There’s plenty that could go wrong with your HVAC system, but coil corrosion ranks as one of the more surprising issues for homeowners to deal with. A deteriorating evaporator or condenser coil can easily result in refrigerant loss, sidelining your HVAC system until the problem can be dealt with.

What Causes Coil Corrosion?

There are two types of coil corrosion that can take place – pitting corrosion and formicary corrosion. The former occurs when the coil is exposed to water, chemicals or detergents containing chloride or fluoride. This type of corrosion essentially creates cavities or “pits” in the metal surface, creating leaks over time.

The latter occurs when formic or acetic acids such as those found in adhesives, cleaning solvents and paints come into contact with the metal coil. This type of corrosion also causes pinhole leaks, but it also leaves behind distinct etching on the metal surface. That’s the reason why formicary corrosion is commonly referred to as “ant nest” corrosion.

The end result is usually the same. These areas eventually become so damaged that they allow refrigerant to seep out of the coil. Without the proper amount of refrigerant, you won’t be able to run your HVAC system with the same efficiency or performance as before.

How to Prevent It

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can prevent coil corrosion from becoming a serious problem:

  • Have your coils cleaned on a periodic basis by a professional HVAC contractor. Regular cleanings not only help prevent corrosion but also prevent debris buildup and other blockages.
  • Avoid using household and personal hygiene products with heavy chemical content.
  • Some even have their evaporator or condenser coil covered with a protective coating. There are several types of protective coatings available, each with their own advantages and drawbacks.

In the end, keeping up with regularly scheduled maintenance can help prevent coil corrosion issues. For more information or to schedule your maintenance tune up, contact the professionals at Jackson & Sons Heating and Air, proudly serving Eastern North Carolina.

Jackson & Sons, Inc.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Eastern North Carolina (including Wayne, Johnston, Greene, Lenoir, Pitt and Duplin Counties) about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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