Inside your air conditioner is an evaporator coil, which absorbs the heat inside your home and, by using a refrigerant gas, transfers the heat outside. Simple right? Well what happens when things go wrong, and your evaporator coil leaks? Continue reading to find out how serious the damage is, and what can be done about it!
What Causes an Evaporator Coil to Leak?
The evaporator coil is the most common leak area in the air conditioner. This results from AC vibrations causing the aluminum fins to rub a hole in the copper tubing over time. This is often seen in older air conditioning units. If the leak is because this and not on a return bend, the entire coil must be replaced because it cannot be repaired without destroying it, or several affecting it’s working capacity.
With newer systems using R-410A refrigerant gas, there is also a problem with all manufacturer’s coils called “formicary corrosion” which is basically the result of residual organic compounds, water, and oxygen. This will cause pinholes if the coil is uncoated copper, or not an aluminum coil.
What Are the Symptoms of a Leak in the Evaporator Coil?
So how can you tell if there is a leak in the coil?
Well you may notice your air conditioner is taking longer to cool or the air flow feels weak.
However, we’ve found the most common symptom is…
You’re Adding Refrigerant Gas Often
A common symptom of a leak can be found if you keep having to add refrigerant gas to your air conditioner. Air conditioners do not consume this gas, as the gas is constantly being recycled to cool your home.
What Should You Do If You Suspect a Coil Leak?
When you consider the high cost of refrigerant gas, and the pollution it can cause to our atmosphere, adding g as every year is expensive AND bad for the environment.
The responsible, and practical solution, is an electronic leak check of y our system for $445.00. An AC technician will go over your entire system inside and out to pinpoint any leaks. Keep in mind that not all leaks are in the evaporator coil, nor is it a simple fix such as tightening up a fitting.
What is the Process of Replacing the Coil?
In order to replace the coil and fix your evaporator coil leak, a technician will need to recover the remaining refrigerant gas, and solder in a new coil after dismantling the air conditioner. A filter / drier must also be added or replaced to absorb moister and contaminants.
More Details to Feed Your Brain
The new coil must be soldered under slight nitrogen pressure, and the system must be evacuated (air removed and then pressurized with nitrogen) three times. The gas must also be replaced with factory dehydrated refrigerant gas.
How much does this process cost?
When determining how much the replacement process will cost, you need to consider if your cooling unit is under warranty as this will play a HUGE role in the overall cost.
If the unit is under warranty
The cost of the job will normally start at $1,300 if the coil is under warranty.
If the unit is NOT under warranty
If there is no warranty, you must add the price of the new coil if it’s in Tucson. If not, you must also pay for shipping, usually from the factory.
The price can now start to approach the $3,000 range. Since you are now approaching about half or more of the cost of a new air conditioner, we almost never replace an evaporator coil unless it is under warranty.
Looking for Fast Evaporator Coil Leak Replacement Near Tucson?
If you’re in need of evaporator coil leak replacement service in Tucson, feel free to reach out to our team here at Heatwave Air Conditioning and Heating. Our HVAC Contractors provide quick and honest air conditioning repair and replacement service for local residents in Tucson, Oro Valley, Casas Adobes, and other neighboring regions.
Heatwave Air Conditioning and Heating
3131 E 45th St, Tucson, AZ 85713