What is an evaporator coil? (with photos)

An evaporator coil can be found in any heating or cooling system, such as an air conditioner.

The evaporator coil is a vital part of any heating or cooling system. It is usually found in an air conditioner because it is particularly good at absorbing heat as air passes through it. These coils look like a series of tubes. A furnace, central air conditioner, or other air modification device passes home air through the coil, which absorbs heat from the air and sends it back to the home as cool air through a series of air ducts. The two main components of an air conditioner are usually the condenser and the evaporator coil.

Central oven and air conditioning combinations typically have the condenser and evaporator coil close together.

Central oven and air conditioning combinations typically have the condenser and evaporator coil close together. These units can use the condenser to heat the air or pass to the coil to cool the house. coils will normally be placed on top of or beside an air handling unit rather than inside it. In North America, there are three common types of evaporator coils: vertical, coated, and uncoated.

The vertical type is best suited for dealing with an upward or downward airflow. It handles pre-processed air and condenses the heat from that air stream into water. After the condensation process, the vertical coil funnels the resulting water to a drain, thus lowering the humidity of the home air as it cools.

Coated coils have a protective outer layer and are one of the most commonly used models in North American homes. Like vertical coils, they deal with an upward or downward flow of air, using a refrigerant to draw in the warm air and only make the air stream cooler. This cold air returns to the house after passing through the air conditioning ducts. The function of the coated evaporator coil is almost identical to that of the vertical coil, but its main difference is in shape and size. Depending on the type and configuration of the air conditioning device or oven being used, one model may fit better than the other for installation purposes.

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The third common type of coil is the uncoated coil, which is a version of the coil without a protective coating. An unwrapped evaporator coil is much easier to customize for this reason. They are a good choice for those with a unique oven or air conditioning unit because technicians can reconfigure the coil shape to fit the device in question.

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