Educational Articles & Latest News

What Does Ice on an Air Conditioner Mean?

 

thermostat-going-redIn certain parts of the country, there is still snow on the ground (or even in the forecast!). In other parts of the country, signs of warmer weather are becoming more apparent, though the real hot temperatures are still a ways off. Here in Arizona, though, we’re already seeing temperatures in the upper 70’s, or even the mid to high 80’s!. Our air conditioning systems often get a much earlier start than those in other areas, which is exactly why it is so important that you have yours tuned up and ready for action sooner rather than later.

Now, routine air conditioning maintenance is definitely the best way to keep your AC up and running properly. The truth of the matter, though, is that even the best air conditioners that are the most diligently maintained are not going to function 100% reliably. No mechanical system will. The best thing to do is to learn the warning signs of problems, so that you can schedule prompt air conditioning repairs. One issue that you may encounter is ice building up on your system.

Ice on the Evaporator Coil

You may not have much cause for checking in on your evaporator coil. However, it is actually very beneficial to do so every now and then. You may not feel comfortable cleaning your evaporator coil on your own — which is something that we are happy to do for you — but peeking into that air handler from time to time means that you can catch signs of icing over early on.

Your evaporator coil is the point at which refrigerant is evaporated, hence the name. The evaporation of your refrigerant allows for the removal of heat from the air within your home. If there is ice on your evaporator coil, then it will impede this process, causing your system to overwork itself in trying to cool your home. That is why it’s a problem — but what causes the icing?

If it is your evaporator coil that’s iced over, it could be something as simple as a dirty air filter. You could also have blower fan problems. How does  this cause icing? By restricting airflow. If there is not enough hot air moving over the evaporator coil, then the coil can get too cold. When that happens, the condensation that collects 0n the coil before being drained down the condensate drain/pan assembly can freeze over. The thicker the ice gets, the more insulated the coil, so this is something of a self-perpetuating problem.

BONUS PRO-TIP!

Air conditioners do not use water in their operation (other than swamp coolers, which don’t use a refrigerant cycle). If you have a central AC or heat pump, and see water surrounding your indoor unit, it could be ice melting off of your evaporator coil.

Ice on the Condenser Unit/Refrigerant Lines

If you have ice on your outdoor unit, you’d probably be surprised considering just how hot the air outside is. Obviously, this is an abnormality. Ice on the outdoor unit, along with frost or ice on the refrigerant line themselves, will generally indicate a refrigerant leak. Basically, having too little refrigerant in the system is going to lead to issues with the heat transfer process, which can cause this icing. You may also have a refrigerant leak if your evaporator coil is iced over, though it’s not as immediately obvious and would likely be accompanied by these other points icing over.

Allowing your system to run when it’s icing over can lead to serious strain on your AC, particularly on your compressor. With weather as hot as ours, that is just inviting catastrophe to your system. Don’t let your system overheat and burn out. Contact us to have the problem resolved immediately.

Goettl Air Conditioning is here for all of your air conditioning service needs.

Related Expert Center Articles

Qualities to Look for in Commercial HVAC Repair Services

  During a long, hot summer in Southern Arizona, a powerful air conditioner is essential for the success of any business. With the amount of strain that you will place on your company’s AC during the summer months, you need to have the number of an excellent Tucson, AZ commercial HVAC repair service handy should something go wrong with your cooling. You’ll also need to keep them in mind for the rest of the year, should you also need work for your heater. But what separates a good comm...

Don’t Forget to Schedule Heating Maintenance

  The temperature around here during the daytime hours is still pretty warm, although, at night, things are getting noticeably cooler. Sure, we’re hanging around the mid-60’s for the most part right now, but it won’t be long before temps in the 50’s, and even the 40’s, are commonplace. Our mild winters do not mean that you can overlook the need for professional heating maintenance in Phoenix, AZ. Before our nights get any colder, you should dial our number and schedule routine h...

Thermostat Tips for a Better Cooling Performance

  There are a lot of different components in your home cooling system, but not a single one do you interact with more directly than your thermostat. It is your thermostat, after all, through which you communicate with your air conditioning system in order to regulate its performance. Because of this, it is absolutely necessary to ensure that you are using your thermostat in Phoenix, AZ as successfully as possible. While you may not think of a thermostat as being very complex, the fact of t...

  • See what our customers say about The Goettl Way.

    I have been with Goettl Air in Tucson for years and have always had complete confidence in their maintenance service. The technicians are knowledgeable and pleasant, on time, and work in an efficient and timely manner. They explain what they are doing and will make recommendations if a repair is warranted. I have purchased several preventive parts and find that my yearly inspections have been great — with little or no repair in the past years. I do like the option of a yearly maintenance contract. Having yearly maintenance keeps my furnace and air conditioner running efficiently. I would definitely recommend Goettl Air Conditioning.

    JESSICA R

  • See what our customers say about The Goettl Way.

    I have been with Goettl Air in Tucson for years and have always had complete confidence in their maintenance service. The technicians are knowledgeable and pleasant, on time, and work in an efficient and timely manner. They explain what they are doing and will make recommendations if a repair is warranted. I have purchased several preventive parts and find that my yearly inspections have been great — with little or no repair in the past years. I do like the option of a yearly maintenance contract. Having yearly maintenance keeps my furnace and air conditioner running efficiently. I would definitely recommend Goettl Air Conditioning.

    PAM

Related Educational Articles & Latest News

Born in the Southwest and quickly growing to provide Goettlized home environments throughout the nation.

View Locations