It may seem like a good thing to have your air conditioner ice over on a hot day. Unfortunately, the exact opposite is true. Air conditioner ice is symptom of a serious issue in the system, one that will need to be corrected before it can be restored to proper operation.
If your air conditioner is frozen over, read on to find out more about why it happens and what you can do to deal with it.
The Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil is the part of your air conditioner responsible for evaporating refrigerant. We could go into exhausting detail about how it works, but the long and the short of it is that it is a key part of your air conditioner’s operation. The coil relies on the flow of warm air from the ducts in order to operate properly. That makes it a problem when something like a clogged air filter or a damaged air handler cuts off most of the air flow from reaching the coil.
Without the constant influx of warm air to maintain the balance, the air around the coil itself will get colder and colder. Eventually, it will get so cold that the condensate that naturally forms on the coil itself will freeze, icing it over. An iced-over coil will lose all access to the warm air it needs to function, preventing the air conditioner from cooling properly. That’s not the only consequence of a frozen coil, though.
While the ice on the coil may be limited to preventing the air conditioner from cooling at first, eventually it can spread down the refrigerant line to other parts of the system. This can include parts like the compressor, which will break down if liquid refrigerant makes it into the system because the coil couldn’t evaporate it all. The more you let ice spread down the system, the more parts of the air conditioner will break and the more you’re going to have to pay to repair it. For this reason, it’s best that you call for repairs as soon as you notice ice on your air conditioner. The faster you can have the ice cleared away, and the root problem repaired, the better off your system will be.
As with any air conditioning issue, it’s best that you call for repairs even if you’re not entirely sure that the problem is a threat to your system. It’s much, much better to have a technician check it out, just to be safe, than it is to ignore a problem that could actually end up being quite serious. No sense in having to pay more in repair costs when you can just be cautious and risk a few false alarms, you know?