Air Conditioning Coil Replacement
The evaporator coil is a heat exchanger that flashes the warm liquid refrigerant to a cold gas through an expansion valve. The cold gas circulates through the evaporator coils as the fan blows warm inside air over the coils. The indoor air gets cold and the refrigerant gas warms up.
Sometimes, the air conditioning coil can go bad. Low refrigerant can be the root, particularly with older air conditioners. Defective welds or loose connections in copper tubing could be a cause for leaks that cause low refrigerant. Another suspect for low refrigerant are fumes called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These VOCs react with condensation on the copper evaporator coil tubing to create formic acid – the same substance that gives fire ants their awful sting. Formicary corrosion of the copper results, slowly eating microscopic pinholes in the tubing and leaking refrigerant.
How Can You Tell If An Air Conditioning Coil Replacement Is Needed?
It can be difficult to determine where the issue is sparking since so many factors come into play when diagnosing an ailing air conditioner. Some signs your evaporator coil might be to blame include:
- Only warm air is blowing out through your air vents
- Air conditioner continually shuts on and off without doing much in terms of cooling
- You notice strange sounds such as a banging or hissing
- There are leaks near the indoor unit
- The air conditioner will not turn on at all
Should I Replace or Repair My Air Conditioning Coils?
One of the main things to consider when deciding if you should replace or repair your air conditioning evaporator coils is the age and current efficiency of your AC. Also persistent problems might indicate that coil replacement is a better option. In some cases the issue may only need repairs, but in other cases a new part, or new unit is necessary to properly address and solve the issue.
Consider an air conditioning coil replacement if:
- The cost to repair is more than 1/3-1/2 the cost of replacing
- The unit is more than 10 years old
- If the units overall SEER rating is a 12 or lower
- If the unit still operates on the old R-22 refrigerant.
- If other problems accompany issues with the coils
Consider repairing your air conditioning coil if:
The evaporator coils are fairly new and still covered under the manufacturer warranty.
The unit still runs efficiently and meets recommended energy standards.
The issue is small and there are no other problems associated with your air conditioning system.