Evaporator coils can be categorized according to their shape. In a central AC system, the evaporator coil acts as a heat exchanger by absorbing heat from the indoor air so that it can be transported and released outside. It features a series of metal tubes and fins. Refrigerant will flow through the tubes, and air will pass over the fins.
While all evaporator coils have the same purpose, they are available in different shapes. There are N-coils and A-coils. The former is shaped like the letter N, whereas the latter is shaped like the letter A. What’s the difference between N-coils and A-coils exactly?
What Is an N-Coil?
An N-coil is a type of evaporator coil that’s shaped like the letter N. it features three separate panels that are joined together in a zig-zag-like formation.
N-coils are also referred to as Z-coils. Depending on how they are installed, they may resemble the letter Z. Regardless, N-coils and Z-coils feature three separate panels. Each panel contains refrigerant passages and fins.
What Is an A-Coil?
An A-coil is a type of evaporator coil that’s shaped like the letter A. It features two separate panels that tilt towards each other at the top. In other words, they look like the roof of a typical house.
Like N-coils, A-coils consist of refrigerant passages and fins. The refrigerant passages are typically copper, whereas the fins are usually made of aluminum. A-coils simply feature an A-shaped design.
Differences Between N-Coils and A-Coils
Most evaporator coils consist of either an N- or A-shaped design. A-coils are more common than N-coils. They are used in more heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems than N-coils.
One of the main advantages of choosing an A-coil is drainage. Condensation will drain more easily from an A-coil because of its sloped design.
All evaporator coils produce condensation. It’s a byproduct from their operations. Moisture vapor in the air will condense on the copper passages of an evaporator coil. A-coils have a sloped design that allows condensation to drain naturally. As it builds up, condensation will eventually drip down the sides of the A-coil before landing in a pan. Known as a condensate pan, it’s designed to catch condensation. The condensate pan will run to your home’s exterior to prevent it from overflowing.
N-coils are typically equipped with a condensate pan as well. A-coils, however, offer easier drainage because of their sloped design.