Overview Of AC Evaporator And Its Common Problems

Posted on: 22 August 2019

The air conditioner (AC) has multiple parts, all of which have to work together to deliver optimal cooling. Understanding all these parts helps you to understand when your AC is malfunctioning. One of these parts is the evaporator.

What It Is

For the AC to cool your house, it needs to absorb the heat, transport it outside, and dump it into the outside air. The evaporator is the part of the AC that absorbs heat in the house.

How it Works

The evaporator is equipped with numerous coils that carry your AC's refrigerant. The evaporator receives a spray of liquid refrigerant through the refrigerant lines. As the refrigerant flows through the coils and warm air blows over the coils, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the air (thereby leaving the air cool). The heated or warm air then evaporates and flows outside the condenser and into the compressor outside the house, where the heat is dumped.

Signs of Problems

As you can see, the compressor is integral to the operation of the AC. Therefore, a malfunctioning AC will lead to cooling problems. Below are some of the common problems that afflict AC evaporators.

Dirty Coils

Debris accumulated over the evaporator coils prevents the transfer of heat from the warm air to the refrigerant. The accumulated debris acts as an insulation material that prevents heat exchange. This means that your AC will be blowing warm instead of cool air.

Frozen Coils

Ice accumulated over the evaporator coils reduces the volume of the air flowing over the coils. The ice also absorbs some of the heat instead of the heat going getting absorbed into the refrigerant. This also reduces the cooling capacity of the AC.

Coil Damage

Damage to the coil reduces the surface area of the cooling of the evaporator. Coil damage can also lead to a refrigerant leak, and the evaporator needs the refrigerant to cool the house.

Signs of Evaporator Problems

You need to be on the lookout for evaporator malfunctions. Below are some of the signs to look out for:

  • Impaired cooling
  • Ice and frost over the evaporator coil
  • Signs of physical damage to the AC coils
  • Long AC runtimes
  • Water leak near the evaporator

In addition to the above signs, you may also notice other signs of impaired cooling such as high energy bills and uneven temperature distribution in the house. This is because your AC will be struggling to keep your house cool despite the evaporator malfunction.

Contact a company that provides HVAC services to your area today in order to learn more.