When Should You Replace Your Air Conditioner Coil

The coils in your air conditioner play a significant role in the cooling efficiency of the system. However, it loses its efficiency over time and frequent use. So, if you want to keep up the efficiency of your air conditioner, you need to look at the coil’s performance and get it replaced accordingly. It is difficult for homeowners who have recently bought an AC to understand the early signs of coil damage.

Hence, today we will discuss how to identify coil damage in your AC and the right time to replace your air conditioner coil.

A crucial part of replacing coils in your air conditioner is finding the right service provider. It is essential to opt for only the best HVAC services in Phoenix for top-notch professional servicing.

Types of Coils in an AC Unit

An air conditioner consists of two types of coils: an Evaporator and a Condenser. Both these coils have distinct yet pivotal functions in the working of your AC.

Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil aids in the heat transfer process. It picks up the heat and also holds the refrigerant which is responsible for cooling the hot air passing through it.

Condenser Coil

The condenser coil is responsible for releasing the heat out of your house. The refrigerant extracts the heat energy from the air passing through it and propels it towards the condenser coil, which further releases the heat into the atmosphere.

Why Does An AC Coil Require Replacement

When should you replace your air conditioner coil?

Just like all the other appliances, air conditioner coils do not have an infinite lifespan. The AC coils are constantly in touch with a refrigerant chemical responsible for the cooling process. This chemical slowly erodes the coil’s inner linings making the coil thin and weak.

Coil cleaners are also responsible for weakening the AC coils. Some cleaners are exceedingly harsh, and continued use can slowly deplete the inner lining of the coil. In severe cases, it can even lead to a leak which might require you to change the entire AC unit.

Before you decide on replacing the coil in your AC unit, here’s what you need to know.

Maintaining an AC Coil

Sometimes the coil might not be damaged. Clogged coils also lead to reduced efficiency, which gives the impression that the coil is damaged and needs to be replaced. Hence, it is essential to maintain and clean the air conditioner coils periodically.

Effects of Clogged AC Coils

Here are a few signs of a clogged air conditioner coil that will help you identify when it will be a good time to clean them.

Low Efficiency

Clogged coils hinder the refrigerant’s job of removing the heat from the air that passes through it. With its job made harder, the cooling efficiency of your air conditioner will decrease. So if you notice that your air conditioner is suddenly failing to cool the house as it usually does, you should inspect the coils.

Dripping Liquid

If you see a liquid dripping from your air conditioner, then it’s either water or the refrigerant itself. In both cases, it’s a matter of concern that needs immediate attention. If you find refrigerant dripping from the AC, it indicates that the evaporator coils have a leak. In that case, replacing the AC coil is the only option that you have.

However, if you spot water dripping from the air conditioner, then it’s a sign of clogged coils. In that case, a deep cleaning is all it will take to fix the issue.

When the evaporator coil absorbs the heat, the excess moisture is drained out through the condenser coils. However, if the coils are dirty, the condenser coil will pick up dirt along with the moisture and clog the outlet. The blocked drain will result in the accumulation of moisture, which will be visible as water leaking from the system.

Frozen Coils

Clogged AC coils will delay the process of heat transfer and result in an accumulation of excess refrigerant. The hindered process can make the coils freeze up. This further impedes the heat transfer process and damages the entIre AC unit even more.

Apart from the excess refrigerant, excess moisture accumulation in the condenser pipes caused by clogged outlets can also freeze up your pipes. Sometimes, the moisture isn’t able to exit the AC unit or drip out. In this case, it stays inside the condenser pipe or the evaporator coil, which is the coldest part of an air conditioner and freezes with time.

How Often Should You Clean the Coils of Your Air Conditioner

The frequency of cleaning the AC coils depends on a lot of factors. These include:

  • How often the air conditioner is used
  • How dirty the air inside and outside your property is
  • If you have an air filter or not and how often you clean it
  • How many people live in and use the air-conditioned room

It is easy to identify when the efficiency of your AC goes down, but it’s recommended you don’t wait for that to happen. Instead, set up a cleaning schedule based on your usage. Cleaning the air conditioner coils once a month is recommended.

What’s the Lifespan of an Air Conditioner Coil

The biggest factor that determines the durability of your AC coils is the quality of the appliance. If you buy the system from a reputed brand, the coils will last as long as the AC system does. On average, an air conditioning system lasts for 15 to 20 years. So if you take good care of the appliance and maintain the coils, both the coils will also last for 15 to 20 years.

However, compressors are more prone to damage, and in case you need to replace the compressor, you will also be required to change the coils. Compressors can only function efficiently if they are connected with a compatible set of AC coils.


If you are thinking of replacing the coil in your air conditioner, following the recommendations mentioned above will enhance your AC’s durability and efficiency.

Damaged coils not only reduce the cooling capacity of your air conditioner but also cause serious damage to the entire system if left unrepaired. Along with proper care and maintenance, you should get the AC system inspected at least once a year before the scorching heat of summer hits.