Leaky AC Coils: Causes & Solutions

Posted on: May 7, 2021

What causes an AC coil to leak Leaky evaporator coils are a common problem with air conditioners. They can be quite an inconvenience for homeowners since the decreased energy efficiency can bump up the cost of your running AC. Leaky evaporator coils can also cause damage and the need for costly repairs.

Luckily, there are several ways to prevent leaks in your evaporator coils. A first step can be reaching out to a reputable air conditioning service in Corona, Temecula, Murrieta, or your nearby city.  Routine coil maintenance is vital if you want to keep your AC running smoothly and efficiently throughout its lifespan. Keep on reading to find out what causes evaporator coil leaks and how to handle them.

What causes an AC coil to leak?

The first thing you should know is that leaky evaporator coils are a normal and common occurrence. This is due to the expanding refrigerant in the coils, which takes heat from indoor air and condenses water out of the cool air, onto the coil. The condensed water then drips into the condensate pan and then flows outside of the system.

However, things can go wrong. Most commonly, evaporator coils start to leak because of corroded copper tubing. More precisely, this can happen as a result of formic acid accumulating on the evaporator coil after interacting with copper, water, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in the air inside your home.

Additionally, vibrations from your air conditioners can cause the aluminum fins to create holes in the copper tubing. This often happens with old air conditioners. To fix the issue, homeowners often have to have their evaporator coil replaced entirely, as repairing it is often not an option.

How do I know if my evaporator is leaking?

There are two most common symptoms of corroded and leaking evaporator coils:

  • Your AC is taking longer to cool down the air and the airflow is weaker than it normally is.
  • You need frequent refrigerant fill-ups. Your air conditioner doesn’t consume refrigerant, which means that you shouldn’t normally need it filled up. If this is the case, your evaporator coil may be corroded.

In either of these two cases, the best course of action would be to contact reliable HVAC technicians to inspect your unit and perform any necessary condenser coil replacements or AC repair. A certified, licensed and insured technician can determine the root cause of your air conditioner’s issue and recommend the best solution. In many cases, an AC diagnostic or maintenance check-up reveals a completely different problem than the one the homeowner suspects. To avoid expensive repairs, it is advisable to have your unit inspected and serviced at least once a year.

How do I stop my AC coil from leaking?

If you’ve determined your air conditioner has a leaky evaporator coil, there are three main solutions you can choose from:

1. Temporary fix: keep adding refrigerant.

While you can keep your air conditioner in good working condition by adding more refrigerant, this is only a temporary fix and the most expensive in the long term. What’s more, it can cause additional internal damage to the system, resulting in more expensive repairs. This solution could be the right choice if you plan to sell your home soon or want an affordable, short-term fix.

2. Try using a sealant

Another option is to add sealant to prevent and repair leaks in your air conditioning system. This includes your AC’s evaporators, condensers, soldered joints, and copper lines. This sealant is designed to travel through the coils with the refrigerant seeking leaks and sealing them. This solution can be a good option, but the chance of success is about 50-50 for small or moderate leaks and multiple applications may be needed.

3. Replace the evaporator coil

If your air conditioner coil is covered by warranty, this is by far the best choice out of the three. However, even if this isn’t the case, paying more for a new evaporator coil now will minimize the risk of expensive repairs later on. Not only that but a new evaporator coil will also improve your ACs efficiency and reduce your energy costs.

How much does it cost to replace an AC coil?

The question of whether your air conditioner is under warranty or not will have a direct influence on the cost. If the evaporator coil is under warranty, you are likely to pay about $1,300 for a replacement. If not, the price can range up to $3,000 depending on the manufacturer and your choice of HVAC technicians for the installation.

Since evaporator coils that aren’t covered by warranty can get quite expensive, many contractors recommend getting a new unit if the evaporator coil breaks down. Also, it is important to keep in mind that corroded evaporator coils can be prevented with regular maintenance, just like many other common issues with air conditioners. This is just one of the benefits of investing in yearly or bi-yearly AC tune-ups for your home.

Choose the best air conditioning service in Corona and the surrounding area

How do I know if my evaporator is leaking If you suspect that your AC evaporator coil might be corroded, make sure to contact a dependable HVAC repair and installation company serving Corona and the rest of Riverside County. This holds true for many other issues, as well, including clogged AC drain pans and indoor unit water leaks. These problems can cause unnecessary damage to your cooling system and result in avoidable repairs.

At Action Air Conditioning Heating and Solar, we strive to provide our community’s home and business owners with high-efficiency cooling and heating systems, in addition to ensuring existing units work optimally. To achieve this, we offer comprehensive maintenance and AC tune-up services that keep your system running like new. For AC repairs, our professional technicians take time to carefully detect issues and perform necessary remedies or replacements, always relying on industry-leading techniques.

No matter the type of AC concern you may have, let our team bring reliable and efficient services to your home or business. Get in touch with us today with any questions.