AC Evaporator Coil Leaks: Causes, Fixes & Preventions
AC evaporator coils are a crucial component of AC units as they cool the air before pushing it into your home. It's located inside the top or bottom of the unit and is filled with refrigerant, which absorbs heat from the air as it passes through. When a leak arises, it’s crucial to hire a professional to fix the problem ASAP, so you never have to go without that much-needed cool air during the warmer months!
Causes of Evaporator Coil Leaks
So, what exactly causes an evaporator coil leak? There are a few different reasons a leak might occur:
- Corrosion: Formic acid is formed when copper, water, and volatile organic compounds collide, wearing down the copper tubing inside the evaporator coil.
- Holes: When your AC unit runs, it can vibrate, leading to holes in the copper tubing from aluminum fins.
- Mold: Mold and biofilm can form on the coils that, over time, weaken the integrity of the copper tubing, resulting in a leak.
- Clogs: The drain line can get clogged from dirt or insects, resulting in excessive condensation backing up rather than being removed as it should.
Ways To Fix a Leaky Coil
Leaks are not only frustrating, but they can also result in a total system breakdown if not addressed promptly. When a leak is present, there are several ways it can be fixed:
- Add refrigerant: A temporary solution is to keep adding refrigerant to your system. While this isn’t a permanent fix, it will buy you time as you figure out a better solution and allow your AC unit to keep producing cool air.
- Seal the leaks: A sealant may be a good option for your specific circumstance. Sealants can be used to patch up and repair leaks found inside the coils, although the chances of this working are 50/50. You may have to use several coats of sealant.
- Replace the coils: If all else fails, replacing the evaporator coil may be the only viable solution.
How To Prevent Coil Leaks
To prevent a coil leak from occurring in the first place, the following steps can and should be taken:
- Limit the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your home; these are seen in cleaning items, air fresheners, paint, cosmetics, and more.
- Install ultraviolet lights in the air handler. These UV lights will destroy mold and other bacteria that may lead to corrosion.
- Use an energy recovery ventilator, a system designed to pull fresh air into your home while pushing out contaminated air. They not only help protect your system’s evaporator coils, but they also improve the overall indoor air quality!
Ways Leaky Evaporator Coils Affect an AC Unit
A leaky evaporator coil will inevitably affect your AC unit in a few ways:
- When a leak occurs, refrigerant levels drop, meaning your AC unit won’t be able to cool your home adequately.
- Refrigerant leaks can be harmful to breathe in as refrigerant contains toxic components. It may also lead to skin and respiratory problems!
- Your unit’s compressor may not turn on due to a lack of refrigerant. For the condenser to work, it needs to maintain a set pressure, which is only attainable with adequate refrigerant circulation.
Ensure AC Evaporator Coil Leaks Are Addressed Immediately
As discussed above, evaporator coil leaks can lead to many issues. Ensure the proper preventive measures are taken; should a leak occur, David Gray will be there in no time to address and reverse the problem! Our family-owned company has served residents of Florida since 1983, and we will always offer honest, upfront pricing and fast, friendly service. We proudly offer free estimates on all services, and we employ nothing but courteous, highly rated technicians for added peace of mind.Schedule Your Service Today