As much as Floridians rely on air conditioners and heat pumps, learning how to avoid the causes of evaporator coil leaks can prevent system failure that these leaks can cause. The evaporator coil sits inside the air handler and is responsible for removing the heat from the air in the summer. When it leaks, the system can freeze over, shut off completely or vital components may fail.
Causes of Evaporator Coil Leaks
The evaporator coil carries the refrigerant that these appliances use to exchange heat. Since it’s a liquid that turns into a gas in the coil, it will leak if any holes form. The primary cause of these leaks is a chemical reaction that creates formic acid, largely avoidable by controlling indoor humidity and avoiding concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air.
Evaporator coil leaks are more common in humid climates, while VOCs are present based on how many commercial products you have and use indoors. VOCs are gases emitted by new furniture, flooring, paint, cleaning products, dry cleaning, and vehicle exhaust, among others. When VOCs combine with humidity, they attack the copper evaporator coil, forming leaks.
Another way leaks form is through mold or biofilms growing on the coil, supported by all the condensation that the cooling cycle creates.
Preventing Evaporator Coil Leaks
You can control the causes of evaporator coil leaks by managing indoor humidity, lowering VOCs in the air, and using ultraviolet (UV) lights inside the air handler.
- Controlling humidity with a whole-house dehumidifier, in addition to the A/C, works by removing excess water vapor indoors during the summer.
- VOCs may not be entirely avoidable, but looking for products whose labeling indicates they have low or no VOCs helps reduce the emissions indoors and also improves air quality.
- UV lights pointing at the evaporator coil alter the DNA of mold and bacteria, rendering them incapable of reproduction.
It’s important to avoid the causes of evaporator coil leaks so your system sidelined. To learn more, contact Gulf Coast Air Systems. Our team of experienced professionals have been providing outstanding HVAC services for Tampa Bay area homeowners for more than 30 years.