With a little understanding, you can go a long way. That saying holds true with air-conditioning systems, too. If you understand how the parts work, you can make an educated, informed decision about your next upgrade.
Evaporator coils are like the heart of the air-conditioning unit. The desired end result is cooled air, and the evaporator coils are key to this process. Here’s how it works:
The air-conditioning system’s condenser takes the refrigerant and compresses it. As it does, the refrigerant turns from a gas form to a liquid form that is very cold. At this point, two processes combine simultaneously: the cooled liquid goes through the evaporator coils as the air handler or furnace blower works. Therefore, air passes over the cooled liquid and the air becomes cooled. This process continues as the air circulates through the home, which eventually reaches the set temperature on the thermostat.
To get a little more specific, the evaporator process has a few more steps: 1) it takes heat out of the air as it crosses over the coils; 2) the refrigerant form reverses from a liquid to a gas; and 3) the cycle continues as the gas makes its way back to the condenser to start the journey all over again.
A key component within the coil is the thermostatic expansion valve (TXV). This valve gauges the amount of refrigerant flow allowed. TXV models might have differing sizes of holes that allow refrigerant through them. More efficient TXVs can gauge the amount of flow and the temperature of the coolant, which makes for a significantly more efficient process and prevents coil freeze.
With smarter TXV technology comes smarter coil design as well. N-coils are becoming one of the more common types of coils on the market due to their smaller size while still having a large enough surface on the coil to allow efficient heat transfer.
Use your knowledge of evaporator coils to ask key questions as you consider various air-conditioning systems. Contact Detmer & Sons, and our technicians can walk you through the process.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.