We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Cooling Coil?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
AboutMechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AboutMechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A cooling coil is a device intended to allow the contents of the coil to cool as they move through it. Cooling coils can be used in materials processing to control the temperatures of various components, and they are also employed in heating and cooling systems where space is at a premium and other cooling arrangements are not feasible. This cooling mechanism is relatively simple and can usually be implemented at reasonably low cost.

As materials move through a cooling coil, heat exchange occurs. Heat is lost through the surface area of the coil, making the contents colder. The amount of heat lost depends on the length of the coil; just as people try to keep hot water pipes short to prevent heat loss between the water heater and the end source, people can make cooling coils extremely long to promote heat loss. The coiled design allows for a long of surface area for heat exchange in a relatively confined space, as the tubing does not have to be stretched out.

Depending on how a system is designed, materials may be actively pumped through a cooling coil or the system may take advantage of the coil design to pull materials through. In a pressurized system, the differences in density between cold and hot materials drive the circulation of materials through the cooling coil, keeping up a steady flow. The temperature never fully stabilizes, as new hot materials always enter one end while the cooled materials leave the other.

People can use an array of cooling coils to make a space get colder even faster. Coils can also be wrapped around components that must be kept chilled. These components are positioned in the area of the coil where the right temperature is reached, and the material inside the coil circulates freely to provide cooling.

Proper maintenance of cooling coils is critical. They can become fouled over time, reducing the total circulation and making it harder to reach the desired temperature. Corrosion can also become a problem, as it may eat through the coil and create a leak. Many substances used as refrigerants inside cooling coils are toxic and can pose a health hazard if they are inadvertently released. Other concerns can include wear around the sites of joints, creating a leak in a cooling coil, as well as a potential reduction in pressure inside the cooling system that may cause it to stop functioning correctly.

AboutMechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a AboutMechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By tigers88 — On Jul 17, 2011

I guess that the radiator I have in my apartment is really just a cooling coil where you are trying to collect the heat rather than cool the liquid. Hot water is pumped through the radiator, the heat is transferred from the liquid, through the metal and into the air and then my apartment is warm and comfortable.

By ZsaZsa56 — On Jul 16, 2011

I used to work in a factory that made engine parts for riding lawnmowers. We had all kinds of machinery going at all times and a lot of them utilized cooling coils to cut down on the heat.

I remember once that a cooling coil broke while it had burning hot fluid being pumped through it. The liquid went spewing everywhere. Luckily no one was hurt, it would have been really easy for someone to get burned, but the factory did have to shut down for an entire day. There was a lot to clean up and without that coil it was literally impossible to operate the factory. These coils are more important than people realize.

By truman12 — On Jul 15, 2011

A lot of people will be familiar with the idea of cooling coils from the radiators inside their cars. If you pop the hood the radiator is right at the front of the engine, it should be what you see when you look straight down.

Radiators work like this: Coolant is pumped throughout the engine to keep it cool while it is running. This fluid return to the radiator superheated. It is then pumped through an intricate series of coils insider the radiator so that the heat can be dissipated. The process is made easier because cool air from the grill on your car blows over the radiator tubes to help cut down on the heat. That is really all there is to it but without this crucial engine component you car wouldn't be able to go much farther than a mile.

By backdraft — On Jul 14, 2011

A cooling coil example is an example of a really beautifully simple machine. It relies on the most basic of scientific principles and yet it works so effectively.

The principle is really no different than allowing your food to cool. If your food is densely packed and you begin eating immediately it will be really hot. If it spread out to maximize surface area and allowed to cool for a few minutes it will be an acceptable temperature. This simple idea has been applied to thousands of industrial processes to great effect. This is another fine example of human ingenuity.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.