if you are told the evaporator coil on your AC is damaged you may think it is an easy replacement, right?
Well, think again – it may not be so simple!
If the replacement evaporator coil mismatches with your condenser in either age SEER or refrigerant you will face issues like:
- A unit that will die much sooner.
- Frequent repairs.
- High energy bills.
- Less comfort.
We will explain what we mean by “mismatching coils” further and when you should look at replacing the whole unit but first let’s look at what an evaporator coil does and how it may obtain damage.
What Does The Evaporator Coil Do Anyway?
The primary reason is erosion, Over time the flow of refrigerant makes the coils weaker. Additionally, evaporator coil cleaners can also weaken and corrode the outer lining of the coils. This makes them more prone to refrigerant leaks – by the time that happens it is usually easier and more cost effective to replace the unit or the coil than to repair the leak. and then charge it with additional refrigerant especially the more costly R-22 refrigerant.
Replace The Entire AC Unit Or Just The Evaporator Coil?
It sounds like it would be cheaper to replace the damaged coil but at times it is more cost effective to replace the entire AC. Because your AC has two coils.
- The evaporator coil also known as the inside coil.
- The condenser coil also known as the outside coil.
Both are housed within the same unit but are separate components who have to work together closely to ensure they cool your home. However, replacing a single coil may be the cause of major problems. Let’s look at when replacing the entire unit is a more cost-effective solution.
You Should Replace The Entire Unit When…
- Your A/C is 8 years or older – A/C units last 10-12 years. That said putting an evaporator coil in an 8-year old A/C unit is a false economy. Not to mention it would have a near-death partner to work with causing an earlier death to the other coil through the stress of having to cooperate with the newer model.
- The evaporator coil you need to replace is obsolete – The “SEER” rating rates A/C units on their efficiency and is numbered between 13-21. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the unit and the coil. Mismatched coils negatively affects the SEER rating and many older ones are obsolete or no longer made. pairing an efficient 14 SEER coil with an older one just means you will get the vastly inferior performance and will drag down the performance of the other coil, causing that to eventually need replacing as well!
- Your A/C Unit uses R-22. If youtr unit uses R-22 it is best to trade it out for one that uses a refrigerant called R-410A. R-22 is an older refrigerant – no longer produced, therefore what remains is very expensive. – because of this HVAC professionals recommend replacing the entire unit, not just the evaporator coil.