Have Central AC? Know About The Potential Problems With These Two Coils

Make sure to get annual maintenance on your HVAC systems to uphold your warranties.

Have Central AC? Know About The Potential Problems With These Two Coils

Have Central AC? Know About The Potential Problems With These Two Coils

14 March 2017
, Blog

Have you noticed that your central AC has become inefficient over the years? This problem can potentially be caused by two coils essential to the unit's operation. There are condenser coils within the unit located outside, and evaporator coils in the main air handler located inside your home. If there are issues with either of these coils, your entire air condition may not work properly.

The Condenser Coil

Your home's air conditioning starts working with the thermostat, which sends the condenser a signal that turns on the motor inside it. Gas refrigerant is then pumped out and goes directly to the condenser coils. Condenser coils are what causes the refrigerant's phase change, causing the gas to turn into a liquid before it goes to the unit's air handler.

In order for that phase change to occur, it requires the condenser coils to be a specific temperature. The temperature is regulated by the coil's material and fans that prevent the unit from overheating. If the condenser coil is broken, it can cause refrigerant to leak out of the system and the phase change won't occur. When the coils are dirty, the refrigerant won't change phases efficiently. As a result, your entire air conditioning system will suffer.

Bent or broken coils should be immediately replaced because of this. A local AC installation or HVAC technician can check the coil for you, make the necessary repair, and top off refrigerant. If the coil is dirty, you could clean it yourself. All it requires is a wire brush to scrub the metal coil.

The Evaporator Coil

Liquid refrigerant leaves the condenser and heads towards the evaporator coil, traveling through the supply line that connects the two. Once it reaches the evaporator coil, another phase change occurs. Now the liquid turns to gas and heads back to your compressor. The change in phase makes the coil cold. When air passes over the coil, the air becomes cold and then gets pushed out through the vents.

If the evaporator coil is dirty, the energy efficiency of your AC unit will decrease. The coil won't get as cold and the HVAC system will have to run longer than necessary to cool down your home. It puts more wear and tear on the unit, leading to premature replacement.

You could clean this coil on your own using a foaming cleanser, which is applied directly to the coil and doesn't need to be rinsed off. Leave it on for the length of time stated on the directions, then turn the air conditioner back on again.

About Me
It's More Important Than You Think

I used to routinely get calls from HVAC contractors in my area offering annual maintenance contracts. As soon they would identify themselves, I would quickly say no thank you and hang up. After all, my heating and cooling system was working fine. Why would I spend money on services I clearly didn't need? Boy was I wrong! A few years ago, my AC unit suddenly stopped working. I called my HVAC contractor to have it repaired and assumed that my warranty would pick up the bill. That was until I learned my warranty was voided due to a lack of maintenance. Out of nowhere, my decision to ignore those maintenance calls was about to cost me more than a $1,000. I know there are others out there like me. It is my hope that this site will provide them with the knowledge they need to avoid the mistakes I made.