Evaporator Coil Problems That Cripple Air Conditioner Performance

It is at the evaporator coil that the refrigerant absorbs heat from the passing air. This heat absorption process is what makes cooling possible.

Given the central role that the evaporator coil plays in the cooling process, any problem that it develops is bound to affect the performance of your air conditioner. Here is what you should know about the relationship between evaporator coil defects and the overall performance of your system.

Evaporator coil icing

When temperature at the evaporator coil area drops below freezing point, it forces moisture in the passing air to both condense and freeze. This is something that happens in cases where there is too little refrigerant in the system. Clogging of the thermostatic expansion valve is also a common cause of this problem.

When freezing occurs, it covers the evaporator coil with a layer of ice. And since ice is a poor conductor of heat, this insulates the coil and keeps the refrigerant from effectively absorbing heat from the passing air. As a result, any air that leaves the air conditioning system won't be as cold as it should be, something that then reduces the overall performance of the air conditioner.

To prevent icing problems, top up your refrigerant. If your system's refrigerant isn't to blame, look have the thermostatic expansion valve checked. Replacing it might be the key to restoring your system's performance.

Dirt accumulation

When dirt accumulates on the evaporator coil area, it insulates it. This slows down the effectiveness of the heat exchange process, something that then slows down the ability of the system to cool a space.

Dirt particles that accumulate on the coil also get washed off the coil. These dirt particles then flow into the condensate drainage pan where they accumulate, reducing the pan's capacity to hold water. These dirt particles also invade the condensate drainage tubes, clogging them. The reduced pan capacity and clogged drainage tubes then reduce the effectiveness of condensate drainage system, something that then increase the risks of air conditioner water leaks. Any leaks that happen as a result increase rusting in your system. And if your system is armed with a condensate pan overflow floating switch, continued leaks will cause your air conditioner to shut down.

An easy way of preventing dirt accumulation is to replace your air conditioner filters. This is because worn-out filters have tears that allow dirt and mold particles to pass through. Replacing the filters will ensure less dirt get into the system, guaranteeing little to no evaporator coil dirt accumulation.

For more information and help with air conditioner issues, talk with a professional AC repair company in your area. 

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