Troubleshooting Common Problems with Your Air Conditioner Coils

Air conditioner coils can often cause problems. Although you can bring in an HVAC expert, they will charge you a lot of money to troubleshoot and fix the problems. Alternatively, you can troubleshoot them yourself as this will cut down on time. In some instances, you might be even be able to fix the problems yourself.

Ice On Coils

If you have ice on your air conditioner coils, This can be a significant problem as it will affect the way your air conditioner works. Ultimately, the air conditioner will operate with a reduced flow and less efficient cooling. You should be able to see very quickly whether there is ice on the air conditioner coils.

Usually, the reason for this will be dirty filters in the system. To take care of the problem, you need to turn off the air conditioner. This will allow the ice to evaporate. You also need to make sure the drain is clear so that the water can drain away as it melts. Replace all of the dirty filters and turn the system back on once the ice has evaporated.

Slow Air Flow

If the flow of air over the air conditioner coils is too slow, it can also cause ice to build up. The surface temperature of the air conditioner coils needs to remain above freezing (or 32 degrees Fahrenheit). If the temperature falls, it can cause ice to form on the coils. The usual reason for this happening is a lack of refrigerant in the system. Check the levels and add more if necessary. If the refrigerant level is fine, you will need to look for other reasons.

Blocked Coil

Air conditioner coils can become blocked if filters aren’t properly used. Since the surfaces of the fins are very close together and carry dampness, it’s easy for dust and debris to cling to them. When debris is the cause of a blocked coil, the coil will need to be properly cleaned. This is the kind of job you can’t undertake yourself. It will entail the coils being completely removed in order to get rid of all the dust and debris and only a specialist can do this.

Leaking Coil

It is also possible to have leaking air conditioner coils. Generally, this will be due to rust eating through the coils and causing a leak. If you suspect a leak in your air conditioning coils but don’t see any oil or visible evidence, there are two ways you can check for problems.

The simplest way to check where a coil might be leaking from is to try a bubble test with soapy water. Rub a miture of liquid detergent and water over the suspected leak. If a leak is present, it will bubble on contact. The other method is to use an electronic leak detector although very few homeowners will have one of these as they’re usually a tool carried by professionals.

Depending on the leak and the type of pipe, it might be possible to fix the leak yourself. If not, you’ll need to replace the air conditioner coils and this can be an expensive proposition which can only be carried out by a professional.