Evaporator Coil 101
What Does an Evaporator Coil Do?
The evaporator coil is the part of a cooling or heat pump system
that cools down the air flowing through the coils when the unit is operating, or warms when a heat pump is used. Because of this ever-important function, the evaporator coil is the heart of the cooling or heat-pump system.
For central AC systems, the evaporator coil is connected to the duct-work running throughout the home. When the AC system comes on air flows through the evaporator coil and then the cooled air, or
heated air with heat-pump operation, is distributed into the home through the duct-work. The process is essentially the same for a window AC unit or refrigerator, with the cooled, or heated, air being pushed through a vent by a fan.
What Are Some Common Issues With Evaporator Coils?
Freezing is one of the most common problems affecting the evaporator coils. Frozen coils tend to cause poor cooling by slowing the heat exchange process. Frozen evaporator coils also place an additional strain on the system. If the strain is severe enough it can often lead to system-wide unit failure. There are several causes of freezing coils that can include low refrigerant, a dirty filter and a faulty defrosts mechanism.
Excessive humidity can also cause freezing.
If you have even noticed how a glass holding a cold drink on a hot day sweats, or collects condensation, the same process can happen from warm air
flowing over the cold evaporator coils. The process of condensation and evaporation is the reason why it is so important to keep evaporator coils clean.
How Does One Properly Maintain Your Evaporator Coil?
There are two parts to properly maintaining an evaporator coil: keeping the coolant-filled evaporator coils clean; and making sure the drain doesn’t become clogged. Dirt and other debris, like dead bugs and spider webs if the unit has been sitting inactive for an extended period of time, can cover the surface of the evaporator coil, reducing coil efficiency and cause the entire system to work harder. Evaporator coils should be cleaned regularly, but because coils tend to be easily damaged the job is usually best left to a professional. Replacing or cleaning the unit’s air filter once a month will help prevent the coils from getting dirty in the first place. Finally, keeping the unit’s drain clear, so condensation can drain freely instead of pooling up, will help keep the unit working smoothly.
If you need any assistance with your evaporator coils on your Anoka HVAC unit, call Superior Heating, Air Conditioning, and Electric today at (763) 422-1721, and get the right answers and assistance from the experts.