Why Is There Ice on My AC?

AC-technician-at-workWhen the heat of summer is at its worst around here, and that is really saying something, you want your AC to be firing on all cylinders. In fact, you want your AC cooling your home so effectively that you may think that seeing ice develop on it is a good thing. After all, if the system is able to generate ice even when it is this hot out, it must really be cranking, right? Well, that may be true of an ice maker or a freezer, but your air conditioner in Paradise, NV is neither of these.

The fact of the matter is that, deceivingly, ice on your air conditioning system is a bad thing. Heat pumps are actually expected to ice up from time to time, and they have a defrost cycle to overcome the issue. A traditional split central AC should never develop ice, though. If you notice that your air conditioner is freezing up, there are a few things that you can check on your own. However, it could also be a sign of serious trouble, so contact us if you don’t see an obvious solution.

You May Just Have a Dirty Air Filter

We cannot stress this enough. You have to change your air filter regularlyThis is especially true when we are dealing with temperatures as hot as we’ve already been seeing this summer season. Why is this such a big deal? Because a very dirty air filter is going to create too much airflow resistance in your air conditioning system. Okay, you may be thinking, my system won’t blow air out of the ducts quite as forcefully. Is that really such a big deal?

This is not really the issue at hand — though struggling to distribute air does put a lot of strain on the AC. If your air conditioner is suffering from reduced airflow due to a very dirty air filter, then the evaporator coil is going to struggle to draw a sufficient amount of heat out of the system. This will cause the coil to get way too cold, and the condensation on that coil can freeze up as a result. The resulting ice is only going to serve to insulate the coil further, exacerbating the situation.

It Could Also Be a Refrigerant Leak

In terms of an icy coil, a dirty air filter is definitely your best case scenario. The likely alternative, particularly if you are seeing ice or frost on the outdoor unit/refrigerant lines as well, is a refrigerant leak. Why is this such a big deal? Well, continuing to run an AC that is leaking refrigerant — which low levels suggest, being as that the system does not consume this fluid — can effectively destroy your system.

Refrigerant is the key to your air conditioner’s ability to cool your property. It is the evaporation of refrigerant that allows your system to draw heat out of the air, and the condensing of that refrigerant that allows the system to vent its heat outdoors. If your air filter is clean and you’re seeing ice on your system, schedule professional air conditioning repairs with Goettl Air Conditioning immediately. 

G-O-E-T-T-L it’ll keep you cool but it’s hard to spell.