A common and expensive HVAC issue that often leads to system failure is coil corrosion. Frequently caused by environmental pollutants, corrosion is often sneaky and can take a long time to develop. By not regularly checking for coil corrosion or taking proper preventative measures, you could be setting yourself up for a hefty repair bill.
By knowing the effects of corrosion and how to avoid it in the first place, you can avoid unnecessary HVAC repair bills and keep your system running efficiently.
Types of Coil Corrosion
Pitting corrosion occurs after lengthy exposure to chloride or fluoride which is found in things like snow melt, detergents, paint strippers, and some cleaning products. When pitting corrision occurs, negative ions from the chloride or fluoride attack the protective coating of oxide film on the metal coils. This causes pits to form in the copper that can lead to refrigerant leak.
Formicary corrosion is caused by acetic and formic acids found in different materials including adhesives, silicone caulking, vinegar, or foam insulation. Formicary corrosion often leads to the development of small corroded tunnels inside the tubing. Once a tunnel reaches the copper’s surface, it creates a pinhole that also results in refrigerant leak.
Causes of Corrosion
Exposure to any products containing chloride, fluoride, or formic acid can lead to corrosion. However, exposure to everyday environmental pollutants can cause it as well. Location plays a huge role in the speed of coil corrosion as systems near laundry facilities or areas with heavy traffic tend to corrode faster. Corroding is also more likely around coastal areas due to the high volume of salt water in the air.
Preventing Coil Corrosion
The first step in preventing corrosion is to ensure ensure coils are cleaned every six months. Protective coatings will either slow down corrosion or prevent it in the first place. The main types of coil coatings are polyurethanes, epoxies, fluoropolymers, and silanes. An HVAC maintenance professional can help you choose the best coating for your specific system.
For more information on HVAC maintenance in the Orlando area, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).