Air ConditioningHave You Noticed Ice on Your Air Conditioner?

frost-and-iceThere are certain issues that you will immediately recognize as being potentially serious problems with your air conditioner. If, for instance, you notice that your air conditioner is blowing hot air into your home, that is a pretty clear cut sign that the system is not functioning properly. Would you immediately spring into action if you noticed that there was ice on your air conditioner, though? After all, the sole function of an air conditioner is to keep things cool, is it not?

While this may be true, at no point in its normal operation should an air conditioner be freezing anything. Ice developing on the air conditioner is definitely a sign of trouble. While your system may not break down entirely as the result of ice developing on it, serious problems can arise if you do not figure out why your system is icing over, and what you have to do about it. Leave your air conditioning repairs in Everett, WA to the pros on our staff, and enjoy a job done right.

Where Does the Ice Come From?

In order to have ice, you need to have water, right? This is the first point of confusion for many homeowners when it comes to understanding where the ice on their systems is coming from. After all, an air conditioning system does not utilize water in its operation the way that a radiant heating system will. Well, that is true, but the air conditioner itself is actually responsible for sourcing this water from the air running through it.

More specifically, your evaporator coil is responsible for this water’s presence. During the cooling process, refrigerant is evaporated in the evaporator coil. That evaporation is what allows for the air to be cooled, as the refrigerant draws heat out of the air as it evaporates. This also has a dehumidifying effect on the air — think of dew collecting on the grass on a sunny morning. The moisture condensates on the evaporator coil, and drips into a drain pan before being removed from your property by the condensate drain line.

But What Causes the Freezing?

Okay, you may be thinking, but that doesn’t explain how that condensation freezes? What causes this? There are a few potential answers to the question. The first is a refrigerant leak, and is the most serious of the problems that may lead to this kind of icing.

If there is not enough refrigerant in your air conditioning system due to a leak, then the evaporator coil will fail to absorb a sufficient amount of air from the system. When that happens, it will get so cold that it can cause the condensation on the coil to freeze. This further insulates the coil, which only serves to exacerbate the problem.

Another potential cause of the problem is a very dirty air filter. Obviously, this is a much simpler fix — in fact, go ahead and change it yourself! The filter may be cutting down airflow enough that the system isn’t able to pull enough heat from the air, and the end result can look the same as a refrigerant leak.

Contact G & S Heating Cooling & Electric to schedule your air conditioning services.

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