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What Do the Coils in an AC Do?

Each component of your air conditioner plays a role that helps achieve the cooling you need from your AC. Two components we are going to focus on right now are the coils.

There are two sets of coils in your air conditioning system: one set is in the condenser and the other set is in the evaporator. Both sets are needed for the heat release/cooling process, and while they do similar jobs, they do not do the same job. Since 1982, Design Comfort has helped customers with their air conditioning repairs, so if you are experiencing problems with your AC, call us today.

What Are the Coils?

The coils in your system are comprised of narrow, serpentine copper tubing that is protected by thin, metal fins (usually made of aluminum). Each set of coils has a job:

  • Condenser coils – as the hot, high-pressure refrigerant flows into the condenser coils in the outside unit, the heat from the refrigerant is released into the outdoor air with the help of the condenser fan. By the time the refrigerant reaches the end of the condenser coils and starts its journey into the evaporator coils, the refrigerant has cooled and returned to a liquid state.
  • Evaporator coils – the refrigerant in the evaporator coils is a cool gas. In this state, the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the warm air blown over the coils by the indoor blower. As the heat is absorbed by the refrigerant in the coils, the air is chilled and blown into your home through supply ducts.

Common Problems of Coils

There are several common problems technicians see with AC coils:

  • Refrigerant leaks – refrigerant leaks inside coils are common, but their repair can be complex. It’s important that all refrigerant leaks are repaired as soon as possible, as low refrigerant can cause a lot of different problems with your system.
  • Dirty coils – it is common for dirt and dust to cling to your coils, but if a layer develops, it can act as insulation and disrupt the heat release/cooling process of your system.
  • Bent fins – the metal fins surrounding the coils are very easily bent. When too many are bent, air flow can be restricted, which affects your whole system. Bent fins can be fixed by purchasing and using a fin comb that straightens out the bent fins.

The coils in your AC may be smaller than other parts of your system, but if there are problems with either set, you can experience system-wide problems. One of the best ways to ensure your coils are working well is with bi-annual maintenance. If you haven’t scheduled maintenance for your air conditioner, fall is a great time to set up an appointment. Call Design Comfort today and schedule your fall air conditioning maintenance in Salt Lake City – your coils will thank you!

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