Indoor and Outdoor Coils

by | Dec 1, 2017 | General HVAC

In the country, an updated version of a country farm house is photographed.

Your air conditioner has many components cooperatively working to bring cool comfort to your home. One of the most important of those components is your indoor evaporator coil. (Here we’ll be specifically addressing the evaporator coil in relation to an air conditioner, but the coil works similarly in function with an air handler.) This piece of the HVAC system holds the primary spotlight in keeping those indoor temps down to where you like them during warmer outdoor temperatures. As such, it’s necessary to keep the coil in tip-top shape to ensure it’s always working correctly by regular cleaning and maintenance by an HVAC professional like ours at Beach Air Heating & Cooling.

What’s the Evaporator Coil Do?

Much to many people’s surprise, your air conditioner really doesn’t put cool air into your home. It actually does the reverse––it removes the heat from your home’s air and transfers it elsewhere, typically outside. That’s precisely what your evaporator coil does––it removes the heat from your home’s air and sends it to the condenser coil, located outdoors, where then that coil releases the heat to the outside air.

Indoor Coil vs. Outdoor Coil

There are two coils involved in cooling your home––the indoor coil, or evaporator coil, typically located atop your furnace, and the outdoor coil, or the condenser coil, located outside in your air conditioner condenser. They work in tandem, like a track runner passing along a baton to the next runner, only these coils keep passing it back and forth. In this case, the baton is refrigerant (most commonly R22 [called Freon] or the newer R410a [called Puron]) that travels through the evaporator coil as liquid, turning into a gaseous form as it absorbs heat.

With all the heat energy, the refrigerant is pumped through your air conditioner to the condenser coil. A compressor applies pressure to the refrigerant, transforming it back to a liquid state, where the condenser coil releases the heat energy into the outdoor air during that transformation. From there, the liquid refrigerant travels back to the indoor evaporator coil where the loop begins again.

How Important Is It to Keep It Clean?

Clean airflow is the name of the game in any HVAC system, so it’s very important to keep it clean. While air is being blown over the coils from the system’s fan, dust, dirt, and debris can easily collect on these coils. If the coil’s surface is covered with pet hair, mold, or dust, it can’t effectively transfer/absorb heat. Then if the condenser coil’s covered with the air pollution or outdoor dust, it certainly can’t release the heat energy to the outdoors.

These types of scenarios can lead to more serious issues than simply the ineffective cooling of your home. You could face higher energy consumption (i.e., higher energy costs), the system overheating, and compressor failure.

Contact Us

Even if you aren’t seeing immediate negative consequences, over time your system will wear out quicker and you’ll see these effects, or your system may need to be replaced much sooner than if regular cleaning and maintenance had been performed. Beach Air Heating & Cooling professionals recommend having your air conditioner cleaned and checked annually. However, if you notice your air conditioner not performing as well as it has in the past or not keeping steady cooler temperatures, don’t wait for your annual maintenance appointment. Call one of our professionals today at 252-473-1995 to evaluate your system sooner rather than later.

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Beach Air Heating & Cooling services Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Manns Harbor, Manteo, Nags Head, Southern Shores, Wanchese, and the surrounding North Carolina communities with their heating and cooling needs. Visit our service area page for more coverage details, call us at 252-473-1995, or request service online today.

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