5 Signs of AC Evaporator Coil Leak and How to Fix It

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Evaporator coils are essential parts of your air conditioning system that are responsible for cooling the air as refrigerant passes through these coils. When there's a leaking evaporator coil in your unit, then your cooling system cannot adequately keep your room to the desired temperature.

There are a couple of obvious signs of evaporator coil leaks, but some symptoms may have different causes, so it is always best to seek the expertise of a licensed HVAC technician to find out the underlying problem of your air conditioner.

Signs of an Evaporator Coil Leak

Sign #1: Air Conditioner Short Cycling

An air conditioner that is short-cycling is not a surefire indicator of evaporator coil leaks, but it is one of the common symptoms of a refrigerant leak. As the coolant escapes through the evaporator coil, the air conditioner overworks its components to cool your home, and reach the desired temperature on the thermostat.

Your air conditioner may short cycle, shut down, and blow warm air instead of cool air as the leaking evaporator coil has an inadequate refrigerant flow. Short cycling will damage the rest of your cooling system, so it is best to address this issue with technicians immediately to find the cause.

Sign #2: Frozen Evaporator Coils

Frozen coils can be caused by a number of factors that can cause damage to your coils in the long-run. Frozen evaporator coils can be caused by dirt, dust, or refrigerant leaks as the excess moisture from the condensation around the coils freeze up as a result of the refrigerant supercooling the moisture.

Frozen coils tend to make air conditioners blow warm air as they can no longer cool the air passing through the unit. As the air cannot get to the coils, it does not get cooled, and therefore the AC unit blows warm or room temperature air instead.

Sign #3: Overflowing Air Conditioner Drip Pan

When your evaporator coils are frozen, then the ice melts and overflows the drip pan. Your AC unit may start dripping water indoors, or may emit a foul, foot-like odor as the water remains stagnant in the collection tray. An evaporator coil leak creates a domino effect that leads to a dripping AC.

Sign #4: High Electricity Bills

High electricity bills may indicate your air conditioner is overworking, requiring more energy to provide cold air. Your air conditioner may even trip a circuit breaker as it attempts to pull more energy from the source to keep your house effectively cooled. If you suspect your aircon is responsible for higher energy consumption, you can use a digital energy meter to confirm.

Sign #5: Visual Coil Corrosion

Take a good look at your evaporator coil by unplugging your air conditioner, and checking behind the air filter for any signs of corrosion or rust in your evaporator coil. A corroded spot or spots in the coil is most likely where the evaporator coil leaks out refrigerant. If the coils are not leaking yet, they soon will be without a proper replacement.

Corroded parts should be immediately visible, with rusted or worn areas looking different from the rest of the coil. A technician would use a brightly-colored dye to trace the leaking areas, and keep in mind that you may be dealing with numerous small leaks instead of one main leak.

Troubleshooting Guide

Tip #1: Replace Your Evaporator Coil

Unfortunately, repairing evaporator coils is futile effort, as leaking evaporator coils tend to keep leaking despite repairs, albeit in different sections of the coil. It is a better option to replace the coils altogether, especially if your unit still uses R-22 refrigerant.

You can inquire with a professional for suitable options in evaporator coil replacements or air conditioner models when it's time to replace your unit with an upgraded one.

Tip #2: Clean Your Evaporator Coils

Besides the air filter, you can clean your evaporator coils with some compressed air and a vacuum cleaner - and you should! A clean evaporator coil is less likely to succumb to wear and tear, and would overall last longer in your unit, avoiding those high repair and replacement costs!

Tip #3: Schedule a Cleaning and Maintenance

Schedule an aircon cleaning and maintenance routine with a professional aircon technician will get your air conditioning unit up and running! This is the best way to prevent evaporator coil leaks, and ensure every part of your unit is working properly as intended.

Tip #4: Use a Digital Energy or Watt Monitor

Using a digital energy meter may help pinpoint the problem to your air conditioning system instead of making guesswork of your appliances. Monitor how much energy consumption your aircon requires to spot any changes in electricity charge.

Aircon Upkeep Services

As with any repairs on air conditioner parts, the evaporator coil cannot be handled by just anyone. Trust our technicians to provide you top-quality aircon services in Singapore at affordable rates. We will make sure your appliance lasts you for yours to come.

Check out our article on how to fix aircon leaking water
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