You might have read this blog title and thought to yourself, “An AC cools, isn’t ice normal?”
Unfortunately, it definitely is not. Ice is never used in the cooling process, and is not an effective way to cool the home. Rather, electricity and refrigerant is used to pull heat out from your home, and blow cooled air from the refrigerant process back in through your vents.
If you do discover ice on your air conditioner, a.k.a a frozen air conditioner, it’s time to call The Maynard Man. But how do you know if your AC is, in fact, frozen? Read on!
Your AC Is Blowing Warm Air
This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s probably the first symptom you’ll notice of a frozen AC. The reason this happens is that the ice develops along the refrigerant coil and winds up insulating it. This insulated coil can’t absorb heat from inside your home, meaning the refrigerant process is disrupted.
You See Ice Development
As we mentioned above, ice is never normal on your air conditioner nor used in the cooling process. So seeing ice on your air conditioner is the sign of a clear problem. If you notice this problem, we urge you not to try removing the ice on your own, as this can cause further damage. Rather, shut off your AC and give us a call.
You See Water Dripping from Your AC
If you notice water dripping or pooling near your AC, it could be from a couple of factors. First off, it could indeed be from ice that is beginning to thaw and drip. Alternatively, it may be from an overflowing condensate pan allowing condensation out. Regardless of the cause, it’s best to call a pro.
How Does Ice Development Happen?
This is a reasonable question, considering we just said this isn’t a normal part of the cooling process. There are two primary reasons that ice may develop on your cooling system’s evaporator coils:
- There is a lack of airflow due to a clogged filter.
When your air conditioner’s filter is too clogged up with dust, dirt, and other debris, your system can’t effectively draw in enough air. That means there isn’t enough air going over the evaporator coils. As a result, the evaporator coil could fall below freezing due to the refrigerant inside, and ice then forms on the outside. As we stated above, this will lead to other problems as well, such as warm air coming from your vents.
- You have a low refrigerant charge.
A refrigerant charge is the refrigerant level within your AC. Upon manufacturing, the system is supplied with enough refrigerant to ideally last its entire lifespan. If your system loses refrigerant, it means there is a leak. Without enough of this fluid to distribute heat, the temperature of the evaporator coil reaches below zero and freezes over. Not only will the ice development cause problems, but so too will the refrigerant loss. Be sure to call a pro if you suspect this problem with your air conditioner!