Plumbing & Cooling Experts in Spring, TX

AC Tip: Ice Is Not Normal

During the hottest time of the year, you’ll be glad that your air conditioner is up and running at full blast. If you notice ice developing on your air conditioner, you may think that it is really cranking out the cooling power! However, we are here to inform you that ice on your air conditioner is actually never a good sign. Quite the opposite, really. Ice on your AC means that there is a problem, and it is not something that you should ever choose to ignore.

If you notice that there is ice on your indoor coil, there are a few different potential causes of the problem. Now, not all of these problems are very difficult to resolve, but each and every one of them will do damage to your system if you do not take the necessary steps for resolving the problem promptly. In at least one case, the damage done to your air conditioner in Spring, TX could be catastrophic.

What Causes the Buildup?

In order for ice to form on your air conditioning system, obviously, there has to be some water that can freeze up in the first place. As you probably realize, though, there is no water in an air conditioner. It’s simply not a part of the cooling process. So where does it come from?

The answer is condensation. As your air conditioner works to cool your home, it also has a dehumidifying effect on the air that it cools. This results in condensation that collects on the coil. When the evaporator coil gets colder than it should, it winds up freezing the water on the coil. This causes big problems. But why does the coil get too cold?

Cleanliness Is Key!

Now, we understand that scouring your air conditioner is probably not part of your routine cleaning process. However, you should definitely be changing the air filter regularly. If your air filter is too dirty, then it will restrict airflow over the coil in the system. When that happens, your air conditioner is going to struggle to draw enough heat out of the air. You will notice a weaker cooling performance, and the coil itself is going to get colder than it should. That cause the icing to start.

The same issue develops when the coil itself is dirty, which is why it is important to have it cleaned during routine maintenance. If there is a layer of dirt and grime on the coil, then it will be insulated by that layer and incapable of absorbing heat properly. The result? A cold coil covered in ice.

Now, these issues are serious, but can be resolved fairly easily by swapping out the filter or cleaning the coil. The ice on the system could also be the result of a refrigerant leak, though, and that is much more serious. Your air conditioner requires a certain amount of refrigerant to function properly, and it does not consume this refrigerant. That means that low refrigerant levels are the result of a leak. Failure to have that leak sealed and the system recharged can result in damage to the system — sometimes, damage that cannot be undone.

Schedule your AC services with Milton Frank Plumbing & Cooling.