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What are Fan Coils & Evaporator Coils?

Trade terms can get confusing as you learn more about your home heating and cooling equipment. Each part does a certain job, and knowing the names of those parts can help you in your research as you make decisions about maintenance, repair and replacement. Your coils play an essential part in providing comfort, but which coil is which? What’s the difference between fan coils and evaporator coils?

Coils Handle Refrigerant

Your air conditioner or heat pump uses refrigerant to facilitate a heat exchange process. Your outside coil, also known as the condenser coil, places the refrigerant under lots of pressure, causing it to become very hot. The material is then moved to the indoor coil where it will expand. As it expands, it becomes very cold. The heat transfer that takes place causes heat to be absorbed by the refrigerant and leads to cool air being delivered throughout your home.

These indoor coils are either fan coils or evaporator coils. The principle in each is the same. These coils promote heat exchange that leads to home comfort. However, there are important differences between them.

Evaporator Coil Usage

An evaporator coil works in tandem with an air conditioner. As heat is exchanged, there is also a process of dehumidification taking place. As a result, moisture in your airstream condenses on the coil and drips into the drain pan. Modern design provides long-term use and durability. Materials are used to limit the corrosive effects of indoor pollutants on the metals used in the coils. Your evaporator coil is an essential part of your forced air cooling system.

Fan Coil Usage

While a fan coil performs many of the same tasks as an evaporator coil, there are some additional parts and functions. The fan coil is used with a heat pump, housing electric resistance heaters to provide warm air during winter months. The refrigerant in the system can expand outdoors and be compressed indoors, creating opposite conditions from those used for cooling the home. The fan coil also contains your system’s blower. A drain pan is present for collecting liquid condensate material during cooling season.

Maintaining Your Coils

While you may have a better handle on what type of coils are installed in your home, the more important issue is having them regularly maintained. The airstream carries many pollutants, and although protective material keeps corrosion limited, dust and mold can build up on these components. Annual maintenance allows you to have your coils and drain pan cleaned so that airflow isn’t restricted. Dirty coils can add up to a lot of money on your energy bills. They can also create the right conditions for a system freeze-up. Having a tune-up completed by a reputable HVAC professional will ensure that your coils and the rest of your system will operate optimally.

AC by Luquire is ready to assist you with any of your heating and cooling concerns or services in Millbrook, AL. You can contact us to schedule a tune-up and coil inspection. You can also get in touch with us if you are concerned with the efficiency and performance of your heating and cooling equipment.

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