Home Air Conditioning: Can the defrosting of the indoor coil cause water damage?
September 15, 2005 8:17 AM   Subscribe

Home Air Conditioning: Can the defrosting of the indoor coil cause water damage?

I have new CACH in my house, and stupidly forgot to change the air filter. Service poeple came out to repair it. The major charge for the visit was $90.00 to "defrost indoor coil". When I asked if that wasn't something that could have resolved itself, I was told that if left alone, it might have caused water damage. Can anyone verify if this is a factual statement?
posted by worstkidever to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Sure, its factual. And spilling a glass of water on the floor can cause water damage too. Or you could use a towel.

The quantity of water on a frozen coil is rarely very much in the scope of things because once it's over a cup or two of water the cooling is pretty much in the dumper and you notice it. If you think it could be the case you can look at the coil if it's visible or just turn the thing off for a bit and see if it start dripping in a few minutes.
posted by phearlez at 9:08 AM on September 15, 2005

Running the fan with the A/C off will unfreeze the coil and rather than let the water fall to the floor, for the most part it will just add it to the air in the house. If you were to mechanically heat the coil you might get a puddle on the floor depending upon how badly they were frozen, which I guess would have to be pretty badly to induce you to try such a stunt. The clogged filter leads to freezing by reducing the amount of air flow thus not warming the coils sufficiently with return air. Of course since less air gets cooled your thermostat keeps running the A/C etc. Now that your filters are clean you should be fine.
posted by caddis at 9:29 AM on September 15, 2005

If your coil inside is icing up it may indicate an undercharged system. Did they maybe add some refrigerant as well?
posted by Doohickie at 9:31 AM on September 15, 2005

There should be a "drip pan" to catch any condensation or melting ice. This pan should be piped to the outside of your house. If the pipe is clogged water could build up and overflow.
posted by sailormouth at 10:10 AM on September 15, 2005

Mitheral gave an explanation for the undercharged system problem in this thread about frosted refrigerators.
posted by Chuckles at 12:46 PM on September 15, 2005

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