What looks stranger on a boiling hot summer day than an air conditioning unit covered in ice? Sounds like a sci-fi scene, but actually it can and does happen; and it always means there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. There are several causes for this bizarre scene or as it is referred to, in the HVAC world, an A/C freeze-up.Insufficient Air Flow- Anything that restricts air flow can cause the temperature of your systems’s evaporator coil to drop below freezing. Humidity in the air, which is abundant in muggy summer months, will collect on the coil and result in ice forming and building up. This will diminish the system’s ability to cool. So, what can restrict air flow? Dirty air filters, collapsed, obstructed and undersized ducts, damaged blower motors and dirt build-up on the evaporator coil are all causes of restricted air flow.
Refrigerant Problems- Refrigerant leaks or low levels of refrigerant can cause pressure drops in your air conditioner’s evaporator coil. This will allow moisture in the air to freeze and accumulate on the coil.
Outdoor Temperature- If you are running your air conditioner in temperatures that are below 60 degrees, your system will not operate properly and freeze-ups can happen. This is more common in areas where there is a big fluctuation in day-time and night-time temperatures.
If you notice ice on your air conditioner, the problem needs to be addressed immediately. If you allow ice to continue to build-up, it can cause permanent damage. When you see ice, turn off your air conditioner and allow it to defrost. Once the ice is melted, check for a dirty filter or remove any visible dirt that is causing an air flow obstruction. This may fix the situation. If not, give MTB Heating and Air a call. We will send a technician out to assess your problem and make the necessary repairs to prevent a future ice build-up.
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