Developing evaporator coil leaks in your home’s air conditioner or heat pump can sideline the system, but the good news is that these leaks are largely preventable. They’re caused by several environmental conditions that are relatively easy to manage. But left unchecked, a leaking evaporator coil will increase cooling costs, and in the case of heat pumps, heating costs. The leaks can prompt an expensive repair and degrade indoor air quality.
Causes of Evaporator Coil Leaks
These leaks form in areas where humidity is high and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are present indoors. VOCs come from many household products, including cleaning products, new paint, furniture and flooring, and air fresheners. When the VOCs and humidity mix, they create a chemical reaction that corrodes the copper evaporator coil. The corrosion thins the copper, and the pressure of the refrigerant that flows through the coil weakens the coil even more.
Another reason that evaporator coil leaks form is from mold or bacterial growth on the coil. The coil sits inside the air handler and provides a hospitable environment for these biological contaminants to grow. It creates plenty of moisture during the cooling cycle and when it’s over, it warms to room temperature.
What Effects Do These Leaks Have?
- VOCs are indoor air pollutants that can have minor to serious side effects.
- A leaking evaporator coil sends refrigerant into your home’s air, which can have serious side effects.
- A leaky coil lowers the amount of refrigerant circulating throughout the A/C, reducing its efficiency. It can cause the coil to freeze over, stopping the cooling process and potentially harming other components of the A/C or heat pump.
How to Prevent Coil Leaks
- Reduce humidity and VOCs indoors through dehumidification and balanced ventilation systems.
- Install ultraviolet (UV) lights in the air handler to stop mold and bacterial growth on the coil.
- Avoid using products high in VOCs.
The pros at Climatic Conditioning Co. can help you avoid evaporator coil leaks and improve the overall performance of your system. We’ve provided exceptional HVAC services for Sarasota homeowners for more than 40 years.
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