air-conditioning evaporator coils

Finding out you have a leaking evaporator coil in your Collegeville home’s air conditioning system is never good news. It helps to learn the causes of evaporator coil leaks so you can diagnose the problem and avoid this unfortunate situation in the future.

Under normal circumstances, these coils seldom leak. While they’re more common in humid climates, they’re preventable.

Chemical Reactions, Mold, and Biofilms

Leaks in the evaporator coils are primarily caused by a chemical reaction between the copper they’re made from, high humidity and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Together, they combine to create formic acid that corrodes the copper. VOCs are gases that many common household products emit. Among other things, they come from household cleaning products, air fresheners, some cosmetics, paint, flooring materials and dry cleaning.

Other causes of evaporator coil leaks include mold and biofilms that grow on the coil. Both slowly erode the integrity of the copper, eventually leading to a leak if ignored.
Here’s how you can prevent evaporator coil leaks:

  • Reduce VOCs in your home. Not only will this stop coil leaks from forming, but it helps clean the indoor air. The leaks are serious, since they can spew toxic refrigerant into your home. If your system uses R-22 refrigerant, which sometimes goes by the brand name R-22, it could be dangerous to breathe. Newer refrigerants are less toxic but still carry some possible respiratory side effects. In general, look for household products that are labeled as low in VOCs.
  • Consider using an energy recovery ventilator (ERV). These balanced ventilation systems allow you to bring fresh air into your home during the long cooling season and expel contaminated air outside without wasting your cooling dollars. ERVs transfer thermal energy and humidity between inflowing and outflowing air streams. These systems improve overall air quality (IAQ) and reduce the concentration of VOCs.
  • Add UV (ultraviolet) lights to the air handler to stop mold and bacterial growth. This reduces the sort of corrosion that’ll spring leaks in an evaporator coil.

The experts at New Age Air can help you eliminate the causes of evaporator coil leaks and improve your home’s IAQ. We’ve been providing HVAC services for Collegeville area homeowners for 20+ years.Call us today at 610-298-0271