Leaky AC Coils: Causes and Solutions
As the mercury begins to rise and the temperature in north Texas starts to top out in the triple digits, your air conditioner will most certainly be working overtime to keep your family cool and comfortable. Like other home systems, parts within your air conditioner can start to break down and need immediate attention.
For air conditioning in Desoto, Texas, one of the most common issues that homeowners encounter is leaking AC coils. When this essential component of your HVAC system starts acting up, it can spell frustration and the need for an experienced HVAC technician.
DFW Metroplex homeowners have come to know and trust the Dial1 Johnson team for all of their home and commercial HVAC repairs. With offices located throughout south Dallas, our team is never more than a few minutes away when disaster strikes.
How to Identify a Leaking Coil
Air conditioning systems have several moving parts, but the AC coils are among the most important. These components will inevitably start to wear down over time and as the system ages will need to be addressed to keep your system running smoothly, especially during peak months.
Typically, breakdowns occur in one of two ways. The copper tubing that runs throughout the AC coil is susceptible to wear and tear more than other parts of the system. Over time, corrosion is likely as formic acid generated within the coil can break down the copper. The addition of vibration from the coil’s fins can rub small holes in the copper over time.
The good news for homeowners is that there are a number of ways to identify if your coils are in need of repair.
Takes Longer to Cool Down
One of the first things that homeowners are likely to notice is the system taking longer to cool their home. As holes develop in the copper tubing within the AC coil, it will struggle to cool the warm air that has been extracted from your home. In turn, the air that comes from the vent will feel warmer than usual.
Decreased Airflow in Your Home
Have you ever heard your air conditioner kick in, only to find that there isn’t much airflow coming from the vents? This is another sure sign that your AC coils might need attention. Those pesky holes we mentioned in the previous tip also will impact the amount of air that is coming through the system. When this happens, your HVAC unit will struggle to maintain temperature and may also turn off and on more frequently.
Frequent Refrigerant Refills
Proactive homeowners may schedule an HVAC technician at the first sign that something is off. Although your system doesn’t consume refrigerant when working properly, it can be a stop-gap solution, which we will cover later in the article. Should you find your system needing frequent refills, it could point to a larger issue that needs professional HVAC repair.
Spike in Utility Bill
If you didn’t notice that your system has been working harder to keep your home cool, you might be in for a surprise when you see your next energy bill. You can bet that all of that extra work will result in a spike in your utility bill. This might be one of the more frustrating signs. Acting at the first sign of a problem can circumvent the issue.
Troubleshooting a Leaking AC Coil
Knowing some of the tell-tale signs of a leaky AC coil is a great first step, but you will eventually start looking for solutions. Because of the importance of the AC coil to your Desoto air conditioning system, DIY options should be undertaken with great care. Always consult with a licensed technician if you suspect a larger issue is at hand.
Keep Adding Refrigerant
A properly working HVAC system will not consume refrigerant. Generally speaking, the only time that a system will need refrigerant added is if there is a leak present. Taking this course of action might seem like a cost-effective way to address the problem, but it should only be seen as a stop-gap solution. Adding refrigerant just delays the inevitable root cause repair, and can cost much more in the long run.
Use a Sealant
With a leak present, surely you can just seal it and go about your business? Unfortunately, sealing an AC coil is not as simple as you might think. Because the copper tubing is located within the coil itself, the only way to seal the coil is through the use of a liquid sealant. This is passed through the coil with the refrigerant and seals any pin holes or cracks that might be present. Sound like a winner? Sadly, it only works about 50% of the time, meaning multiple applications might be needed.
Of the three solutions that are listed, replacement is without a doubt the best course of action if a leak is present. This removes the need for additional visits from a technician and will ensure that your system is not pulling double-duty to make up for the issue. This can become particularly important during the summer months when an inconvenience can turn into an HVAC emergency.
Finding Air Conditioning Repair in Desoto, Texas
Whether you came across the article because you suspected a larger issue, or you were just trying to learn more about your home’s HVAC system, understanding the signs and knowing your options is a great way to be prepared when a breakdown occurs. The other side of the coin is to have a trusted team to back you up when things go awry.
The Dial1 Johnson team has been helping Ellis County homeowners for the past 50 years. Our team of experienced technicians is equipped with the latest tools to get your HVAC system back up and running. With offices in Midlothian, Cedar Hill, and South Dallas, we are never more than a few minutes away. If you are in need of regular maintenance or are facing an emergency situation, contact us at 469-518-4211.