A condenser coil is one of many types of heat exchangers. The primary purpose of a heat exchanger is to efficiently transfer heat between two mediums. Condenser coils are found in space heaters, air conditioners, and car radiators. Although there are slight differences in the function of these devices, the primary purpose is the same.
The term condenser coil can be used to describe all heat and cooling systems or specifically refer to air coils. Air coils are a subset of the heat exchangers and are found in air conditioning units, in both cars and buildings. The condenser coil itself has a snake-like shape, with a complex set of internal tubing used to manage the process of transferring heat or cooled air.
In a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, water, steam, or a chemical refrigerant is used. The liquid is cooled by the chiller, then circulated through the system. The condensing coil is where the liquid mixture changes from liquid to gas. This compressed, cooled gas is then pushed through the ventilation system.
In the vapor-compression and refrigeration cycle, the condenser coil is the evaporator. This process is repeated to continually supply the building with cooled air. It is important to note that most condenser units are self-maintaining. However, over time, the unit may break down, causing a reduction in efficiency that may require the complete replacement in time.