What Causes the Evaporator Coil of an Air Conditioner to Leak?

Knowing when an evaporator coil leak will occur isn’t always an easy task. Usually, by the time you notice, a great deal of damage has already occurred. Causes of evaporator coil leaks include poor maintenance of the central conditioning system and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that come in contact with copper coils.

Not all coils are made from copper

It’s important to keep in mind that copper coils are being slowly phased out with all-aluminum Micro-Channel coils. This helps eliminate the problem of VOCs interacting with copper in the cooling system. In the long run, this is better for your pocket and the environment. If you have an evaporator coil leak, the servicer may suggest replacing the coils with aluminum ones, after which, they’ll have to replace the coils on the outside part of the unit.

The reason you must replace both sets of coils is that there are different refrigerants used with each one. Thus, the copper will likely not be compatible with the R-410A refrigerant.

How to prevent evaporator coil leaks

  • One of the major causes of evaporator coil leaks is the use of air fresheners and household chemicals. Reducing the use of these chemicals will help.
  • Regularly cleaning and servicing coils will reduce the amount of buildup.
  • Install a coil lamp to keep bacteria from covering the coil.

At Beyer Boys, we service cooling units in all sizes, from residential to commercial. Please contact us if you have any questions or to schedule a service visit.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “ALMAGAMI/Shutterstock”

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