Differentiating Condenser And Evaporator Coils

Differentiating Condenser And Evaporator Coils

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the many people who have spent hours trying to figure out what is happening with your HVAC system.

And you’re not alone! In fact, an estimated 30-40% of all HVAC systems in America are improperly maintained. That’s a lot of people who are probably feeling like their contractors have ripped them off. But don’t worry—you’re not alone!

If your HVAC system is not working properly, it could be due to a problem with the condenser or evaporator coils. HVAC condenser and evaporator coils are the most important components of your air conditioning system. They’re responsible for cooling your home and removing excess moisture from the air. However, if these components aren’t properly maintained, they can cause problems.

But how do you know which one needs attention? 

In this article, HVAC experts at CDO Heating and Air Inc. will tell you everything you should know about condenser and evaporator coils, as well as give you tips for properly maintaining air conditioning evaporator vs. condenser coils.

What is an Ac Evaporator Coil?

Wondering, “What are evaporator coils?” 

Well. An ac evaporator coil is a device that’s used to cool the air in a building. It consists of a metal plate that has water circulating through it and is usually connected to the furnace and air conditioner. The water cools down as it circulates through the device, and then the cooled air is circulated throughout the building.

The air conditioner evaporator coil is typically located in the attic or basement. It should be placed close to the return registers for maximum efficiency. It can also be installed directly on top of an existing furnace if necessary, but this isn’t recommended because it can cause problems with wiring and plumbing later on.

What is an AC Condenser?

An AC condenser is a device that is used to cool the refrigerant inside an air conditioning unit. This refrigerant is responsible for circulating cooled air throughout your home, so it must stay cool and don’t overheat.

How Does An HVAC Evaporator Coil Work?

An evaporator coil is a heating and cooling system component that absorbs heat from the air and transfers it to your home’s interior. It’s usually located in your furnace or air handler, and it’s what brings warmth into your home during the winter months.

Here’s how an ac evaporator coil works:

Refrigerant Circulation

The process begins with the circulation of a refrigerant, typically a chemical compound with low boiling and freezing points. The refrigerant enters the evaporator coil in its gaseous state after being compressed and heated by the compressor.

Heat Absorption

As the warm indoor air from your living space passes over the evaporator coil, the refrigerant inside the coil takes in heat from the air. This heat transfer occurs due to the temperature difference between the warm air and the cold refrigerant.

Phase Change

The absorbed heat causes the refrigerant to undergo a phase change from a low-pressure gas to a high-pressure, high-temperature vapor. This process is known as vaporization or evaporation.

Cooling Effect

As the refrigerant absorbs heat from the air, it cools the surrounding air. The cooled air is then distributed back into your living space through the HVAC system’s ductwork.


As the warm air passes over the cold evaporator coil, it also causes moisture in the air to condense on the coil’s surface. This condensation removes humidity from the air, contributing to the dehumidification process.

Return to Compressor

After absorbing heat and cooling the air, the refrigerant, now in a vapor state, exits the evaporator coil and returns to the compressor to continue the refrigeration cycle.

By repeating this cycle, the HVAC system maintains a continuous flow of cooled and dehumidified air, helping to regulate the indoor temperature and create a comfortable environment.

How Does a Condenser work?

The HVAC Condenser is the most important component of your HVAC system. It is responsible for cooling down the refrigerant gas that has been heated in the compressor. It’s important to understand how this part of your heating and cooling system works before you can troubleshoot problems with it or replace it if necessary.

So, here’s how a condenser works:

Hot Refrigerant

The refrigerant, in its high-pressure, high-temperature vapor state after leaving the evaporator coil, enters the condenser.

Heat Release

The condenser’s primary function is to release the heat absorbed from the indoor air by the evaporator coil. The outdoor unit of the HVAC system is designed to facilitate the dissipation of this heat into the surrounding environment.

Heat Transfer

As the refrigerant flows via an AC condenser coil, it releases heat. This heat transfer occurs as the refrigerant comes into contact with the cooler metal surface of the condenser coil.


The release of heat causes the refrigerant to undergo a phase change from a high-pressure vapor to a high-pressure liquid. This process is called condensation. The refrigerant’s temperature drops significantly during this phase change.

Cooling Effect

As the refrigerant condenses into a liquid, it continues to release heat to the outdoor air. This process further cools down the refrigerant.

Return to the Evaporator

After the heat is released and the refrigerant is condensed into a liquid state, it exits the condenser and travels back to the evaporator coil. The liquid refrigerant enters the evaporator coil at a lower pressure, ready to absorb heat and repeat the cooling cycle.

Difference Between Condenser And Evaporator

Here’s a comparison chart highlighting the key differences between an HVAC condenser vs. evaporator:

LocationOutdoor unitIndoor unit
FunctionReleases heat from the refrigerantAbsorbs heat from indoor air
Heat ExchangeHeat transfer to the outdoor airHeat transfer from indoor air
Phase ChangeRefrigerant vapor to liquidRefrigerant liquid to vapor
TemperatureHigh-pressure, high-temperature refrigerantLow-pressure, low-temperature refrigerant
Cooling EffectReleases heat and cools down the refrigerantAbsorbs heat and cools the indoor air
Humidity ControlIt does not directly affect humidityContributes to dehumidification of indoor air
AirflowExhausts warm airDistributes cooled air
CompressorConnected to the condenserConnected to the evaporator

6 Common Problems with an HVAC evaporator coil

The evaporator coil is a critical part of your HVAC system. It’s the part that cools the air that goes into your home and is responsible for removing moisture from the air. When this coil becomes clogged with debris, it can cause severe problems with your HVAC unit. Here are some common problems that you might encounter with your evaporator coil.

Frozen Coil

This problem occurs when water gets into the refrigerant lines and causes the liquid inside to freeze. This can lead to a leaky split that will require repair work and replacement parts.

Coil Corrosion

If you find rust on your evaporator coils, it’s likely due to corrosion caused by improper installation or lack of maintenance over time as well as dirty air filters, which allow dust particles into the system where they can settle on coils and create rust deposits over time which leads to corrosion. Corrosive materials like acids from car exhaust systems can also cause corrosion on coils if left unchecked for too long, which will result in leaks within the system, which is why regular inspections by HVAC professionals in Doylestown are so important!

Coil Leaks

When a leak develops in your evaporator coil, it cannot transfer heat from inside your home to outside effectively. This can lead to high energy bills and an inefficient cooling system, which may lead to discomfort throughout the house.

Dirt and Debris Buildup

Dirt and debris can build up on the evaporator coil over time, interfering with its ability to cool your home properly. If this dirt is left unchecked for too long, it can corrode your evaporator coil and cause permanent damage.

Coil Damage

Another problem with evaporator coils is damage from heat buildup around them due to poor insulation around your HVAC system’s ductwork or improper installation of any related equipment (such as heating vents). This can result in reduced airflow through your home’s air vents, which can lead to higher energy bills because your heating system will have to work harder to maintain temperatures within your desired comfort range—and this will mean more wear and tear on your systems over time!

Mold and Mildew Growth

Mold and mildew growth is a common problem with evaporator HVAC coils. As the air passes through the evaporator coil, it picks up moisture from the air. If this moisture is not removed, it can grow mold that may even damage your HVAC system.

6 Common Problems with HVAC Condensers

If you’re experiencing problems with your HVAC system, you may think it’s something minor. But there are actually six common problems with HVAC condenser coils that can cause major issues with your air conditioning system.

Dirty Condenser Coils 

Condenser coils need to have a clean, dry surface in order for them to circulate refrigerant properly. If the coil is dirty or wet, it will not be able to transfer heat from inside your home/building and outside of it.

Refrigerant Leaks 

Refrigerant leaks can cause your AC system to operate inefficiently, resulting in higher energy costs and more frequent repairs.

Fan Motor Problems

A bad fan motor can cause many issues with your HVAC system. A fan motor that is not running at full power will not be able to keep the system cool, resulting in higher energy bills and a lower ability for your house to maintain its comfortable temperature. The fan motor also controls airflow inside the unit, which means that if it stops working entirely, you may experience some issues with moisture buildup. This can lead to mold growth and other problems that are best avoided.

Electrical Issues

Electrical problems are often caused by faulty wiring or broken thermostats in older systems. If you have an older unit, you should get an HVAC technician to look over your wiring so they can make sure everything is up to code and safe before they leave their job site. Newer units tend to have more reliable wiring systems built into them already, so this isn’t usually much of a concern when dealing with newer models, but it’s still worth checking out before installing anything new!

Blocked or Restricted Airflow

The airflow to your home’s HVAC system is essential to keeping it running smoothly. If you have blocked or restricted airflow, then you may notice that the temperature in your home fluctuates, as well as the fan speed of your unit.

This problem can be caused by a variety of things, such as:

– Dirt and debris on the coil fins and compressor housing can cause heat transfer issues.

– The condenser is damaged or leaking refrigerant. This could also be caused by a clogged filter on the outside unit.

– A faulty capacitor can cause short cycling of the compressor motor, causing excessive vibration in the system components and causing damage over time from vibration fatigue failures.

Compressor Failure

If your compressor fails, then your air conditioning won’t be able to function properly anymore. You should have an expert technician look at your system immediately if this happens because it could lead to more serious issues like refrigerant leaks or even complete failure of your entire HVAC system if not corrected quickly enough!

Tips for Properly Maintaining Your Condenser and Evaporator Coils

The condenser and evaporator coils in your HVAC system are the heart of your cooling system, so keeping them in good shape is important. Here are six tips for properly maintaining your condenser and evaporator coils:

Make sure the coils are clean. 

Condenser coils are typically located outside your home, so they’re exposed to a lot of dust, dirt, and other contaminants that build up over time. If you don’t clean them regularly, this buildup will reduce their efficiency and make them more likely to break down.

Keep an eye on your AC’s pressure switch. 

This device controls when your air conditioner works and when it shuts off automatically. If the pressure switch malfunctions or gets stuck in the “on” position, it can cause the unit to run continuously and drain your energy bill while creating an unsafe environment for you and your family members by blowing hot air into your home instead of cooling it down properly!

Replace any parts that need replacing ASAP! 

If you’re noticing unusual sounds coming from your AC system (like a hissing sound or rattling noises) or see any unusual leaks around your condenser coils outside or inside your home (like water dripping from them), then these could be signs that something needs replacing right away!

Check for refrigerant leaks.

A refrigerant leak can cause the compressor to overheat, damaging the unit’s motor and other components. It also means there will be less heat exchange between the indoor coil and outdoor air, which could result in higher energy bills and maybe even a higher carbon footprint.

Schedule professional maintenance.

Schedule regular HVAC maintenance service appointments with a professional contractor who can check for problems and make any necessary repairs before they become serious issues that require expensive repairs or replacement parts.

Monitor airflow and insulation.

Check that there is proper airflow through the condenser and evaporator coils. If there isn’t enough airflow, then you could have a problem with mold or mildew growing on your coils. Also, be sure to keep an eye on any insulation around the coils. If it becomes damaged or worn, this can create problems as well.

Monitor performance.

Lastly, make sure that your system performs as it should. You’ll want to ensure it is running efficiently by checking its performance reports occasionally (and perhaps more often if you notice something unusual). If something does seem off with your system’s performance, don’t hesitate to call an HVAC professional in Doylestown who can help identify what needs fixing quickly!

Get the Best Support from HVAC Professional in Doylestown, Pennsylvania! 

Are you having trouble with your HVAC condensers and evaporator coils? Getting the best support from HVAC professionals like CDO Heating and Air Inc. can help you fix the problem quickly and efficiently.

We have served Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas for over 25 years, so if you’re looking for a professional to help you with your HVAC system, we’d be happy to help! We’ve been in business for over two decades now, and we’re proud of our reputation for providing quality service at competitive prices. No matter what kind of work or equipment you need to be installed or repaired, we can help—and we’ll always treat your home with respect while we’re there.

Our experts are highly trained and certified professionals who have worked in the industry for years. We will help you get the right product for your home so that you can enjoy comfortable living conditions throughout the year. Our team will work with you every step of the way to ensure that we deliver affordable solutions that meet your needs.

Our HVAC services include:

– Air Conditioning installation

– Air Conditioning repairs

– Air Conditioning replacement

– Air Conditioning Maintenance

– Furnace repairs

– HVAC installations

– Gas Furnace Repair

– Gas Fireplaces

– Evaporator and Condenser Coil Services in Doylestown

– Duct cleaning services

If your air conditioner is giving off a strange smell or making funny noises, don’t wait until it stops working altogether—call our HVAC professionals now at (267) 481-7787!

Scroll to Top