Evaporator coils play a vital role in your HVAC system, particularly, the heat pump or air conditioner. Today, we’ll look at the different types of evaporator coils you can install for your HVAC system and the key roles they play.


What are the main components of an Evaporator coil?

Although there are several different evaporator coil types for air conditioners and heat pumps, they all have the same basic components which are instrumental in their functionality. These parts are:

·         Radiator Fins: To ensure maximum temperature and energy transfer, all evaporator coils feature a radiator fin design. And so, regardless of the mode of operation, the coil can effectively transfer heat energy.

·         Tubing: All evaporator contains some sort of copper or aluminum tubing welds into the coil fin assembly. Here, the tubing is responsible for carrying refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor coils thereby allowing heat and energy transfer.

·         Refrigerant: This is the main cooling component that circulates the system and particularly within the coils. The coils absorb indoor or outdoor heat depending on which mode the HVAC system is currently operating. Some evaporator coils and HVAC systems only work with specific types of refrigerants. However, the best evaporator coils will always be compatible with the most eco-friendly and energy-efficient refrigerant available in the market.

·         Slanted Design: The slanted design allows the condensate to drain off into a pan and cleanly be disposed of. This way, you don’t have to worry about stagnant water collecting around your evaporator coil and leading to mold and bacterial growth. Due to the damp and cold environment here, it’s very easy for mold and bacteria to make their home here reproduce and quickly take over.

·         Sizes: The capacity of your HVAC system dictates the size of your evaporator coils. Generally, 5 Ton coils are much larger and match according to the outdoor condensing unit.

Manufacturers will often integrate some special features into their variation of the evaporator coil. However, these are the essentials you will see across the spectrum when buying an evaporator coil for your home’s HVAC system. Therefore, to get the best evaporator coil for your home, consult your local AC maintenance & repair specialist and have them figure out the best tonnage and capacity for your home.


What Are The Types of HVAC System Evaporator Coils?

The shape of the coil is an important design decision that dictates how efficient and effective the coil is in dispersing and retaining heat, depending on the mode of operation.

The different coil shapes include:

1.       A-Coils

2.       Z-Coils & N-Coils

Some of these types are standard across all evaporator coils. In other cases, only the best HVAC companies such as Trane, Goodman, or Carrier use them.



The A-Coil design is the most popular among original manufacturers and other brands. You’ll find these coil designs in Carrier, Trane and Goodman branded coils.

The A-Coil mimics the letter ‘A’ in its design and has two slanted edges that take the condensate and drip it down to the pan below.


How the A-coil Works

The A-Coil collects heat when in air conditioning mode. And so, as the refrigerant circulates through the tubing, the coil becomes frigid and cools the surrounding air. All the condensate flows down the panels and drip into the pan below. Here, the pan has a hole which connects to an external tube and allows the condensate to drain away. This prevents the water from accumulating and stagnating.


N-Coil and Z-Coil

The N-coil and Z-coil are the same design, and the only difference between them is in their positioning. The two variations align in a vertical position or horizontal position. Apart from this subtle difference, there are no structural or performance differences between the two coils. And so, often, they are collectively known as zigzag coils. Although not as popular as the A-coil, the zigzag coil is also widely found in the evaporator coil market.

The zigzag coil differs from the A-coil in one primary aspect – it has a third leg of radiator-type fins. Although the zigzag coil functions almost the same as an A-coil, the extra surface area for heat transfer means that the N-coil or Z-coil is better at collecting or dispersing heat. Moreover, the zigzag coil is compact as well. However, this design does make it harder to clean and maintain. Moreover, they freeze up quite often, making maintenance a chore.



Evaporator coils are an important part of your HVAC system. Therefore, choosing the right one with the right capacity and type is essential if you want to save money and spend less energy heating and cooling your home.


See the summary of this content here – Components of HVAC System Evaporator Coils [Infographic]

Components of HVAC System Evaporator Coils 

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