Metal devices and appliances are often susceptible to corrosion–and your air conditioner is no exception. In fact, studies have shown that 40% of AC failure is caused by corrosion along the evaporator or condenser coils. To get a clearer idea of what you might be facing, you need to understand what can cause corrosion in your air conditioner and how to mitigate or prevent it. The trusted installer of ductless split systems, Thomas J. Fannon & Sons, shares what you need to know here.
What Can Cause Corrosion in Your Air Conditioner?
Corrosion doesn’t usually develop on the air conditioning unit itself–although this is still a possibility–because the cabinet protects most of its components from water exposure. The more vulnerable components are the metallic coils or lines. A phenomenon known as formicary corrosion can appear on copper-based alloys, such as the material used to make refrigerant lines.
This can be tricky to spot without magnification, but the corrosion is represented by gray, black or blue discoloration in the copper. Formicary corrosion develops when the copper is exposed to chemicals usually found in homes, such as formaldehyde, chloride and fluoride. When overlooked, corrosion can cause serious issues with your air conditioner.
What Happens When the AC Has Corrosion?
The fact is that corrosion can eat away at the copper in refrigerant coils, creating holes where the refrigerant can leak out. A refrigerant leak is a major HVAC problem because it doesn’t just compromise the system’s cooling performance–it can also lead to extensive wear and tear and significant energy loss. In fact, it can damage your system enough that it might need to be replaced.
How to Prevent Corrosion in the AC
The good news is that preventing corrosion in your air conditioner is easy enough. The simplest way to do this is by ventilating your home by opening the windows and doors for a few minutes every day. This has the added benefit of improving indoor air quality. Before doing this, however, first make sure the AC is switched off. If you spot corrosion on the coils and lines, have a trusted technician like Thomas J. Fannon & Sons perform a comprehensive AC inspection. Depending on their severity, we’ll either fix the holes in the coils or replace the affected ones as necessary. If the corrosion is already serious enough to have caused refrigerant loss, a replacement might be the best solution.
Thomas J. Fannon & Sons is your go-to company for the highest-quality air conditioning solutions. We serve Alexandria, VA, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (703) 549-5700 or fill out this contact form to schedule your HVAC evaluation.