Your AC’s evaporator coil needs to be clean for maximum efficiency; even the slightest amount of dust accumulation could prevent heat absorption and force you to use more energy than necessary.

Dirty coils can become susceptible to corrosion, clogged drain lines, and other issues compromising performance and lifespan. This article will outline everything you need to know about your evaporator coil.

You may find all the information you need to maintain the best possible condition for your evaporator coil by reading this blog.

The process

Concealed within your indoor AC unit, this copper coil network usually sits hidden in a basement or attic closet. 

When running, your AC’s compressor pulls low-pressure liquid refrigerant through tubing into its specialized design with fins for improved heat exchange that absorbs your home’s warm indoor air and turns it back into cool temperatures for comfortable living.

As heat is drawn into an evaporator coil, refrigerant is released as gas before passing through an expansion valve to decrease pressure and rapidly cool liquid refrigerant into liquid form – helping your home cool quickly! This technology makes for efficient cooling.

However, when your evaporator coils become dirty or blocked with dirt and debris, your AC can no longer cool your home effectively, as its inability to disperse heat efficiently forces it to work harder and consume more energy than is necessary.

Your evaporator coil’s lifespan can be extended with regular maintenance, including regularly changing and cleaning air filters. A healthy coil should last ten to 15 years before showing signs of malfunction, such as hissing sounds or visible oily spots around it, requiring repairs or replacement.

Evaporator coil

Your air conditioning unit’s evaporator coil is filled with refrigerant that draws in heat from your home’s atmosphere and transfers it to its condenser coil, where it dissipates it back into your home environment – this explains why when your system is operating, you may see or feel heat radiate from its outdoor unit.

Coils are protected by thin metal pieces called fins that enhance heat transfer and protection, helping your system stay efficient by increasing surface area for heat exchange. Dirty coils may become susceptible to ice formation as an indicator of poor heat transfer or other potential problems with their insulation properties.

Cleaning both evaporator and condenser coils is crucial for proper functioning. Dust can hinder heat absorption processes, forcing your compressor to work harder in cooling your home – leading to premature system failure if left alone.

If you notice dirt accumulation on the evaporator coil’s fins, it is time to stop running your AC and clean its system. A soft-bristled brush should be used when scrubbing, followed by a soft stream of water rinsing the fins off afterward. Rinsing with compressed air might also prove helpful if brushing won’t reach specific coils.


Your evaporator coil, located within your AC’s indoor unit near its blower fan, is an upright structure in the shape of an “A” made up of panels and copper tubing. Each panel typically features fins to channel air toward it for maximum heat absorption and cooling effect.

Your AC’s evaporator coil is filled with cold refrigerant (a heat transfer fluid). As warm indoor air flows over it, the refrigerant absorbs it, quickly cooling and dehumidifying it before being distributed throughout your home.

As your refrigerant draws the hot indoor air away from its evaporator coil, it transports it to a large outdoor unit featuring a condenser coil composed of interconnected copper tubes containing condensers that convert it to a gaseous state before discharging any stored heat into the outdoor environment.

Heat dissipation is essential to an air conditioner’s capacity to cool. However, if the condenser coil gets clogged or unclean, it cannot release heat as efficiently, which means your compressor will have to work harder and consume more energy.

Regular maintenance will help avoid this happening – check through an access panel or open vents for dirt buildup on the evaporator coil to spot signs of buildup on it.

Condenser coil

After your evaporator coil extracts heat from your household air, it transports this heat energy to a mass of copper tubing near your furnace in your home called condenser coils.

A blower fan then circulates warm air over these coils while refrigerant in vapor form absorbs this heat energy absorbed by these coils; moisture in the household air also condenses onto these coils before being piped off to a drain pan.

These coils are typically designed with a large surface area to increase their effectiveness in rejecting heat from your household air.

Condenser coils consist of rows of vertical or horizontal copper tubes connected by aluminum fins to increase surface area and help remove more heat energy from your home’s air.

Each condenser coil also features an expansion valve to regulate refrigerant flow through them for greater efficiency, while an expansion valve helps control its efficiency as well. Likewise, with an evaporator coil, coils that become blocked with dirt may have reduced efficiency, so regular cleaning of vegetation or debris around these coils is vital.

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