Evaporator Coil Problems Affect AC Efficiency

Evaporator Coil Problems Affect AC Efficiency

HVAC professional is performing evaporator coil repair in South Chicagoland Suburban home

The evaporator plays a critical role in your air conditioner's operations. Problems that affect the evaporator coil affect the efficiency of the AC. Read on for an overview of such problems so that you understand why you should have a technician inspect and repair your evaporator coil.


Refrigerant Leaks

Your AC has a blower that blows inside (warm) air over the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil has tubes that contain cold refrigerant in its liquid state. As the warm air blows over the refrigerant coil, the refrigerant absorbs the heat and cools your home.

If your evaporator coil leaks a significant volume of refrigerant, the remaining refrigerant won't absorb an adequate amount of heat. As a result, your AC efficiency will drop, and your home won't cool properly. Reduced cooling efficiency causes the AC to overwork. The increased run time increases your AC's risk of damage, so expect to deal with frequent breakdowns.

Reduced cooling is not the only effect of a refrigerant leak. The refrigerant is a poisonous chemical that no one should breathe, but that is what will happen if the refrigerant leaks. Respiratory and skin problems may follow. The refrigerant is also harmful to the environment; it contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer.

Here are some of the problems that can cause refrigerant leaks from the evaporator coil:
Corrosion on the coils — the presence of acidic compounds in the air, such as household cleaners, increases the risk of corrosion.
Wear and tear — an old coil is likely to suffer damage since everything eventually ages.
Vibrations — the presence of vibrations in the vicinity of the coils, such as earth-moving equipment, increases the risk of damage to the coils.
Accidental damage — a tree fall, for example, can damage the coils and trigger refrigerant leaks.

Guard against the above problems to reduce the risk of a refrigerant leak.


Frozen Coils

A frozen evaporator coil interferes with your AC's ability to cool the house. The refrigerant within the coils needs to absorb heat from the air, but a film of ice over the coils insulates the refrigerant from the air. Thus, your AC will run just as usual, but the house will stay warm.

Anything that restricts airflow in the AC system can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. The AC needs proper airflow so it can get the heat it absorbs out of the house where heat exchange takes place. A low refrigerant may also lead to frozen coils because of impaired heat exchange. Ensure adequate refrigerant levels and efficient airflow to prevent frozen evaporator coils.


Dirt or Debris Accumulation

Dirt and debris accumulation over the evaporator coils are inevitable over the life of an air conditioner. A little dirt may not cause much damage, but too much dirt over the coils insulates them from the air. Insulated coils don't absorb heat, which impedes cooling and can also lead to AC malfunctions.

The good news is that regular cleaning of the AC system will prevent dust accumulation over the coils. Note that the evaporator coils are a bit delicate; handle them carefully to prevent damage that may negate your cleaning efforts.


Wrong Coil

Lastly, you may also have a problem with your AC's efficiency if you replace a damaged evaporator coil with a mismatched size. The evaporator coil must match the condenser coil if the two are to operate efficiently. Otherwise, your AC suffers inefficient energy consumption and cooling. Use a professional AC technician to replace your evaporator coil to avoid a mismatch.

Always Ready Repair has the skills and experience to diagnose and fix all AC problems, which include coil issues. Contact us about your evaporator coil problem as soon as possible so that you don't suffer uncomfortable temperatures in your house longer than necessary.