Your air conditioner is getting quite the workout this summer, right? But what if you’ve discovered that something is not quite right with its performance? You go out to check on the outside unit and discover there’s a layer of ice developing on the unit. You might think this is normal–after all an air conditioner chills the air, so isn’t it natural to see ice? But unfortunately, this belief can do some harm to your system and to your comfort.
Fortunately, you have the team here at Cool Care to help! Please give us a call before grabbing something to scrape off or thaw the ice. Attempting to remove the ice on your own can do more harm than good to the system, plus it doesn’t get to the root of the problem to actually resolve it.
Read on as we explain further, and give us a call when you need professional AC help!
Why You Don’t Want an Icy AC
As we mentioned above, sometimes homeowners will see ice developing on their AC system, typically on the coils, and think that it isn’t a problem. They might even suspect that it’s a sign their system is doing a good job and cooling the air. But unfortunately, this just isn’t the case.
A buildup of ice on the AC system’s coil is a sign of a problem. It may be caused by a couple of different things, which we’ll get to in a moment. But the end result is that it can, and will, harm your air conditioner if it’s not managed soon.
What Causes the Buildup of Ice on Your AC?
As we said, there could be a couple of different things that lead to ice developing on your air conditioner–specifically on the evaporator coil. Here are some of the problems, as examples:
- A Clogged Air Filter: The air filter that comes standard with your HVAC system is in place to protect that system from dust and other debris that can get in and harm the sensitive components of the system. When an air filter gets too clogged up, it restricts airflow, and as a result, there isn’t enough warm air traveling over the evaporator coil. Therefore, the refrigerant inside the evaporator coil cannot absorb enough warm air, and the coil freezes over as a result.
- A Dirty Evaporator Coil: Yes, unfortunately, dust and dirt can do a lot of harm to your air conditioner! If dirt and other debris are allowed to build up on the evaporator coil. Like the above-mentioned problem, this prevents the coil from actually being able to absorb enough heat.
- A Refrigerant Leak: Upon manufacturing, your air conditioner is supplied with enough refrigerant to last its entire lifespan. If your air conditioner is losing its refrigerant charge (“charge” is the term that we use to describe refrigerant levels) it means there is a leak that must be located and repaired. Otherwise, your system won’t have enough refrigerant in it for the evaporator coil to absorb heat, and, you guessed it, the coil will freeze over!