Air conditioners do not “generate” cold air in the same way that a furnace does. They use refrigerant to extract heat from the air, carry it outside, and release it, continually regulating home temperature. The evaporator system and condenser system coils are responsible for distinct aspects of the cooling process. Let’s start with the evaporator coil.
What is an Evaporator Coil?
The evaporator coil, or core, absorbs heat from the refrigerant in an air conditioner’s system. It is from this place that the chilly air originates.
The evaporator coil sits within or near the blower fan on the air handler. Since metals like copper, steel, or aluminum conduct heat well, manufacturers construct evaporator coils from these metals. Tubes bent into U-shapes and installed in panels make up the majority of home AC evaporators.
In most cases, the panels are arranged in an “A” shape. Thin metal fins coat panels to enhance refrigerant impact, bringing passing air closer to coils for efficient cooling.
When the air conditioner is activated, the compressor propels refrigerant through the evaporator coil tubing as a cold, low-pressure liquid. While, the refrigerant flows via an expansion valve before reaching the evaporator coil. This valve allows the liquid refrigerant to cool more quickly by releasing pressure. Because the liquid refrigerant exiting the expansion valve is cold, it may absorb heat from the air.
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In addition, the expansion valve regulates the amount of refrigerant that goes to the evaporator. Advanced expansion valves, such as thermostatic expansion valves (TXVs), may fine-tune the flow to enhance the overall energy efficiency of the system.
The blower fan pulls heated room air over the evaporator coil as the refrigerant passes through it. While, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the air passing through, warming up and evaporating in the process.
Warm air vapor condenses on cool coils, then drains into the condensate pan, redirecting water outside. Your evaporator coil reduces the humidity in your home.
What is an Air Conditioner Condenser?
The evaporator coil relies on the condenser coil for a complete cooling cycle in your home.
The huge, square unit outside your home houses the condenser of your air conditioner. The “condenser unit” comprises condenser tubes, fins, compressor, fan, copper tubing, valves, and switches.
After absorbing heat from your home’s air, the refrigerant goes outside via a copper tube to the condenser unit. The warm, low-pressure refrigerant gas enters the compressor here. While, the compressor turns the refrigerant into a heated, high-pressure gas by compressing it.
This gas goes out of the compressor and into the condenser coils. So, this is where the refrigerant releases the majority of the heat that your home has absorbed. The outside unit’s fan blows air over the condenser coils, causing the refrigerant to lose heat.
The condenser’s many coils increase refrigerant exposure to blowing air, facilitating efficient heat release from your home.
The refrigerant transitions from a heated gas to a hot liquid as it cools. Returning through a copper line, it reenters your house via the expansion valve near the evaporator coil.
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