What Causes an Air Conditioner to Ice Up?

 

What Causes an Air Conditioner to Ice Up?

The sight of ice on an air conditioner unit may appear strange, but in fact it points to a common problem with HVAC systems. It occurs when an element of the condenser is not getting enough hot air coming in to keep the proper temperature, which leads to freezing. This problem forces an A/C system to work harder to cool, wasting energy and dragging down the comfort level. Here is how to handle an air conditioner icing up at home.

Causes of an A/C Icing Up

Air conditioners freeze because the temperature in the condensor’s evaporator coil has dropped too low. The intake should be receiving steamy air typical of Alpharetta in the summer and sending it outside your home. A/C units ice up when the flow of hot air has stopped. Instead of removing hot air from your home, the coils are transferring air that is too cold. At this point, ice forms and the unit starts dripping when the ice melts.

Dirty air filters are common culprits of poor airflow, but low-hanging curtains also cause problems, as do dirty coils and broken fans within the system. A lack of refrigerant is another possible issue. You may need to stop refrigerant from leaking to get your system back to normal. Though technicians check for these problems when performing regular maintenance, there are ways to address each problem with your A/C system as it arises.

Here Dan Jape of Reliable Heating & Air breaks it down simply what to do when you have ice on your air conditioner.

Fixing an Air Conditioner Freezing Up

Changing the air handler filter or return air filter may fix the problem. Turn off and unplug the A/C unit before changing a filter or attempting any other type of repair. Removing any obstruction to airflow (curtains, blinds, etc.) is another practical step for you to take when you find your A/C freezing. Other measures should be left for professionals to handle.

HVAC technicians will clean coils, replace dirty filters, repair any broken fans and clear vents to make sure the air conditioner is getting the right type of airflow in and out of the unit. In some cases, heating and cooling technicians will find refrigerant leaking or running on empty. They will fix the leak and restore refrigerant levels to normal.

A/C Damage and Wasted Energy

Whenever there is a mechanical problem with HVAC equipment, the system must work harder to deliver less than peak performance. This process wastes energy while putting added stress on the equipment. Over time, this extra strain shortens the life span of the system. Breakdowns of the compressor — a very expensive part — may also occur when the unit is freezing.

In the short term, you will end up paying higher energy costs. Faulty A/C equipment, leaking ducts and thermostats calling for cooler air in an empty home are common causes of wasted energy. Lowering your electric bill takes a comprehensive approach in different areas of your home. Your air conditioner is an obvious place to start in the summer.

Let Reliable Heating & Air technicians rid your A/C system of problems this summer. From regular maintenance packages to one-time fixes, Reliable’s cooling team is the answer to any A/C issue you may have.  

 

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