The 411 on Your Air Conditioner’s Evaporator Coil

If you are like most people, you may not completely understand how your air conditioner works. Your biggest concern is that it works when you turn it on. However, the more you understand about your system, the more you will realize the importance of having it serviced each year. You will also have a better understanding of when to call for air conditioner repair in Buffalo NY.


For example, a part that you may not know about is the evaporator coil that is located within your system’s air handler. This part often causes more problems in your cooling system than any other parts. If it is not functioning correctly, it can cause serious damage to the compressor.

The Purpose of the Evaporator Coil

To evaporate means that liquid is turned into a gas in the form of a vapor. Simply put, the refrigerant from your air conditioning system, which is a liquid runs through the evaporator coil where it is subjected to pressure that causes it to release molecules. When this happens, the liquid turns into hot gas as the force of the pressure causes it to heat up.

The gas then goes through to the condenser where it starts to cool down as the pressure level drops. The gas begins to expand and then converts to a cold liquid state. The cold liquid then runs through the coil in the evaporator while the warm air from inside your home that has been pulled through your HVAC return blows across the coil. This causes the air to cool down. The cooled air is then blown through the vents in your home.

The heat that was released during this process then dissipates over the aluminum fins in the condenser outside. This process is very similar to how the radiator in your car works. Once the refrigerant has cooled, the process begins again and will continue as your home is cooled.

Common Evaporator Coil Issues

Because of the important job the evaporator coil performs, it is at risk for icing up. This is a common problem if you run your air conditioner non-stop, especially if the weather is extremely humid. Ice may form on the coil because the moisture from the air has built up on it and then freezes because of the cold refrigerant that runs through it.

Once ice has formed, the airflow can become compromised because now the air cannot be cooled as it normally would. When the warm air can no longer be cooled by the evaporator, the refrigerant will change back into liquid instead of gas. When the liquid is sent to the compressor, it can cause severe damage to it.

The coil in your evaporator can also leak out and cause the level of refrigerant to drop. You will need to have the leak repaired in order for your system to properly cool your home. In some cases, the evaporator coil may need to be replaced entirely.

If you suspect any issues with your evaporator coil, it is important to schedule air conditioner repair in Buffalo NY before other damage occurs to your air conditioning system.