Evaporator coils and condenser coils work together to keep the air conditioner running smoothly and the temperature of your house comfortable. Evaporator coils are present inside the indoor unit while condenser coils are located within the air conditioner’s outdoor unit. Both coils are designed to complement each other and work in unison for removing heat and moisture from indoor air.
This post will talk about how an evaporator coil and condenser coil work and what happens when they are mismatched.
How Does it Work?
The evaporator coil is responsible for absorbing heat from the inside of a home. This heat reaches the condenser coils by traveling along the refrigerant lines. The condenser coil will dump the heat outside the unit into the air. The two coils are designed to work together in an ideal air conditioning unit. This means they need to be of the same capacity.
The evaporator needs to be perfectly sized to soak only as much hot air as the condenser unit can dump outside in a single cooling cycle. An air conditioner’s size is calculated in tonnage. Most home air conditioners are sized between 1 and 5. Mismatch in size occurs when two coils of different tonnage are made to work together.
Problems Arising From Mismatched Coils
1. Higher Monthly Bill
When an evaporator and condenser coil are not matched right, the smaller sized coil is unable to keep up with the larger sized coil’s capacity. This forces the entire unit to run longer. When an air conditioning unit is made to run longer it tends to use more energy.
For instance, if the condenser coil in your air conditioner’s outdoor unit is sized at 2 tons, but the evaporator coil is for 3 tons, the unit will not be able to release the heat received from the indoor unit. The result would be heat escaping from the condenser unit back into the indoor unit. This will cause the system to run longer for reaching the set temperature.
2. Reduced Lifespan of the Air Conditioner
The longevity and efficiency of a system is greatly reduced when the air conditioning coils are improperly matched according to the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. Mismatched coils place additional stress on the air conditioning system. One coil will always need to work harder than the other, which will eventually result in expensive repairs and early system failure.
3. Decreased Comfort
You may experience higher humidity and temperature levels in your home if the evaporator and condenser coils don’t match. For instance, if the condenser coil is larger than the evaporator coil, it will help in dehumidifying the house at the expense of cooling it. Conversely, if the condenser coil is smaller than the evaporator coil, it will remove no or very little moisture from the air. Both conditions won’t allow you to be comfortable in your Bay Area house.
4. Violating Warranty
As per manufacturers, if you replace either the condenser or the evaporator coil, you risk voiding any remaining warranty time, if they are not of the same size and SEER rating. This is because manufacturers are aware that differently sized coils will ultimately result in possible system failure.