If you have ice forming on your air conditioner, that's not a good thing. During the heat wave we've been having when your air conditioner is running a lot, I know it's hard to believe, but your outside air conditioner unit or heat pump could be coated with solid ice.
A 'frozen' A/C system can make for a frustrating and uncomfortable day; it happens more than you think.
The buildup of ice and frost is a sure sign that your air conditioner is not operating properly. Air conditioner freeze-ups should be addressed immediately; continued ice accumulation can cause permanent damage to your a/c unit.
There are two fairly common reasons for homeowners to understand about the likely cause of the problem.
#1 - Blocked air flow from a dirty air filter.
When your home's air flow is restricted, there's not enough air moving through the air conditioning system to keep the moisture on the coil from freezing. Anything that restricts air flow will cause the temperature of the system’s evaporator coil to drop below freezing. Humidity in the air will collect on the coil causing ice to build-up and reduce the system’s cooling capacity. Dirty air filters or dirt build-up on the evaporator coil can seriously restrict the air flow.
The culprit is usually the air filter. Changing air filters on a regular basis is inexpensive but it delivers lots of benefit. If you'd like a friendly reminder you can sign up for our monthly email reminder.
#2 - Refrigerant Leaks: Leaks or low levels of refrigerant can cause pressure drops in the air conditioner’s evaporator coil, which will allow moisture in the air to freeze and accumulate on the coil.
Air conditioner ice up is a serious problem! If the evaporator coil turns into a 'block of ice', it prevents the heat transfer to occur within the evaporator. The block of ice is blocks the airflow through the evaporator coil. The cold Freon within the evaporator coil is supposed to absorb the heat and turn it to gas; which it is prevented from doing.
What To Do When Your Air Conditioner Freezes Up:
What should you do: Switch off the system so it can defrost but you can keep the fan running so it will defrost faster. Let it run for 60 to 90 minutes. Check your air filter and turn it back to "cool" and it should start working again.