What’s Causing Ice to Form on My Air Conditioner?

ice-on-evaporator-coilIf we were to ask you where you expect to see ice, you’d probably say on the streets during one of our chilly winters, or in your freezer. These answers make sense! What doesn’t make sense is seeing ice forming on your air conditioner. Perhaps you’ve never thought about this, and maybe the first time you see it you’ll think it’s normal, because after all, an air conditioner cools, right?

The problem is, ice is not a normal part of the cooling process. In fact, seeing it on your air conditioner is a sign of something going wrong within your system, and it needs to be fixed by a pro. Removing the ice on your own can damage it further plus not get to the root of the problem causing the ice. Therefore, your next step should be to call our team for professional Southern Vermont air conditioning services.

In the meantime, read on to learn more about this problem and what it means for your cooling system.

What It Means to Have Ice On Your Air Conditioner

When any ice starts forming in or on your air conditioner, it’s a sign that the system is in need of some type of repair. Ice develops when, for whatever reason (we’ll get into the possible reasons below), your air conditioner’s refrigerant supply is unable to absorb heat in the way it’s meant to.

The Reasons You May See Ice Forming on Your Air Conditioner

It’s important, first, to understand the basics of how an air conditioner operates. Your air conditioner actually removes heat from your home, drawing hot air into the system and expelling it outdoors.

Air is returned to your system from outside, and the hot air blows over a component called the evaporator coil. This coil is what houses the refrigerant that makes the cooling process possible. The refrigerant in the evaporator coil absorbs the heat and cools it down. Ice can form when something disrupts this process, such as:

Dirty Air Filters: The air filter within your HVAC systems is in place to protect those systems from dirt, dust, and other debris that can get inside and damage the system’s sensitive components. If the air filter gets too clogged up, then your air conditioner can’t draw in enough of the air from inside your home. Without enough heated air to absorb, the evaporator coil gets too cold, and ice forms.

A Dirty Evaporator Coil: Over time, the evaporator coil can get coated with dust and grime. Of course, we make sure this is cleaned off during your routine professional maintenance sessions. However, if maintenance is skipped or you just haven’t scheduled it yet for this year, that dust and grime can prevent the refrigerant inside from absorbing heat, and therefore lead to ice development.

As we mentioned above, ice should not be removed by you. First off, chipping away at or trying to thaw ice can damage the evaporator coil more, plus this doesn’t address the actual root of the problem. This is a job to be left to the pros!

Contact HB Energy Solutions for all your energy needs. HB Energy Solutions delivers peace of mind.

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