What Are HVAC Coils?

What are HVAC Coils?

If you are like most homeowners, you may not be familiar with how your HVAC system works. If you don’t know there is no need to worry HVAC systems are complex machines and they have multiple parts that work together to function properly and efficiently.  There are two different types of coils: condenser and evaporator coils. Each has their own vital function and any issues with either could cause your system to breakdown. You may have heard of these parts before, but to help you have a better understanding of what HVAC coils are and how they work read on.

Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is located inside your home near the air handler where the indoor blower fan is located. Most evaporator coils are made from copper, steel, or aluminum because these metals are excellent heat conductors. Most types of evaporator coils consist of tubes bent into a u-shape and set into panels. The panels typically are set in the form of the letter A and are lined with fins which bring the air closer to the coils where the refrigerant is. The refrigerant then moves through the coil and as air flows over it will either result in cool or warm air. Depending on whether you have called for heating or cooling, the evaporator coil will either pull heat from the air to cool it or add heat to the air to heat it.

Common Evaporator Coil Issues

As a result of the evaporator coil continuously being exposed to airflow circulated by the blower, the evaporator coil could have a buildup of dust or dirt. Any dirt and dust that builds up on the evaporator coil acts as insulation. Any extra insulation would make your system work harder either to heat or cool air. This results in energy wasted, higher electricity bills and more wear and tear on your system. Furthermore, a dirty evaporator coil can also lead to smelly air or a buildup of allergens even mold growth.

Condenser Coil

The condenser coil is located outdoors in the large unit outdoor unit. The condenser coil regulates the temperature of the refrigerant. The refrigerant circulates through the condenser coils and changes temperature before being returned to the evaporator coil. It is responsible for absorbing the heat from inside your home and releases outdoors with the assistance of a large fan while also keeping the refrigerant under high pressure. This is why you will notice the air coming from your outside unit feels warm or even hot at times.

Common Condenser Coil Issues

Due to the fact that the condenser coil is outdoors this means it is exposed to the elements. This can result in an accumulation of dirt, debris even foliage on the coil surfaces. Since condenser coils do not generate condensation unlike the evaporator coil mold is not really an issue here. The excess dirt and other debris can reduce the efficiency of the system and not only place a strain on the condenser itself but on other HVAC components. There can also be a buildup of ice on the unit. This is typically a result of airflow issues from a dirty filter, or dirty evaporator coil or caused by low refrigerant levels. Low refrigerant level is an issue that can affect both the evaporator and condenser coil. Too low or high levels of refrigerant result in a system not performing properly and inefficiently.

Coil Maintenance

Both the evaporator and condenser coil highly benefit from annual maintenance. The evaporator coil is within an enclosed area and is not typically accessible. It is recommended to have annual maintenance performed by a professional who can inspect the coil and determine whether it needs to be cleaned or not. The condenser coil must be cleaned periodically especially if you notice a buildup of debris. The condenser coil also needs open space around it to ensure free flow of air. Trim back any extra foliage that may be too close to the system. Furthermore, during annual maintenance a technician can also measure the refrigerant level to ensure they are at proper levels.

Contact LA Construction, Heating and Air

Give LA Construction, Heating and Air a call today at 818-341-3406 or contact us online. We can schedule routine maintenance for your system or a service visit. Routine maintenance is a critical part of maintaining your HVAC system performing optimally and efficiently. Give us a call today we are here to help you enjoy the comfort of your home.

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