A combination of water, oxygen and copper can be the downfall of air conditioners here in the humid Sarasota area. The mixing of these three elements makes up just the right formula for hidden A/C evaporator coil leaks–due to corrosion.

How A/C Evaporator Coil Leaks Happen

The evaporator coil is part of the cooling equipment located inside your house. The coil circulates refrigerant in a closed loop, absorbing heat from the indoor air. Tiny pinhole leaks (officially called formicary tunneling corrosion) are brought on by acid created by moisture and VOCs in your home’s air. VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are released into the air from household cleansers, aerosols, scented air fresheners, adhesives used in hobby projects and more.

The resulting acid on the evaporator coil creates microscopic “ant tunnels” from the outside in. Unfortunately, it’s hard to detect the problem until refrigerant leaks out. That’s bad for your air conditioner and for your health. If these pinhole leaks appear in your copper coil, it must be replaced. You should, at the same time, replace the outdoor compressor coil to be sure that both coils are compatible with the latest refrigerant, R-410A. To find out how you can avoid the expense and inconvenience of evaporator coil replacement, read on!

Preventing Evaporator Coil Leaks in your Cooling System

To help prevent these microscopic leaks from ruining your A/C evaporator coil, you must prevent the acid from forming on the coil and starting the corrosion. You can do this by:

  • Avoiding the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your home.
  • Bringing in plenty of fresh air if you must use VOCs. Good airflow can help you avoid harmful health effects in addition to protecting your air conditioner.
  • Installing a whole-house air purifier, which neutralizes VOCs with ultraviolet (UV) light.
  • Cutting down on airborne moisture with a whole-house dehumidifier.
  • Reducing acid buildup and keep coils clean. Your evaporator coil should be cleaned regularly during professional HVAC preventive maintenance.

Could you have A/C evaporator coil leaks? Call the cooling system experts at Custom Air & Plumbing here in Sarasota for a cooling system maintenance inspection.