Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil inside of a side-by-side refrigerator.

A refrigerator’s evaporator coil is the part of the refrigeration cycle that actually makes the inside of the fridge cold.

Once the refrigerant gas has gone through the condensing coils along the back of the fridge, it begins to cool down and re-enter a liquid state. It’s at this stage, that it reaches the refrigerator’s expansion valve. The expansion valve controls the amount of cooled refrigerant gas released into the evaporator.

As the gas enters the evaporator, it’s pulled forward by the air pressure created by the compressor on the opposite end. Along its path, the refrigerant absorbs any heat that’s surrounding the evaporator, specifically the air inside of the refrigerator’s food compartments. Some models of refrigerators have a fan that blows the air from the food compartment toward the evaporator coil itself to more quickly absorb its heat.

After absorbing all the heat it can, the refrigerant is pumped back into the refrigeration cycle by the compressor.