For the residents of Rome, GA, air conditioning is a big deal. It is the only way for homes here to stay comfortable through the long, hot summers. Anything that could put a home’s air conditioning system out of commission is a big concern. Here at Hitchcock Heating & Air, we deal with all kinds of HVAC issues, which puts us in a unique position to help homeowners identify potential problems with their home’s HVAC system. One problem we encounter periodically is a faulty evaporator coil. Here is a detailed look at what your HVAC evaporator coil does and five signs you can look out for to know when your home’s HVAC may need an evaporator coil replacement.
What Is an Evaporator Coil?
Under ordinary circumstances, you wouldn’t ever see your HVAC’s evaporator coil. That’s because it lies within your HVAC’s indoor unit. It plays a critical role in your HVAC’s operation, and without it, the system couldn’t cool the air in your home.
As its name implies, an evaporator coil is a series of tubes that carries evaporated refrigerant through a heat exchanger. As the blower fan inside your HVAC pushes warm indoor air through the evaporator coil, the refrigerant absorbs heat from that air, cooling it down. The evaporator coil then returns the now-hot refrigerant to the condenser unit outside to eliminate the absorbed heat there.
The Signs of a Damaged or Failing Evaporator Coil
Now that you know how important your HVAC’s evaporator coil is, it should be pretty obvious why you would want to keep it in working condition. Doing that, however, requires that you know the signs of potential evaporator coil trouble so you can call the experts at Hitchcock Heating & Air for help before yours fails completely. Here are the five most unmistakable signs to look out for:
1. Inadequate Cooling
The most blatant sign that you have a problem with your evaporator coil is if your HVAC suddenly isn’t producing enough cold air. When this occurs, it might mean that your evaporator coil is damaged, corroded, or otherwise compromised. It could also mean that your evaporator coil is dirty and needs a thorough cleaning.
An evaporator coil check is one of the most important parts of your HVAC’s yearly recommended maintenance schedule. Keeping dust, dirt, and grime out of your evaporator coil helps your HVAC to produce cold air as efficiently as possible. According to expert estimates, a dirty evaporator coil could rob your HVAC of up to 30% of its efficiency! Plus, it makes your home far less comfortable during our hot Georgia summers.
2. Freezing or Frost Buildup
Another potential sign of trouble with your evaporator coil is if it begins to freeze or exhibit signs of frost buildup. Most of the time, these things happen due to poor airflow around and through your evaporator coil. Sometimes this happens due to issues with your HVAC’s blower fan, but it could also point toward damage to the evaporator coil itself.
If your HVAC begins to cycle on and off more often than it used to or won’t produce sustained cold air for very long when it is operating, it could be a sign of a frosted-over or frozen evaporator coil. If your HVAC has an access door near its evaporator coil, it may be possible to look for signs of freezing yourself. If this isn’t the case, call the team at Hitchcock Heating & Air, and we’ll check it out.
3. Abnormal or Excessive Water Leakage
When your HVAC runs in cooling mode, it is natural for its evaporator coil to produce condensation. In fact, all HVAC systems have a drain line meant to carry condensation away from the evaporator coil and to a drain or the outside of your home. When everything is working well, you can expect a slow and steady drip from your HVAC’s drainage pipe. If you see more than a slow drip, it could mean you have an evaporator coil problem.
It is not always easy to tell how much condensation is normal for your HVAC and how much represents a sign of trouble. In general, your HVAC will produce more condensation on humid days, so if you notice excessive drainage on a non-humid day, that isn’t normal. If you are unsure about what you’re seeing, contact a professional to avoid potential damage to your system.
4. Unusual Sounds
Although all HVAC systems make some noise while they’re on, the sounds you hear should typically remain low and steady. If you hear odd sounds like hissing, banging, or clanging while your HVAC runs, it could be a sign of a problem with the evaporator coil. A hissing sound might mean that your evaporator coil is leaking refrigerant. Don’t ignore this problem because it could lead to a complete failure of your HVAC system and possibly costly damage to other components.
Banging or clanging sounds, however, could be due to cracks in your evaporator unit, which is another problem that you must address immediately. Not only will cracks in your evaporator decrease your HVAC’s efficiency, but they could be a warning that your evaporator coil is on the verge of breaking completely.
5. Strange Smells
The final sign of evaporator coil trouble to look out for is any odd smells emitting from your HVAC while it is running. Sometimes, such odors indicate that you need to change your HVAC filter. However, they could also mean mold or mildew is in your evaporator coil, preventing it from operating as it should.
Obviously, having mold or mildew inside your HVAC system is not ideal. It can harm your home’s air quality and damage the health of everyone who lives within. Therefore, you should not waste any time when you detect an odd smell coming from your HVAC system. Call in the experts from Hitchcock Heating & Air to find the source of the problem and, if necessary, conduct an air quality analysis in your home.
Your Trusted HVAC Team
If you observe any signs of evaporator coil trouble detailed above, don’t wait for them to worsen. Instead, call on the HVAC team at Hitchcock Heating & Air for help. We have served homeowners all over Rome, GA and the surrounding communities since 1987 and always do our best to be the most-recommended HVAC service in the area. In other words, we want to leave you so satisfied with our service that you’ll tell everyone you know to call us when they need help with their HVAC!
In addition to HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance, we offer comprehensive air quality services. We’ll also help you bring your home up-to-date with the latest smart home technology. Plus, we handle commercial heating and cooling systems, so you can call on us to service your business.
If you have reason to believe that your HVAC has an evaporator coil problem, call the experts at Hitchcock Heating & Air right away to find a solution!