Keeping our home and workplace at the right temperature at any time of the year is not a most straightforward task. Especially in the summer, it can quickly become unbearably warm. That’s why air conditioners are slowly becoming very popular among people.
There are many types of air conditioners. Amongst them, the central air conditioner is a common one. A central air conditioning system is a system in which air is cooled from a central location and distributed to and from rooms.
But which component does cooling? It’s the condenser coil of the central air conditioner. A condenser coil collects the heat from your room and releases it outside.
So are you curious about central air conditioners & their condenser coil? Want to know more about it, like where is the condenser coil located on a central air conditioner? After reading this article, all your curiosity will be gone by learning A-Z about a condenser coil of central air conditioners.
You will also learn about everyday problems and their solutions.
So, Let’s start with a standard overview of central air conditioners & condenser coils.
Where Is The Condenser Coil Located On A Central Air Conditioner?
The condenser coil is located directly behind the condenser “fins” on a central air conditioner.
Fins are mainly thin metal wiring that covers the outdoor AC unit. When refrigerant travels through the outdoor unit, it fills the many condenser coils, increasing its surface area so that heat escapes faster. As a result, condenser coils cool and condense refrigerants.
Significant Components Of Central Air Conditioners And Their Functions
There are four major components of central air conditioners. They are,
- Evaporator coil
- Condenser coil
- Expansion valve
Each of these components functions in sync with each other and has specific work. Apart from these components, there are some other components, such as an air filter, refrigerant, fan, thermostat, etc.
- Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil is located in the air handler in the central air conditioning system. The evaporator coil is mainly made with copper. But sometimes, it is made with aluminium or steel.
Refrigerant is cooled just before entering into the evaporating coil. Then warm air is drawn into the HVAC unit to blow over the excellent evaporator coils.
It’s the most critical component of central air conditioners. The Compressor is the workhorse of central air conditioning. It is located in the outdoor unit of central air conditioners.
It mainly compresses the refrigerants. Based on the size of the air conditioners, the size of the Compressor may vary. It’s the most expensive part of your air conditioner.
- Condenser coil
The condenser coil is the opposite of the evaporator coil. The condenser coil pulls away heat from the refrigerant and through it outside.
- Expansion valve
The expansion valve mainly expands the liquid refrigerant into gas after facing a pressure drop, and then it is rapidly cooled. After that, the gaseous refrigerant goes into the evaporator coil to continue the air conditioning system.
Functions Of The Air Conditioner Components
After learning about significant components, it is prudent to know about the function of the major components.
Firstly, the refrigerant is compressed in the Compressor and turned into a hot, high-pressure liquid. Then, the liquid flowed towards the condenser coil and cooled down.
After that, refrigerant is expanded in the expansion valve, which converts the liquid into cool gas. Finally, the cool gas cools down the room. Ok! That is so simple. Right?
Types Of Central Air Conditioners
There are two types of central air conditioners,
- Split system
- HVAC packaged unit
- Spilled system
The split system is for ample indoor space for cabinets. Spilled central air conditioning system holds condenser and compressor in an outdoor cabinet.
On the other hand, it holds the evaporator and handler in the indoor cabinet. Both indoor and outdoor cabinets are connected with copper tube by which cold air moves to the house efficiently.
- HVAC packaged unit
The HVAC packaged unit is an all-in-one unit with no crawlspace or basement. All parts of the system are held in a cabinet. The evaporator coil, condenser and Compressor are all housed together to save space.
The cabinet is placed on the ceiling, cement slub or outside the home. Despite being an outdoor cabinet, the primary function of a packaged unit is indoor.
The Condenser Coil Of Central Air Conditioners: Inside Or Outside?
The condenser coil is mainly outside. The air conditioner’s condenser coil is a large, square unit placed outside the home. It is mainly a part of a spilled air conditioning system or heat pump.
It works along with the Compressor by converting refrigerant gas back to liquid. It is mainly the opposite of the evaporator unit. It sends heat carriers by the refrigerant to the outside.
So, We can say that the condenser coil of central air conditioners is an external component.
Can Condenser Coil Get Dirty? Signs Of The Dirty Condenser Coil
Condenser coil can get dirty quickly. As we have already known, a condenser coil’s primary function is to condense the refrigerant vapor to liquid. The condenser coil gets dirty while cooling the refrigerant.
Dirt from the outside air is absorbed into the outdoor cooling unit and begins to build up in the coils of central air conditioners.
If the condenser becomes dirty or fouled, it fails to condense the refrigerant.
Read more: Do I Have To Replace My R22 Air Conditioner?
Signs Of The Dirty Condenser Coil
What happens when your central air conditioner has a dirty condenser coil? Does it work properly? Let’s see!
- Your home won’t cool properly.
If your air conditioner doesn’t work correctly and your home isn’t staying cool like before, you may blame the dirty condenser coil. Why?
When dirt builds up your condenser coil, it produces a layer on the condenser coil. The layer acts as a barrier, making air and heat transfer harder. Thus air conditioners do not work correctly.
- A high energy bill.
As dirty condenser coil makes it harder and longer to cool your home, it needs more energy. So it will raise your energy bill.
- System breakdown.
The air conditioning system may break down at any time because of the dirt. Air conditioners have to work harder to cool down the place, and for other components’ being hot, the system may stop any time.
Five Easy Steps To Clean The Condenser Coil
There is nothing worse than having your air conditioner’s condenser coil dirty. It creates many problems and your AC may stop working. You have to make sure your condenser coil is free from dust, dirt, and debris to prevent the problem.
So, here are five easy steps to clean your dirty condenser coil.
But before moving into steps, let’s learn about the required tools.
- Screwdriver/ socket
- Cordless drill
- Hose or spray nozzle
- Soft-bristle brush
Step-By-Step Of Condenser Coil
Step 1: Disconnect the power
Disconnection of the service of AC is the first step. Pull the plug connector in the power box, or flip the AC breaker switch off at the main breaker level. Disconnection of power is fundamental. Otherwise, you may be injured during cleaning.
Step 2: Remove the screws
After disconnecting the power, you have to remove the screws with the help of a cordless drill.
Step 3: Panel removal
Starting from the backside of the unit, remove the panels one-by-one. It would be best to be careful while removing the panel so that it doesn’t damage.
Step 4: Cleaning the fins
Use a soft-bristle brush or a hose with a spray nozzle to clean the fins. It would be best if you brushed up and down. Never brush side to side. You can spray water from the top. Do not spray straight on the fins. It can cause damage to the fins.
Step 5: Reinstall panel
Reinstall the panels in the reverse order you removed them. Use a screwdriver. Leave the screws loose until all the panels are in, then tighten the screws.
So, hopefully, following five easy steps, you can easily clean your condenser coil of the central air conditioner.
Replacement Cost Of AC Condenser Coil
Your condenser coil can stop working due to any reason. So it needs to be replaced after using a specific period.
Now the question is, how does it cost? Is it costly? Well, Let’s see!
Usually, you can repair your condenser coil, or at the last stage, you can replace it.
The average repair cost for an air conditioner condenser coil is $150 to $1000 or even more. Replacing the entire coil runs from $900 to $2800. Labor alone makes up half of the charge
Air Conditioning Condenser Coil Replacement By Size
A coil replacement is not an easy task. However, it is one of the most significant AC condenser repairs. Why? Not only is it an expensive part of the AC, but also it can be sometimes hard to find, depending on their model.
Condenser Coil Replacement Cost Factors
There are different factors on which the price of a condenser coil depends.
You won’t pay the cost of the part that is under manufacturer warranty. So, while buying or replacing your condenser coil, check and double-check the warranty card.
- Type of the coil
There are three types of coil. They are Standard coil, spine fin coil, and microchannel coil. So, the price of the coil depends on the type of coil.
- Brand or generic
There are several brands found in the market. So the cost of the condenser coil also depends on the brand or generic.
- Unit size
The greater the unit size is, the higher the price is.
Price Of The New Condenser Coil Of AC Unit
Before replacing your condenser coil with the central air conditioner, you must learn about the market price. There are several brands found in the market. Prices of the condenser coil vary from brand to brand and size to size.
|Brand||Condenser Unit Price*|
|Rheem / Ruud||$700-$2,500|
Can I Replace My AC Condenser Coil By Myself?
As you have already known, your condenser coil of the central air conditioner could need replacement. So we get a common question: Can you replace your condenser coil by yourself?
The answer is Yes. You can replace your condenser coil by yourself with a bit of help. Some technicians do in some cases.
But almost all AC repairs require a professional HVAC technician. So, I suggest that you shouldn’t attempt any do-it-yourself fixes with a central air conditioner. Could you leave it to technicians? The parts of the condenser coil are costly. It would help if you didn’t ruin it by doing it yourself.
How Often Does The Condenser Coil Need To Be Replaced?
If your condenser coil is cleaned and dirt-free, it will work efficiently. But a coating of dirt, dust, or debris prevents working it precisely. So to minimize cost-utility and maximize energy efficiency, We should clean the AC condenser coil once a year.
There is no such a time when you should replace your condenser coil. However, whenever your condenser coil stops working or reduces the efficiency of the coil even after cleansing, you should replace it.
So, don’t rush and keep it clean.
So, that’s the end of the article. Hopeful that you got a clear concept about the condenser coil of the central air conditioner.
The central air conditioner is one of the most effective air conditioners. It not only cools your home centrally but also removes dust and debris. Also, it is primarily noise-free. That gives you a soothing environment in the hot summer.
So, knowing about the central air conditioner and its condenser coil is critical.
As I promised to clear your confusion about the condenser coil of the central air conditioner, I tried to put all of your questions’ answers, like what is condenser coil, where the condenser coil is located on the central air conditioner and so on.
I hope that you got all of your answers. What are you waiting for? Do you have any central air conditioners? Check the condenser coil; if needed, clean it. Enjoy your summer without any worry.