Austin Air Companie Blog : Archive for September, 2015


Sunday, September 6th, 2015

LOL this blog topic is going to be a good one. Simply because everyone these days enjoys playing “The Blame Game” in regards to air conditioning system failures and R-22 Freon or R410a Puron leaks. Step right up… you can play too….

First you have to realize what causes the majority of Freon leaks in your home HVAC system Evaporator coil. Building material manufacturer’s that use formaldehyde’s in their products, such as carpeting, wood flooring, cabinets and just about any home furnishing you can think of.

What’s the problem with formaldehyde? It seeps out into the air of the home and this air is drawn into the air return of your HVAC system and then some of it condenses with the air when it hits the evaporator coil and forms condensate waste water. This condensate waste water then drains into a pan and the evaporator coil sits in this pan. The formaldehyde becomes formicary acid and attacks the copper tubing of the coil this leads to small pin hole Freon leaks that are invisible to the naked eye. Formicary corrosion only effects copper tube evaporator coils. The only way to fix this type of leak is to replace the evaporator coil.

Many Air Conditioning manufacturer’s have switched to using all aluminum coils. However this isn’t a perfect solution as if the Evaporator coil is allowed to freeze due to improper maintenance (changing filters among other things) the aluminum can crack or tear causing Freon leaks.

Other problems that cause Freon leaks are… vibration, dissimilar metals contact, improper installation and or maintenance of the equipment, and other forms of corrosion such as:

Uniform Corrosion
General corrosion, or uniform corrosion, occurs in the solutions where pH is either very high or very low, or at high potentials in electrolytes with high chloride concentrations. In acidic (low pH) or alkaline (high pH) solutions, the aluminum oxide is unstable and thus non-protective.

Galvanic Corrosion
Economically, galvanic corrosion creates the largest number of corrosion problems for aluminum alloys. Galvanic corrosion, also known as dissimilar metal corrosion, occurs when aluminum is electrically connected to a more noble metal, and both are in contact with the same electrolyte.

Crevice Corrosion
Crevice corrosion requires the presence of a crevice, a salt water environment, oxygen (Fig. 1). The crevice can result from the overlap of two parts, or gap between a bolt and a structure. When aluminum is wetted with the saltwater and water enters the crevice, little happens initially. Over time, inside the crevice oxygen is consumed due to the dissolution and precipitation of aluminum.

The nature of the HVAC installation business is to get 3 quotes and then go with the cheapest bid of those three quotes. Many of these problems of HVAC equipment failures can be minimized by choosing a licensed HVAC contractor professional such as myself that does “ALL THE WORK”… but no, the HVAC industry would like you to believe in heavily advertised gimmicks that one AC brand is some how superior over another because of the name on the side of the unit regardless “who” puts the system in or works on it. I like to call this syndrome: “The invisible cost of being foolish.”

There is no perfect air conditioner, they all break at some point. But you magnify these kinds of problems even more in whom you choose to be your home comfort provider or AC repair man. The easy way out is to blame the HVAC manufacturer and while they could be blamed to a degree the amount of that blame in my opinion is in the realm of 5%.

How can I say this? As of 2015 I have installed over 7 different brands of air conditioning equipment with equipment failure rates less than 3%. If you put your trust in a name brand and a low, low price don’t expect a miracle. The flip side is a higher price with multiple hands or multiple techs that install the AC system. There’s an old saying that goes like this: “too many cooks in the kitchen, spoil the broth.” How do you suppose this ‘special broth’ relates to air conditioning installation problems?

There’s a reason you found this blog article. Please heed the warning and choose wisely.

The other part of the blame game not mentioned here is equipment bashing because of the brand name of a specific piece of air conditioning equipment. To this day this AC brand name bashing typically refers to the skill level of the HVAC company you are using. If an HVAC service company can’t fix “xyz” AC brand of course they will bash it, because there is no other way.

When considering the above comments of repairing ANY Air Conditioning Brand it is understood I am talking about AC systems that are less than 15 years old and / or worth repairing or fixing.

About the author of this post:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information you can always visit me on my main website @

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