The Maynard Man has seen just about everything when it comes to air conditioning systems. Whatever repair need a homeowner has, it’s one that we can manage!
So, let’s say you’ve noticed your air conditioner doesn’t seem to be providing the cooled air you expect. You go to investigate and you see something a bit strange: ice has formed on your air conditioner, probably on the evaporator coil.
Now, The Maynard Man gets it—many people think this is an okay sight. After all, your air conditioner chills air, right? Well … not quite, Read on as we uncover why ice is a problem and not something you should see on your AC system.
Iced-Over AC Coil = Bad News
“What? My air conditioner is just doing a really good job, right?”
This is what our customers tend to say when they see ice on their air conditioner’s evaporator coil. Unfortunately, though, it’s a misguided belief.
A buildup of ice anywhere on your air conditioner is a definite sign of a problem. It can be due to a couple of things, which we’ll explain in a second. But the end result of ice buildup is always the same: it will harm your air conditioner if it is not resolved.
And no, you cannot thaw the ice on your own. Even if you did, this would not resolve the root of the problem. So what is the root of the problem?
Potential Causes for Ice on Your AC
Surprisingly, one of the potential causes for ice on your air conditioner is a very preventable one, that you can resolve on your own—or at least ensure it never happens again. That’s a clogged air filter.
When there is too much dirt or debris buildup on the air filter, it restricts airflow, and therefore the amount of air that can reach your evaporator coil. Ironically, this means the evaporator can’t absorb heat, and therefore gets too cold, and that’s when ice forms.
Changing the air filter in your HVAC system is a task you can do on your own, and should be doing every 1–3 months depending on the type of filter and the level of contaminants in your home.
The same can happen if your evaporator coil has too much dirt and grime buildup on it. This isn’t something you can tackle on your own—cleaning the evaporator coil is an important part of professional AC maintenance. If it’s been a year or more since you’ve had a professional tune-up, now is the time to give us a call and get that on your schedule.
One last potential cause of a frozen evaporator coil is low refrigerant levels. Your air conditioner is charged with enough refrigerant upon manufacturing to last its entire lifespan. So if your system is losing any refrigerant, it means that there is a leak that must be repaired. If it’s not, it can cause your evaporator coil to malfunction and get too cold.