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6 Signs of a Failing AC Evaporator

Air Conditioner At Home In Living Room

The evaporator is an important component of your air conditioner and is mainly responsible for removing warm air from your home.

As a vital part of the AC system, a broken evaporator can cause serious problems in cooling performance and even total breakdown.

Fortunately, the evaporator will show signs of failure before it gives out entirely. Picking up on these signs should let you stay on top of the situation and provide much-needed repair before it reaches the breaking point.

  • An air conditioner’s evaporator removes warm air from your home.
  • If it’s failing, your AC might struggle to cool your space.
  • Other signs of a failing evaporator include strange smells, ice accumulating in your air conditioner, and a sharp increase in your electrical bills.
  • Most of the time, a failing evaporator will have to be replaced.
  • Always call an HVAC specialist for these repairs, and do not attempt a DIY fix.

The evaporator works to absorb heat from your space. As the refrigerant passes through the evaporator coils, the fan blows warm air over them to achieve heat transfer. The refrigerant then takes this warmth outside, where it expels the heat. Thus when the evaporator is damaged or failing, it could impair this core function.

6 Signs of a Failing Evaporator

Aluminum Fins Of Condenser For Air Conditioner

A failing evaporator coil isn’t necessarily broken but may be on its way there.

Because no one wants to deal with a completely damaged evaporator, keeping an eye out for the signs of failure may help prevent the component from breaking down completely.

Some of the signs of a failing evaporator include:

  • Warm air is blowing out of the air conditioner vent.
  • A strange smell, often sweet, emanates from your air conditioner.
  • Inconsistent cooling performance.
  • The compressor doesn’t turn on.
  • Ice forms throughout the air conditioner unit, particularly on the evaporator coils.
  • Increase your monthly electrical bills.

What Should You Do if Your AC Evaporator Is Failing?

Clean And Wash The Air Condition With The High Pressure Electric Pump

When you suspect your evaporator is failing, turn off your air conditioner and call an HVAC specialist.

Using your air conditioner during this delicate time can cause further damage to the evaporator and the other unit components that might compensate for the damage.

Most of the time, if an evaporator is broken, it will need total replacement.

If the damage has been left to persist for a long time, then your HVAC specialist may recommend replacing other parts affected by the failing evaporator’s performance.


While you might be able to find DIY tutorials on evaporator repair online, it’s strongly recommended that you avoid DIY fixes on your air conditioner.

Evaporators contain refrigerant — a dangerous substance that could cause serious health problems when improperly handled. Always call an HVAC specialist when your air conditioner needs repairs.


Unfortunately, a failing evaporator will most likely have to be replaced. But on the upside, keeping an eye on potential failure can save the rest of your air conditioner from damage and malfunction.

So if you notice any of these signs, act fast. Call your trusted HVAC specialist to repair your evaporator and keep the damage from creeping into other parts of your AC unit.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does AC Evaporator Replacement Cost?

The cost of AC evaporator replacement varies greatly depending on several factors. These include your location, the make and model of your air conditioner, and the available replacement parts.

Expect to pay anywhere between $600 to $2,000 for home AC evaporator replacement.

How Often Should You Have Your Air Conditioner Maintained and Serviced?

Proper maintenance and cleaning are the keys to preserving the different components of your air conditioner.

To keep your evaporator in good working condition recommended that you schedule your air conditioner for routine cleaning and maintenance.

According to experts, having it checked once a year can significantly extend its lifespan and prevent serious damage.

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