September 25, 2013

Should You Repair or Replace Your Evaporator Coil

Evaporator CoilAir conditioners provide relief from the heat, humidity, and unpleasantness of hot outdoor weather. Just like any other mechanical system, an air conditioner can develop problems with any of its parts, including the evaporator coil. Understanding the importance and function of the evaporator coil as well as the problem signs can help you decide whether your need to repair or replace your air conditioning unit.

What Is an Evaporator Coil?

An air conditioner’s evaporator coil is located indoors, next to the air handler. The chemical coolant travels through the coil and then into a device that decreases the chemical’s pressure. From there, the chemical coolant becomes a low pressure gas and it temperature hovers just above the point of freezing. The gas can then absorb heat from the air that travels across the coils. At the same time, moisture condenses out of the air as it cools. The moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and drained away through the condensate line into the waste water system. The cooled air is then blown by the air handler through the air ducts and into the home’s living spaces.

Evaporator Coil Problem Signs

While most air conditioners will operate relatively free of problems for at least ten years after being installed, they can sometimes have a malfunction in the evaporator coils. Some signs to look out for include:

  • Warm air blowing through the air vents
  • Air conditioner turns on and off frequently without effective cooling
  • Strange sounds, such as hissing, clanging, or banging
  • Leaks around the indoor unit
  • The air conditioner won’t turn on

Benefits of Replacing Versus Repairing

Depending on the age, efficiency, and the extent of the problem with the evaporator coils, there are benefits of replacing the part or even the whole system.

  • If the evaporator coils are still under manufacture’s warranty, repair is a cost effective solution. The manufacturer’s warranty might also cover the cost of replacing the coil. 
  • If the cost of repairing the evaporator unit’s coil is more than 1/3 to 1/2 of replacement, consider the unit’s age and efficiency. 
  • If the unit is more than 7 years old, replacement may be a wise choice. 
  • If its SEER rating is 12 or lower, replacement is a more cost effective option. 
  • Replacement is a better economic value if the air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, if other problems are discovered, or if the unit operates on R-22 (Freon).

Scheduling Service for Your Evaporator Coils

If you are in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro and noticing signs of an evaporator coil problem or your air conditioning system just isn’t working like it should be, contact a qualified air conditioning company like Max Mechanical Air Conditioning & Heating at 817-459-4100 or 972-233-1637 or schedule a service call.

Prompt diagnostics, troubleshooting, and repair by an experienced Arlington air conditioning company can fix the problem with the evaporator coils so that your home returns to a place of comfort. When your air conditioner’s evaporator coils are not functioning as they should, we’re here to help.

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One Comment

Sean Nichols  /  January 13, 2014 at 8:58pm  /  Reply

Replacement can be a pretty pricey option, though. Most people seem hesitant to do it for some reason. They just want patch jobs. How do you make them understand that sometimes they need to actually replace the coil?

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