem may be readily eliminated. The purpose of an air conditioner is to move heat, not to chill you down. Air conditioners give cool comfort in your house as a by-product of efficient heat transmission. One of the primary factors that transport heat from here to there is the functional difference between the A/C evaporator and condenser coils.
Willis Carrier named the first air conditioner, not an air cooler, when he invented it in 1906, and for good reason. Carrier wasn't very concerned about cooling the interior of the printing mill where the first system was installed. He primarily desired to lower indoor humidity in order to better regulate printing quality. As it turned out, his procedure for extracting heat energy from the air also condensed humidity from the air, resulting in a cooler structure.
A mechanical mechanism that efficiently takes interior heat and sends it outdoors leaves chilly comfort behind now, just as it did then. The evaporator and condenser coils of an air conditioner do the heavy lifting of heat transmission, although they work in different directions.
An Extremely Short Ride Around The Loop
A closed-loop refrigerant system is used in the split system design of a central air conditioner installed in a normal home. The refrigerant that flows continually between the A/C evaporator and condenser coils is the system's lifeblood. Refrigerant is a chemical that has excellent heat-absorbing qualities and the unique ability to change state from vapor to liquid and back under pressure.
The Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil's job is to extract indoor heat from the air and combine it with refrigerant. The evaporator, which is housed inside the indoor air handler, is constantly exposed to the warm air extracted by the system blower through return ducts from various rooms in the home. The refrigerant in the coil circulates as a cool vapor approximately 40 degrees. The refrigerant's heat-absorbent qualities are maximum when it is in this condition.
Heat energy flows from the warm house airflow to the chilled copper coil tubing, where it is quickly absorbed by the refrigerant flow. The cooling airflow is pushed into the supply ducts by the blower and spread throughout the home with the heat energy recovered by the coil. At the same time that heat is removed, warm air touching chilly evaporator coil surfaces causes condensation, lowering the humidity level in the airflow and "conditioning" it, precisely as Willis Carrier intended over a century ago.
Refrigerant runs through an insulated tube from the evaporator coil to the outdoor A/C component, which is normally located directly back the house. Both the compressor and condenser coil are housed in this cabinet. The refrigerant vapor is compressed when it enters the compressor, concentrating the heat energy molecules and boosting the temperature to nearly 100 degrees. Even when the outside temperature is high, such as on a hot summer day, this superheated condition maintains effective heat energy transmission into the outside air.
The Condenser Coil
The indoor evaporator coil and the condenser coil are identical in design. The distinction between an evaporator and a condenser coil in an air conditioner, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite. The evaporator coil absorbs heat from the inside air, while the condenser coil disperses it to the outside. When refrigerant flows through the coil and condenses to liquid, the load of heat energy taken from your home and compacted in the hot refrigerant vapor is quickly released. A fan built into the device pushes air through the condenser coil channels as the refrigerant releases its heat load, dissipating the heat into the outside air.
High-pressure liquid refrigerant flowing away from the condenser coil does a U-turn and returns to the evaporator coil. Before the evaporators technology, an expansion valve restricts refrigerant flow, forcing it through a small aperture and converting it to a vaporized form, ready to absorb more heat energy from your house.
When it comes to the requirement for a yearly tune-up by a trained expert, there is no difference between the A/C evaporator and condenser coils. It's an important aspect of keeping your air conditioner running at peak performance and efficiency according to the manufacturer's recommendations. The different roles of each coil, as well as their placement, influence their specific maintenance requirements.
Issues of Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coil is subjected to dust or dirt accumulation because it is constantly exposed to airflow cycled by the blower. The efficiency of the all-important heat transfer from the air to the refrigerant is reduced when airborne particles create a coating on coil surfaces. As the system runs longer "on" cycles to satisfy thermostat settings, this might result in poor cooling performance and greater running costs.
Another problem that is unique to the evaporator coil is mold contamination. Among the minute particles flowing through the HVAC system, airflow is dormant airborne mold spores. When these spores come into touch with damp coil surfaces due to condensation, the moisture awakens the dormant spores, resulting in active mold development. Mold development on evaporator coil surfaces has the same effect as dirt and dust, only it's a lot more obstinate. Mold development inside the coil air passageways can impede airflow completely, causing the system to shut down if left unchecked.
Coil Maintenance For Evaporators
The evaporator coil is usually encased within the air handler and may not be easily accessible to the ordinary do-it-yourselfer in most systems. Coil inspection and cleaning to eliminate dust and debris are included in annual maintenance by a certified HVAC expert. If mold growth is detected, the technician will disinfect the evaporator coil as well as the condensation drip pan beneath the coil with EPA-approved biocides.
Issues of Condenser Coils
When it comes to maintenance, the fact that the condenser is outside and exposed to the weather is a key distinction between the A/C evaporator and condenser coils. Windblown dust and grime, as well as material such as falling leaves and grass clippings, can build on coil surfaces. Mold is seldom an issue with condenser coils since they do not develop condensation moisture like the evaporator coil.
Coil Maintenance For Condenser
Maintaining condenser coil efficiency may be as simple as turning off the electricity to the outdoor unit and hosing down the coil with a garden hose once a year. In addition, look for damage to the upper fan grille from a falling limb or other things.
In order for air to freely flow into the coil intake vents, the outdoor condenser unit also requires wide space on all sides. Clear at least two feet of space around the unit by trimming back any creeping plants.
Problems of Refrigerant
Both evaporator condenser coils might suffer from a lack of refrigerant. The interior and outdoor units are pre-charged with refrigerant when a new central air conditioner is installed. Technicians will measure the refrigerant level before and after the unit is installed and tested in a competent professional air conditioner installation. When this doesn't happen, and there isn't enough refrigerant, the unit may underperform in terms of energy efficiency and cooling effectiveness. Low refrigerant levels, on the other hand, can cause evaporator coil surfaces to get extremely cold, causing condensation to freeze and setting off a chain of events that leads to coil icing, which can cause the system to shut down.
Measurement of the refrigerant level is also a normal technique during annual maintenance by an HVAC expert. Air conditioners don't utilize refrigerant in the same way that cars do, therefore they need to be topped up on a regular basis. A leak is nearly often the source of a low refrigerant level. The evaporator coil, condenser coil, and refrigerant conduit connections will all be targeted for leak detection.
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