I have a problem with the evaporator on our central air system and am looking to understand what my options are, if any, besides total replacement.
I don't know much about how this works, but have been learning more as we try to solve this problem.
The house we are in was built in '91 and has boiler-based heat. So the forced air system is only used for cooling. In the basement mechanical room there is an air handler model# AH24A08A-3A. Outside is a Concept 10 unit, model#SCU10A24A-3B. The system pretty much works in the sense that it is keeping the house cool. However, we are getting a large amount of water at the bottom of the air handler.
What I see if i remove the cover panel from the air handler is that water is not running down the evaporator coil into the drain pan. Instead, water droplets form and then drop straight down into the open airspace and end up on the floor. They also soak our filter, which is below the evaporator coil.
The first tech that came out (from a company that has done other HVAC work for us in the past) simply said "I don't know why it would be doing that" and did not have a solution other than replacing the entire A/C system.
Before I bring another tech out for a second opinion, I would like to be a little more knowledgable on what to expect. Here are the questions I have:
1) Can the evaporator coil get dirty and possibly cause this problem? And if so, can it be cleaned by a professional? If so, is it as simple as some sort of cleaner that is sprayed on, or does it involve dismantling the evaporator unit?
2) Is there a way to professionally replace just the evaporator coil (or the whole inside air handling unit)? What I am learning is that we have a "R22" system and the new systems are "R410" and not compatible. However, there seems to be conflicting material that indicates R22 equipment is still available, or that new evaporators can work with both R22 & R410 systems.
3) Is this a problem that is so rare that it can't be easily diagnosed and resolved? I understand the equipment is old. I understand that laws have changed and new systems are more effecient, etc, etc. If I had a fat wallet with nothing else to spend money on then I'm sure replacing the entire system would be doable. Unfortunately that's not the case.
what should I ask (or expect to hear) before bringing someone else out to look at this problem?