Why Is Ice Forming on My Air Conditioner? (And What Should I Do About It?)

Your air conditioning has probably already started its long period of work that will last through the summer and into the fall. Make sure you keep a close watch on your system during these early days of spring so you can catch any malfunctions and have them repaired before the heavy Southern California summer weather begins.

One common AC trouble to look for is the forming of ice along the indoor unit, specifically the evaporator coils. This is not normal, and it almost always means the air conditioner is malfunctioning and will need professional repair service.

Why this is happening

There are a number of possibilities to explain why ice has started to form across the evaporator coils:

  • Loss of refrigerant: If a leak develops inside the refrigerant lines or in the connectors, the fixed charge of refrigerant will start to escape. This will lower heat absorption along the evaporator coils, and the remaining refrigerant will stay cold enough that it will cause water moisture on the coils to freeze.
  • Dirt on the evaporator coils: If grime develops along the evaporator coils, it will make it harder for the coils to absorb heat energy from the air. If the coils do not warm up, they will cause water vapor to form ice, and further block heat exchange.
  • Clogged air filter: When the air filter of an AC develops too much dust and dirt contamination, the lack of warm air entering the cabinet will trigger too much cooling power on the evaporator coils and cause ice to start to develop.

What you should do about it

First, change the air filter if it is clogged. This will help prevent the icing from growing worse if the clog was the reason the problem started originally.

Next, you need to call on an air conditioning repair specialist. Do not try to scrape off the ice! Not only will this not solve the root problem, such as lost refrigerant or dirty coils, it can lead to damage to the coils. A professional must defrost the coil and then clean it or seal refrigerant leaks and recharge the refrigerant level. The professional will also check the system to find out any other damage the icing may have caused.

For fast repair service for your air conditioning system in La Habra, CA, call on JC Mechanical Inc. We have emergency service available and will get the job done fast and right.

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