- On May 1, 2023
Ready to replace the coil in your air conditioner? Or is it best to get a new unit for your Phoenix condo or home now? This decision might keep you up at night if you’re a homeowner who wants to do the best thing for your HVAC system.
The “repair or replace” decision is a common air conditioning maintenance headache. A quick repair is much more affordable than a total replacement. On the other hand, why pay for a repair if you’ll still have to replace your air conditioner soon anyway?
For the most part, a total replacement is the most affordable long-term solution if your evaporator coil is on the fritz. It’s such an expensive repair and is often a sign of other problems. Even so, consider all of the following while you weigh your options.
What Does the Evaporator Coil Do Anyway?
The evaporator coil is part of the indoor air conditioner unit. It absorbs heat and humidity from your home, storing it in refrigerants. Most homes in the Phoenix area don’t have problems with humidity, but the heat is definitely a different story.
In other words, it won’t take long to figure out something’s wrong whenever your evaporator coil starts to malfunction. If the evaporator coil isn’t able to transfer heat from your home into the refrigerant, your refrigerant can’t carry the heat outside and expel it back to where it belongs.
Why Is Replacement Necessary?
Now you know why the evaporator coil is so vital to the overall health of your A/C system, but what could go wrong with it? Normally, the problems are caused by erosion. Just like water carved the Grand Canyon here in Arizona, refrigerant flow through your evaporator coil can eventually take its toll.
The outer lining eventually corrodes and wears out. Once the evaporator coil starts to break down, it becomes much more likely to leak refrigerant. It’s entirely possible to replace the coil, but there are a few reasons you might be better off getting an entirely new unit.
Your AC Unit Uses R-22
R-22 is an old type of refrigerant. It isn’t very common anymore because it’s much more harmful to the environment than the refrigerant that comes in new systems. Just as it’s more harmful to the environment, it can also be harder on your HVAC system and cause parts to break down faster.
Instead of finding an HVAC company that still uses R-22, you’re better off modernizing your system. That way, you’ll have entirely new equipment that a harsh, outdated refrigerant hasn’t corroded.
Mismatching Your Condenser and Unit
Refrigerant isn’t the only component of your HVAC system that’s improved markedly in recent years. The equipment itself is better, too. If your unit is very old, you might not be able to find an evaporator coil that fits with everything else. This can lead to a mismatched system that only sometimes works harmoniously.
When the evaporator coil transfers heat into the refrigerant and send that refrigerant to the outside unit, there has to be a way to release the heat. Again, this heat transfer depends on another coil: the condenser coil. The condenser coil in your outdoor unit is the counterpart to the evaporator coil in your house.
If they’re made to work together, your system can stay balanced. Any kind of mismatch can overpower one or the other, putting too much stress on it. One of your coils will wear out, and you’ll be back in the same mess all over again.
The SEER rating is the measure of your air conditioner’s efficiency. The most affordable units today might have SEER ratings of 14 or 16. The federal government requires new units to have SEER ratings of at least 14.
If your old air conditioner has a seer rating of 12 or lower, you probably won’t even be able to find a suitable coil for it. Even if you could find a coil for such an inefficient system, it probably wouldn’t be a lasting solution.
How To Avoid Damage To The Evaporator Coil?
You should avoid the issue of a failing evaporator coil altogether. Sometimes things happen that are outside your control. You can still help yourself avoid replacing the coil in an A/C unit by taking great care of it with preventative maintenance.
One of the main causes of coil failure is too much stress on the part. Regular maintenance helps fine-tune your system to avoid putting your parts in stressful situations.
Want an Estimate From Experts at Howard Air to Replace Your Evaporator Coil?
When you start having evaporator coil problems, an HVAC expert from Howard Air can help! Our experienced staff knows what it takes to keep an air conditioner functional, even in the Valley of the Sun.
We’ll always give you an honest opinion of all of your options. Our technician will make a professional recommendation, and you make your own decision. That’s why they say, “Whether replace or repair, call Howard Air!”