The evaporator coil is a key component of a home or business HVAC system, because it’s the one that actually cools the air. Learning more about this essential component can help you understand just one of the reasons why planned maintenance for your HVAC system is so important.
How Your Evaporator Coil Functions
The evaporator is an A-shaped coil of aluminum or copper tubing that refrigerant travels when cooling your home. The compressor pumps pressurized refrigerant through the loop, and sends it through an expansion valve where it’s depressurized and cooled so it can absorb heat as it moves through the evaporator coil.
Certain issues can develop with an evaporator coil – taking steps to prevent them can help keep your system operating efficiently and ensure your comfort.
For your cooling system to function properly and efficiently, it needs a certain amount of refrigerant. Under certain conditions, pinholes can form in the coils or lines and let refrigerant leak out. If this occurs, you’ll find it more difficult and costly to keep your home comfortably cool.
Coil freeze ups
Frost can start to form on the coil when the level of refrigerant drops too low. Icing can also occur if there’s insufficient airflow due to a clogged filter or blocked/closed air registers. You may notice the air flowing from your registers feels warmer, and/or there’s less air being delivered.
Dirt on the coil
Dust and dirt is bound to collect on the coil over time, and this insulating layer can hinder proper heat transfer. A dirty coil can cause a decline in the system’s cooling ability, and an increase in your energy bills.
Evaporator Coil Maintenance Steps
You can prevent the above-mentioned problems by taking three easy steps:
- Maintain ample airflow. Make sure your registers are unobstructed, and always keep the louvers open.
- Pay attention to the filter. Follow your HVAC manufacturer and technician’s recommendations about filter replacement.
- Get the coil cleaned. Keep up with professional HVAC maintenance that includes cleaning the coil.