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Kool Breeze of Northwest Florida, Inc Blog

“Is It Ever Okay to See Ice on My AC System?”

The short answer to this is, “no.” But, we will elaborate in a bit!


Given how much we rely on our air conditioners here in Florida, it makes sense that you want to ensure yours is working as effectively and efficiently as possible.

If you believe the misconception that it’s okay to see ice developing on your air conditioner, however, then your AC isn’t operating as it should. We get it—air conditioners produce cold so it may only seem natural that components could freeze over. However, this is a sign of something going amiss within your cooling system and it requires immediate attention. We provide exceptional AC services, and in the meantime, you can keep reading below to discover why ice develops and what to do about it.

It’s All About the Evaporator Coil

If you do see ice developing on your air conditioner, it’s probably on your evaporator coil. This component is where your AC system’s air handler blows return air over, and refrigerant runs through. This refrigerant absorbs the air’s heat, and as a result, the temperature of the return air is lowered, and the cooled air is sent back into your home.

In addition to cooling your home, your air conditioner has some natural dehumidification properties, which means it pulls moisture from the air. This moisture, known as condensation, settles on the evaporator coil and can in fact freeze over. This creates a problem, since that ice ironically insulates the coil and prevents it from doing its job properly.

How Does This Happen?

As we mentioned above, condensation from the air collects on the evaporator coil and can freeze, but how does this actually happen? It could be due to:

  • Airflow Issues: This is just one potential cause of a frozen evaporator coil. A clogged air filter, leaky ductwork, or even a blocked air register can cause airflow resistance. If there isn’t enough return air blowing over the coil, it won’t have enough heat to absorb, therefore running the risk of freezing over.
  • Dirt or Grime on the Coil: When is the last time you scheduled an air conditioning maintenance tune-up? This service should be performed on at least an annual basis. During this session, our pros fully inspect and clean your entire system, including the evaporator coil. This keeps it free of obstructions so it’s less likely to freeze over.
  • Refrigerant Leak: Upon installation, your air conditioning system is supplied with enough refrigerant to last it’s entire lifespan, ideally. If your air conditioner is losing refrigerant, it means you’re experiencing a leak. When this occurs, the cooling process is hindered because heat cannot be fully absorbed from the indoor air, which can cause the evaporator coil to freeze over, and can create other serious problems too.

“So, What Do I Do If I See Ice?”

Don’t try to remove it on your own! This can end up doing more harm than good, unfortunately. You might accidentally dent your coil or dislodge something in or on the air conditioner. Removing the ice doesn’t get rid of the problem that caused the ice buildup, either. If you notice ice developing on your cooling system, the best thing you can do is call our pros so we can assess the situation and advise you on the next best step.

Kool Breeze of Northwest Florida, Inc. is your local, trusted resource for quality air conditioning services. Contact us today!

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