Since air conditioning systems blow out chilled air, many homeowners are not necessarily surprised when they see ice forming along the coils. They tend to think that it’s normal and that once the AC cycles off, the ice will simply melt away and fall into the drip pan below. This is a detrimental assumption to make, however.
Ice should never appear on your air conditioner. If it does, then there is something seriously wrong with your air conditioner. The ice won’t go away permanently if you remove it yourself—and in fact that can be harmful to your system anyway. The ice development will actually increase if the underlying problem is not taken care of. As long as ice is present, your AC system will suffer a reduction in cooling power. So what’s the underlying issue?
Clogged Air Filter
This is one of the most common reasons that evaporator coils freeze over. Your system’s air filter is designed to protect the interior of the AC system’s cabinet from debris. If enough debris builds up, then it will essentially choke off the airflow to the evaporator coil, leaving it with insufficient heat to warm up the refrigerant inside it. This cold causes the moisture along the coil to freeze, and the ice further blocks heat absorption, causing more ice.
Grime and Debris Along the Coil
If too much dirt infiltrates the cabinet of the air conditioner—often a result of lack of routine maintenance—then it will coat the evaporator coil and insulate it from properly absorbing heat. This, in turn, will trigger the growth of ice as the coil remains too cold. Cleaning the coil on your own is not a good idea, and can further damage your AC system.
Upon installation, your AC system was supplied with enough refrigerant to last through its entire life cycle. So if you are losing refrigerant, it means that you have a harmful leak, and that your evaporator coil will lose its heat absorption capabilities. The remaining refrigerant in the coil will stay cold, and the freezing process will start as it would with a dirty coil or a clogged filter. Low refrigerant causes damage to the compressor, and if the compressor fails it’s very likely your whole system will need replacement.
Therefore, it’s important to be quick when you notice ice developing on the coil, and give the professionals a call.
When you are in need of professional air conditioning repairs in Destin, FL, trust the experts at Kool Breeze of Northwest Florida, Inc.