Over the years, it’s safe to say that The Maynard Man has heard a lot… especially when it comes to assumptions that homeowners have about their air conditioners and the functionality of these systems. For example, homeowners sometimes think it’s safe to assume that ice is part of the cooling process so that when they see ice on their air conditioning systems, it isn’t a problem.
Unfortunately, this can be a disastrous assumption, as ice on an air conditioner is bad news! It actually means something is wrong with your air conditioner. Fortunately, The Maynard Man is here to help. Read on to better understand why ice isn’t part of the cooling process, what’s happening when you do see ice forming on the system, and what can be done about it!
Your AC Uses Refrigerant and Electricity, Not Ice
Air conditioners use electricity to fuel the system and allow the motors and other moving parts to operate, and refrigerant to transfer heat from inside your home outside. That same refrigerant goes through an evaporation process in order to cool down the heated air to return chilled air into your home via a series of ductwork.
Ice occurs when something disrupts this process…
How Ice Occurs
One of the few things that can disrupt the cooling process and cause ice to form is a fairly simple problem to fix–yourself, actually! And that’s a clogged-up air filter. Your air conditioner’s air filter is designed to keep dust, dirt, and other debris out of the air conditioner itself. When the air filter gets too clogged, it restricts airflow going into the system, which means there isn’t enough heat for the evaporator coil and the refrigerant inside of it to absorb.
As a result, the cold refrigerant will cause the condensation on the evaporator coil to freeze, and voila–ice!
Your air filter should be changed every 1-3 months during periods of HVAC use to avoid this problem and others.
The second most likely reason for ice to form on an air conditioner’s evaporator coil is there isn’t enough refrigerant inside of it. Refrigerant circulates through the evaporator coil to distribute the heat coming into it. Without enough refrigerant, the temperature of the evaporator coil itself will fall too low and will start freezing up.
These are the most likely culprits of ice development on your air conditioner, but not the only ones!
“What Do I Do? Can I Thaw or Chip It Away Myself?”
There are two reasons you shouldn’t try to thaw or remove the ice on your system yourself:
- You might actually do more harm than good and damage the system further.
- It doesn’t address the root of the problem, which can be one of the above-mentioned reasons or another reason altogether.
The best thing you can do for your air conditioner and your continued comfort is to give The Maynard Man a call. We’ll address the root of the problem and safely and effectively remove the ice without damaging your system or your property.