So you’ve noticed that your AC unit has frozen all over and it’s not doing much cooling and all it’s doing is building up more ice and you have no idea what could be causing that? With the haste, you checked on to the indoor unit and it’s all covered in ice.
There are numerous reasons for having an air conditioner’s icing up and not blowing the freezing breeze and in today’s read, I’m going to make sure you know all those reasons.
#1 Clogged or very dirty air filter causing insufficient air flow across the AC’s evaporator coil
During our inspection for investment properties, we came across cases where AC is not blowing cold air and instead the evaporator coil is frozen up. In most of such cases, the culprit is the dirty air filter. We always recommend homeowners to regularly clean or replace air filters as and when required. These dirty air filters actually restrict the flow of cold air causing it to build up inside the air conditioner and lower the internal temperature.
Air conditioners require a proper supply of airflow to keep the cold coil warm. Thus, with the ambient supply of warm air from your home, the coil would have stayed cold and its temperature would be above freezing. But with dirty air filters, there is no way for the warm air to get in and work itself with the cold coil causing the ice buildup on the evaporator coil.
In addition to the problem of ice buildup, these faulty air filters can substantially increase the energy consumption by about 15 % thereby increasing your energy bills. The dirty filters also contribute to unhealthy air and inadequate heating/cooling.
#2 dirty and grimy AC coils
The second most common cause of icing in your AC is those dusty and dirty AC coils. In order to pump cool air into your home and drawing warm air out effectively, the coils should be free of any dust, dirt or debris. Such grimy and dirty AC coils can increase your energy bills up to 30% as it reduces the heat transfer work efficiency and put a strain on the air conditioning unit.
So it is always recommended to have a thorough cleanup of AC coils once a year. Besides this, you should also look for the dirty filters because these filters should block dust and dirt from reaching the coils inside.
#3 Your AC is Low on Refrigerant charge
Split air conditioner – the most common type – drops the house temperature by taking the heat from it and transferring it to outside. This work is performed by a special chemical called refrigerant. The refrigerant or more specifically Freon absorbs the heat from the inside of your home and throw it outdoors.
The temperature and pressure of the refrigerant correlate in a way that if one goes up the other goes up and if one goes down the other goes down. So, If the refrigerant level drops in your evaporator coil, the pressure would be dropped and so does its temperature.
This is a serious concern than the other two I described prior. If you continue running your air conditioner without any repair the ice would travel outside and to the compressor as well. So if you’re stuck in such a scenario it is recommended that you turn off your air conditioner and turn your fan setting on the thermostat from auto to “On”.
With this, your furnace fan would be working to melt the ice buildup and it can take a day or two depending on the amount of the ice you have on the AC coils. After that, you can give a call for an AC expert who can put his master hands on your AC unit.
Can I do-it-myself way?
Well, there is so much technicities and difficulties involved while handling such annoying trouble. These issues are not exactly a do-it-yourself kind of project and you should seek help from an AC expert who has the skills and license to use the right tools in the right way without hurting anyone.