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Is Ice on My Air Conditioner a Sign of Trouble?

service-timeUnfortunately, yes. Yes, it is. At no point should your air conditioner be generating ice. It is not a freezer. While some people may see ice on an air conditioner and assume that it just means that the system is running too effectively, the fact of the matter is that ice on your air conditioner does mean that something is wrong. It also means that something could be seriously wrong. On the other hand, it may not be that serious of a problem, but something you still need to fix right away.

In the following post, we’ve got a few tips to help you determine the extent of the issue. At least one problem you can resolve on your own. If you’re not sure what the issue is, though, or if the issue is serious, then you really do need to contact a member of our team right away. This is not a problem that you can just ignore, and doing so could result in the need for serious air conditioning repairs in Canton, GA.

You May Just Need to Change Your Air Filter

Let’s start with the best case scenario. How diligent are you in changing your air filter as recommended by the manufacturer? If the answer is “not very,” then you may have the answer to this mysterious condition right there. But how could a dirty air filter cause ice to form on an air conditioner? The answer to that question lies in the restriction of airflow.

The way that your air conditioner cools your home is through the evaporation of refrigerant. Specifically, refrigerant evaporates in the (not-so-cleverly-named) evaporator coil. As it evaporates, the refrigerant draws heat out of the air surrounding the coil. Then the refrigerant travels outside to the (equally-on-the-nose-named) condenser coil. As the refrigerant is condensed, its heat is dispersed into the air surrounding it.

If the air filter in your air conditioner is very dirty, then the evaporator coil won’t be able to remove a sufficient amount of heat due to restricted airflow. That allows the coil to get much colder than it should. The fact that the coil is also where much condensation collects means that this condensation — the result of humidity pulled from the air — can freeze on the coil. Thus, you have ice developing due to a dirty filter.

You May Also Have a Refrigerant Leak

(Cue dramatic music.) Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. If you pull out your air filter, hoping to resolve this problem with ease, only to see that the filter is clean, then you may actually have a refrigerant leak! In that case, you really, really need to schedule professional service promplty.

If there is not enough refrigerant in the system, then the coil can get too cold. Refrigerant is not consumed in an AC, but is instead recycled over and over. That means that low levels are almost certainly the result of a leak — though the system could have been improperly charged to begin with. (Though not if we installed the system.) If you have a refrigerant leak, it must be located, sealed up, and the refrigerant recharged.

Contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC 7 days a week for a personalized response for your needs. If we don’t have the answer, we will find it for you!

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