Knowing what will prevent an A/C evaporator coil leak can save you a good deal of discomfort, money and possible exposure to harmful indoor gases. The copper evaporator coil that sits inside the air handler contains the refrigerant solution that the air conditioner uses to collect heat from your home. Although leaks are rare, when they do occur, refrigerant can escape into your home’s air, losing pressure as it does. If your cooling system uses R-22, you’re also at risk for breathing harmful fumes and having to refill your Freon at quite an expense.
Indoor Air Quality Concern
The reaction between humidity and the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your home’s air can erode the copper evaporator coil. The persistently high summer humidity in this region sets the stage for this chemical reaction. Harmful VOCs come from many commonplace products in homes, including new furniture, flooring, paint, cleaning products, vehicle exhaust and air fresheners.
Mold or biofilm growth covering the evaporator coil is another culprit of A/C evaporator coil leaks. The coil fosters mold and bacterial growth because it’s moist during the cooling cycle and warms to room temperature when the A/C or heat pump isn’t running, fostering growth.
Besides exposure to harmful indoor air pollutants, having to replace the coil and refrigerant can be costly. Options for control include:
- Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) – These devices provide balanced mechanical ventilation and are an energy efficient way to dilute VOCs and other air pollutants, replacing it with dehumidified fresh air. ERVs strip the thermal energy of the outgoing air and put it into the incoming air, which saves you cooling dollars.
- Dehumidification – Although cooling systems remove humidity as part of the cooling process, you can dry the air even more with central dehumidifiers.
- Ultraviolet (UV) lights – When placed inside the air handler, these lights will stop mold and bacteria from reproducing, eliminating them at the coil and throughout your home.
For more information on preventing A/C evaporator coil leaks, contact Logan Home Energy Services. We’ve been providing exceptional HVAC services for homeowners in the Winston-Salem region for more than 60 years.