If the vital components are not working, your air conditioner is no good and if it has no evaporator coil, the unit should not be used.
If you have an air conditioning system in your home, the addition of cooling can provide much-needed relief from the heat and excess humidity by releasing cooler air into the space when temperatures are hotter.
The worst thing that can happen is if you find that your air conditioner is no longer cooling competently. When this happens, it usually means some components in the AC are in need of maintenance or replacing.
Using an AC while waiting for a new coil
Your air conditioner may run into issues whereby the evaporator coil, responsible for extracting heat from the home, may malfunction or even freeze up due to other complications arising from the unit malfunctioning.
When the evaporator coil is not in good working condition, the air conditioner will not cool your home efficiently and it may be time to get a new one.
Can you use an air conditioner without a coil while waiting for a new one and regulate your usage, or can this exacerbate the problem?
Do you need to regulate AC use while waiting for a new coil?
An air conditioner contains two types of coils. The evaporator coil is in the inside unit and the condenser coil is in the outside condenser unit.
The evaporator coil has the biggest job to do when it comes to cooling your home. It regulates the temperatures by absorbing the moisture and the heat inside the home.
When there is no evaporator coil, or at least not one that is functioning well, then no cool air can be provided by the air conditioner. The evaporator coil works with the condenser coil to remove the heat from the refrigerant.
If your air conditioner no longer cools your home properly, the evaporator coil may need to be replaced for the unit to start cooling effectively again.
Some may wonder whether this means that air conditioner use needs to be regulated, and the answer is no – using the air conditioner is not possible at all without an evaporator coil.
You should not attempt to use the unit, even in a controlled manner, if there is no functioning evaporator coil inside it.
In fact, if your evaporator coil needs to be replaced, you should shut down your air conditioner completely to protect it from further complications such as compressor failure caused by trying to use it without the evaporator coil.
A professional needs to be called in to replace the coil before the unit can be used again.
What can cause evaporator coils to fail, needing replacement?
Your evaporator coils can fail and may need to be replaced for two reasons – when they become eroded or if they become frozen.
The evaporator coil can become eroded over time as the refrigerant flowing through the coil can wear down its inner lining, making the coils weaker.
The weaker the coil becomes, the more holes and cracks it has likely developed, which in turn, leads to refrigerant leaks. Another reason your coils may need to be replaced is if they freeze.
This can be as a result of dirty air filters obstructing air flow from circulating around the coils. This could lead to ice build-up, broken fans impeding airflow, blocked condensate lines, malfunctioning thermostats, and refrigerant leaks.
How to avoid evaporator coil damage
Your air conditioner needs to be maintained just as much as you need it to cool. Ensuring that your air conditioner is being regularly maintained by a professional can help avoid many system issues and failures of the most vital components of the unit.
Always having the unit checked can help you pick up potential issues with coils and other components of the unit earlier rather than later.
Is it possible that the entire unit needs to be replaced and not just the coil?
This is possible. This can happen if your unit is older than eight years, since air conditioners work at their best in the first 10 to 12 years of their lifespan.
Putting a new coil into a unit that is older than eight years old is like putting a new car engine into a dying car.
If you have an older AC unit, replacing the old coil with a newer one will make it less efficient, and finding one to fit your older unit may not be possible as the evaporator coil you need may not be made anymore.
Another instance where it is necessary to replace your entire AC unit is if it is using R-22 refrigerant, which is no longer being produced. You need to replace it with an R-410A refrigerant AC unit with a newer evaporator coil.