Within your air conditioning system is an evaporator coil. The evaporator coil circulates refrigerant through the system, which helps cool the air that moves throughout the rooms in your home. But if your evaporator coil leaks, your HVAC system won’t be able to effectively cool your home.
Read on to learn what causes an evaporator coil leak as well as what you can do to fix it.
What Causes an Evaporator Coil Leak?
Evaporator coils should last for the life of the HVAC system, which is generally 15 to 20 years for a high-quality system that is properly maintained. However, if your HVAC system isn’t maintained throughout the years then you may need to replace the evaporator coil sooner.
Your air conditioning system uses refrigerant to absorb heat from the air inside your home. But when refrigerant combines with volatile organic compounds which are found in air fresheners, adhesives, and cleaning products, they produce acids that can form tiny leaks in the evaporator coil. When these tiny holes form, they can cause refrigerant to slowly leak out which can damage your HVAC system as well as the environment.
Unfortunately, these holes are so small that it’s often difficult to detect them just by looking at the evaporator coil. This is especially tough because the evaporator coil isn’t immediately visible when looking at the HVAC system.
3 Signs of a Leaking Evaporator Coil
In most cases, you will need a professional HVAC technician to diagnose an evaporator coil leak, but you can still watch for the following signs:
1. Your home takes a long time to cool down
If you have an evaporator coil leak, then refrigerant will slowly leak out. Without enough refrigerant, your system will have to work harder to cool your home and it may not be able to keep up with the Florida heat.
2. The airflow feels weak
When your HVAC system turns on, it should blow cold air through the air vents right away. But if the airflow feels weak or it lags when your system turns on, then it may be a sign that you have a refrigerant leak.
3. Warm air comes out of the air vents
Similarly, if the air coming from the air vents feels warm, you may have a refrigerant leak on your hands.
How to Fix an Evaporator Coil Leak
Because evaporator coil leaks and refrigerant go hand-in-hand, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your trusted HVAC technician. Exposure to refrigerant can be dangerous and should be left to a professional.
An HVAC technician will perform a comprehensive examination of your system and can locate and diagnose a refrigerant leak. Keep in mind that some technicians may want to cut corners and fix the issue by adding more refrigerant or attempting to seal the holes. We don’t recommend this because the refrigerant will likely continue to leak and your money will be wasted. Although the cost of a new evaporator coil isn’t cheap, it is the better investment as it will allow your system to cool your home efficiently.
How to Prevent Refrigerant Leaks
While we don’t recommend repairing a leaking evaporator coil yourself there are things you can do to prevent future refrigerant leaks:
1. Avoid using products that emit high levels of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
2. Invest in a whole home air purification system
3. Invest in a UV light
4. Let fresh air in through the windows
5. Have the evaporator coil inspected regularly
6. Schedule regular maintenance for your HVAC system
Professional AC Maintenance and Repair by Sansone
At Sansone, we have an entire team of skilled technicians to help restore your Florida home’s comfort. Whether you have issues with the evaporator coil or another air conditioning woe, we can help. From repairs to installations, contact us today for all of your AC needs in South Florida.