How Long Does It Take To Replace An Evaporator Coil?

An evaporator coil is one of the essential parts of an AC system. Without it, your AC won't be able to function right at all. So, how long will it take to replace an evaporator coil? We've searched for the most accurate answer, and this is what we've found.

Replacing an evaporator coil usually ranges from two to three hours. However, the duration period can change factors such as ease of access and unit size. 

Now that you know how long replacing an evaporator coil will take, let's dig in further. In this post, we'll cover evaporator coils' most common problems and how to address them. We've also added some recommended evaporator coil cleaners to help maintain your AC system.

Air conditioner evaporator that is dirty from dust, try in the air, soft focus image - How Long Does It Take To Replace An Evaporator Coil

What Is An Evaporator Coil?

Coil or evaporator part of central air conditioner; isolated on white background

The evaporator coil is a vital part of your AC unit. It takes in moisture and steam from the air inside your home. Evaporator coils are usually connected to your furnace or placed inside the air handler. It works with a condenser coil to complete the heat exchange process that produces cool air.

Evaporator coils are typically made of aluminum or copper. They are serpentine-shaped and looped through a framework of cooling fins. The cooling fins help absorb the heat from the airflow while also cooling the air flowing downstream into the air ducts.

How Long Do Evaporator Coils Last And How Long Before Replacing Them?

Evaporator coils can last from 10 to 15 years with regular maintenance and proper care. It's the ideal life span of an evaporator coil and is close to the life cycle of an AC. But, your evaporator coil's durability will decrease if poorly maintained.

Your AC unit will malfunction more frequently after 15 years. But if you just bought your AC a few months and it malfunctions, you may have to replace it.

Coil cleaners can also sometimes wear out the outer lining of evaporator coils. The coils can become damaged gradually with constant use. So, you must check which cleaner is safe to use.

What Is The Average Cost Of Replacing An Evaporator Coil?

The cost of replacing an evaporator coil depends on the AC brand, unit size, and placement. The price can range from $600 to $2,000. This list of costs below is only for the unit/coil replacement. The average labor cost is around $700.

The particular cost of changing your evaporator coil according to unit size is:

  • 2 tons is around $550
  • 2.5 tons is about $675
  • 3 tons is about $825
  • 3.5 tons is about $925
  • 4 tons is approximately $1,000
  • 5 tons is around $1,075

Can I Replace An Evaporator Coil By Myself?

Close up of dirty air conditioner blower fan and coil. The blower of the dusty indoor air conditioner.

It's possible to try replacing an evaporator coil by yourself. But it's highly recommended that you hire a professional to replace those coils. If you want to try replacing an evaporator coil, here's a simple guide to help you.

  1. Turn off the AC Unit.
  2. Cut the tubing.
  3. Remove and check the evaporator coil.
  4. Replace the new evaporator coil.
  5. Solder the coil into place.
  6. Return the coolant.
  7. Shut the valve gauges.
  8. Restart and check the AC. 

Evaporator Coils Problems And Solutions

Evaporator coils have the usual problems or damages, such as leaks. Let's read the information regarding the causes, solutions, and so on.

Can Evaporator Coil Leak Be Fixed?

Yes, it's possible, but it has a 50/50 success rate. But you can temporarily fix evaporator coil leaks by adding a sealant. Still, replacement is the best choice to fix an evaporator coil leakage. It's terrific if your unit is still under warranty.

What Causes An AC Evaporator Coil To Leak?

The most general cause of evaporator coil leaks is the rusting of the outer copper tubing in the coil. Corrosion occurs when formic acid collects on the coil due to mixing VOCs, water, and copper in the air inside.

How Do I Know If My Evaporator Coil Is Leaking?

Here are several well-known signs that tell your evaporator coil is leaking.

The Five Tell-Tale Signs:

  • Warm air is coming out from the vents.
  • The AC system frequently turns on and off but doesn't appropriately chill your home.
  • The air conditioner doesn't turn on at all.
  • A refrigerant leak near the indoor cooling system will show.
  • You can hear strange sounds like hissing or bangs from the cooling system.

How To Keep Your Air Conditioner Coils From Leaking

Listed below are some valuable tips for preventing your AC coils from leaking.

  • Minimize the use of Volatile Organic Compounds.
  • Bring fresh air into the HVAC system to help dissolve the VOCs.
  • Choose an air purifier designed to negate VOCs with UV light.
  • Lessen the acid build-up by regularly cleaning and maintaining the coil. A clean unit means lesser pressure and a lesser chance of tearing the coil.
  • Place a coil lamp near the AC coils to stop bacteria from coating the coil. The light also reduces growth that blocks air flow between washing.

What Causes AC Evaporator Coils to Freeze Up?

There are white ice on the coil. Inside the air conditioner.

Inadequate airflow is the most common cause of frozen evaporator coils. It's usually triggered by a blocked air filter, a filthy evaporator coil, or a low fan speed.

Ice on the coil is prone to form more ice until the whole loop is covered in ice. The unit could experience overheating, like the blower fan trying to draw air through the ice-blocked coil. It's advised to call for a professional to fix the problem, but you can also do these.

  • Switch to fan-only mode so warm air can blow over the coils and quicken melting. Be ready with buckets to catch the melting ice and avert water damage.
  • Check if the filter is filthy or clogged, and install a new one.
  • Restart the system after all the ice melts off the coil.
  • Shut down the AC system if icing repeats. Then you may call in for professional help.

What Is The Difference Between Condenser Coil And Evaporator Coil?

Air conditioner evaporator that is dirty from dust, try in the air, soft focus image.

The evaporator coil and condenser coil are total opposites of one another. An evaporator coil removes heat and humidity from indoor air to chill it. In contrast, the condenser coil extracts the heat and clears it outside.

The evaporator coil is found in the air handler of the cooling system. And the condenser coil is positioned at the back of the condenser fins.

5 Most Recommended Evaporator Coil Cleaners

Here are some of the best coil cleaners you should check to prolong the lifespan of your evaporator coil.

Leak Saver HVAC Guys - Foam Blaster

Click here to see this evaporator coil cleaner on Amazon.

This foam blaster is Amazon's Choice. It has a neutral citrus scent and effectively cleans dirty coils and restores their efficiency. It is designed for all cooling units and used by HVAC professionals.

Key Features:

  • HVAC Professional Formula
  • Powerful Active Expanding Foam Action
  • For Evaporators (No-Rinse) And Condensers
  • Designed For All Cooling Equipment

Nu-Calgon 4171-75 Evap Foam Coil Cleaner

Click here to see this evaporator coil cleaner on Amazon. 

The Nu-Calgon Evap Foam coil cleaner is Amazon's Best Seller. It has a delightful lemon scent which helps deodorize an area. This coil cleaner can liquefy dirt, grease, oil, and other residues easily and quickly.

Key Features:

  • Made with special surfactants and alkaline cleaner
  • NSF registered aerosol product
  • Self-rinsing and fast-breaking foam
  • Fortified with corrosion inhibitors

QwikProducts No Rinse Coil Cleaner

Click here to see this evaporator coil cleaner on Amazon.

This product is an all-purpose coil cleaner that helps remove odors and leave behind a pleasant lemon scent. This foam coil cleaner instantly cleans and helps increase the life of your AC unit. 

Key Features:

  • Industrial strength cleaner
  • Convenient self-rinsing design
  • Removes dirt, dust, grease, and oil
  • A perfect choice for residential and industrial use

DIVERSITECH PRO-GREEN Professional Strength Coil Cleaner

Click here to see this evaporator coil cleaner on Amazon.

The Diversitech Pro-Green is Amazon's choice for cleaning deposits from the evaporator coil. It leaves the indoor coil smelling fresh and clean.

Key Features:

  • It prevents build-up and pan overflow
  • Self-rinsing with condensate
  • Climate Pledge Friendly
  • Non-toxic, non-corrosive, and non-fuming

BOAO AC Evaporator / Condenser Cleaning Brush And Fin Comb

Click here to see this evaporator coil cleaner on Amazon.

The BOAO bundle contains two pieces of coil fin cleaning brushes. This product's metal fin material is more durable and practical than a plastic fin comb's. 

Key Features:

  • It has a cleaning combination
  • Has multiple uses
  • Very easy and safe to use on products
  • Flexible enough not to damage the fins of the coil

At Its Finest

Used Coil or evaporator part of central air conditioner on white background.

Now that you're pretty knowledgeable about the basic things regarding evaporator coils, it's time to set things in motion. Maintain and regularly check your AC system to prevent damage to your coils. Proper care also prolongs the life of evaporator coils, so do it vigilantly.

Have you decided after reading our simple guide on replacing an evaporator coil? You can try doing the replacement yourself or hire a professional. Just think things through and do what makes you feel confident and better.

Have you enjoyed this post? Then do check out these articles about cleaning AC coils and evaporator coils:

How To Clean An Air Conditioner Coils

How To Clean Evaporator Coils On Central Air Conditioner


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