Identifying Air Conditioning ProblemsIdentifying Air Conditioning Problems

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Identifying Air Conditioning Problems

Last summer, after carefully planning a family reunion for months, the worst thing in the world happened. My air conditioner died right in the middle of the night--when we had our entire family staying at our house. People were uncomfortable and grumpy because of the heat, and it was really embarrassing. Fortunately, we were able to get an HVAC contractor out to help us, and they did an awesome job fixing things fast. To prevent problems in the future, I decided that it would be smart to learn how to identify air conditioning problems. My website is all about finding the things that are wrong with your HVAC system and preventing issues.

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Protect Your Home's Air Conditioning Coils From Corrosion

Evaporator and condenser coils are important to an air conditioning unit's performance. Tasked with absorbing heat and moisture from the air circulated through the outside unit and helping cool the air, when there is an issue with the coils, the unit won't perform efficiently. If you live in a humid environment, a large part of keeping your coils in good condition is protecting them.

The Trouble With Humidity

The humidity itself is not the sole problem; it's the reaction that extra moisture in the air can create, especially when it comes to metal surfaces, such as coils. When coils are exposed to high levels of moisture, corrosion can form, which in turn starts to break down the exterior of the coils. As mentioned above, evaporator coils play a large role in the cooling process. 

However, they can only perform efficiently when they have steady amounts of refrigerant flowing them. The greatest issue corrosion creates is that it can cause small holes to form within the coils. The small holes ultimately allow the refrigerant to leak. 

Once a leak occurs, the air that circulates through the unit won't be cooled efficiently, which means your home also won't be as cool as you'd like it. However, comfort is only one issue. Refrigerant is a toxic solution that is unsafe for the environment and human exposure. 

Coil Protection

While you can't control the environment, you can do your part to help control just what type of effect the environment has on your air conditioning unit. This protection comes in the form of protective HVAC coil coatings. With a coil coating, a protective solution is cast over the coils. Two popular solutions include silane and epoxy. 

When these solutions set, they form an air and watertight barrier over the coils that prevents the moist air from making contact with coils themselves, which in turn, reduces the risk of corrosion forming. Although there are some people that believe this step can be completed by a homeowner, professional installation is best. 

Before a coil is coated it should be cleaned and inspected for any signs of damage. If you coat a coil that already has early warning signs of corrosion, the coating will not correct it. Keep in mind; a professional coating may last for the life of the coil or several years. 

If you live in a coastal, other waterfront community, or any region that experiences elevated humidity levels, you should speak with an HVAC professional about protecting your investment.