The evaporator coil cools the air coming in and out of the air conditioning system. Air passes through these coils, and the evaporator coil changes the state of the refrigerant from a liquid to gas, cooling the surrounding air in the process by absorbing heat.
Diagnosing a Faulty Evaporator Coil
#1 Air Conditioner is Not Cooling
Because the evaporator coil is responsible for cooling the air, an air conditioning system that blows warm air instead of cool air may indicate a problem with the evaporator coil. You can check the AC coils by opening the front panel of the unit, and inspecting the coils.
Faulty coils may have condensate around it, rusted spots, cracks, or leaks that make it difficult for the air conditioner to function properly. When this happens, you may have to replace the evaporator coil entirely.
#2 Air Conditioner is Freezing/Leaking
Evaporator coils may freeze up and cause the AC unit to leak when it is dirty, but it can also cause leaks when the coil is broken, such as a leak in the evaporator coil. If your air conditioner constantly freezes up even after cleaning the parts, contact a licensed HVAC technician for professional installation of an evaporator coil replacement unit.
#3 Loud Noises
If your AC unit is making loud, whirring, humming, or buzzing noises, then the problem may be with the evaporator coil. Inspect the coil, and figure out whether the sound is coming from the evaporator coil or the condenser coil to properly repair your unit.
How to Replace an Evaporator Coil
Evaporator coils can be tricky to replace as it takes a trained eye to cut the inbound and exit tubes, and solder the coils in place. Improper installation can cause further damage to the unit, which is why we recommend having a licensed technician handle the repairs instead.
Step 1: Shut Off the AC Unit
This step is the most important step to prevent accidents: shut off your air conditioner before replacing the evaporator coil. Wear protective gear, especially as you may be exposed to refrigerant leaks.
Step 2: Cut the Inbound and Outbound Tubes
Unlike the condenser coil, the evaporator coil is located in the indoor unit. Remove the front panel and air filters to access the coils. Next, cut the inbound and outbound tubes that connect the evaporator coils to the unit.
Be careful at this step as there may be leftover refrigerant passing through the coils that can leak out. Avoid inhaling the refrigerant gas, or touching the liquid coolant, and dispose of the refrigerant leaks properly. Set the old coil aside for disposal.
Step 3: Install New Evaporator Coil
Install the new coil, and secure the evaporator coil in place. Make sure that the inbound and outbound tubes of the new coil match the tubes in the unit, and align the inbound and outbound tubes properly to prepare for soldering.
Step 4: Solder In Place
Solder the new evaporator coil in place. Make sure you completely solder all around the tubes to prevent any refrigerant leaks. We recommend having professional HVAC technicians replace your evaporator coil for you if you are inexperienced with soldering air conditioner parts.
Step 5: Test Out the AC Unit
Test out the unit by switching it on. The AC system should provide cool air, and there should be no refrigerant leaking out of the unit - you can check with the refrigerant gauge to see whether the new coil is securely sealed.
AC Coil Replacement Cost
How much does an evaporator coil replacement cost? Evaporator coils cost between $180 to $1600 on average, and labor costs upwards of $400 depending on the complexity of the air conditioning system, bringing the total cost to around $600 to $2000 for a complete evaporator coil replacement.
Where to Buy an Evaporator Coil?
#1 Online Retailers
There are various air conditioner shops and home improvement stores online where you can purchase an evaporator coil replacement unit for your HVAC system, but it may be challenging to get the model and size correctly without checking the item yourself. Still, online retailers may have the right type of evaporator coil for your unit at more affordable costs.
When buying an evaporator coil replacement unit, check for the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating, as well as check for cased or uncased evaporator coils. Cased coils are generally easier to fit into your unit.
#2 AC System Repair Shops
The best option to purchase an evaporator coil replacement is with AC repair shops as these stores have the expertise to handle the repairs. You can also get quotations on evaporator coil replacement costs, and get advice on the right type of evaporator coil for your unit.
Here at Luce Aircon, our technicians have the knowledge to help you find the right air conditioner parts you need, and repair your unit too at moderate repair costs! Give us a call, or send us a message today to get your AC unit up and running smoothly.