Having a properly functional AC at your home or office happens to be a pleasure. A competent unit can help you negotiate with sultry summers. Thus, you would try to keep the AC unit in proper shape.
It’s upsetting indeed to find ice accumulating on the external side of your outdoor AC unit. In case you face such a situation, it makes sense to figure out the trouble. Experienced professionals at reputed companies like Hurliman often assist their clients in detecting and fixing the issue. You can visit here for more information: https://www.hurlimanheating.com/blog/2022/may/how-do-i-keep-my-air-conditioner-from-freezing-u/
In this article, we have discussed the common reasons leading to the formation of ice outside your AC. We have also recommended some measures to help prevent ice on the external unit.
How does an AC unit freeze?
The outdoor unit of your AC has refrigerant circulating through it while functioning. In the process, the refrigerant converts to liquid from gas. Eventually, it makes its way through the evaporator coil. The unit has a fan that circulates the air in the evaporator. The exchange of thermal energy takes place with the air surrounding it. The refrigerant converts to vapor from liquid, and the heat in the surrounding air gets removed. This is how you get cool air in your interiors.
The refrigerant vapor returns to its liquid form due to the functioning of the condenser. This releases the heat and the fluid turns into a cool gas when it exits the evaporator. The process keeps repeating when it gets back to the condenser.
Now, your AC unit can develop ice when the condenser coil evaporator’s temperature drops below the freezing point. This issue might stem from a refrigerant leak, low refrigerant, clogged air filters, faulty wiring, broken fans, or dirty coils.
Factors leading to ice in your AC unit
Check out the key reasons leading to ice in your AC unit.
1. Low airflow over evaporator coils
The evaporator coil is responsible for holding the refrigerant. This fluid absorbs the heat from the surrounding air. The return vents pull the warm air, which passes over the evaporator coil. The presence of refrigerant inside the AC pipes removes the heat which travels outside through the condenser. The ducts and vents recirculate the cold air in your home.
However, refrigerant fails to do this job when there is a restriction in the flow of warm air over the coils. The system struggles to balance the cold refrigerant due to inadequate warm air. Thus, the pipes might develop ice due to the lack of enough heat to balance this.
The evaporator coils can have restricted airflow due to several factors.
- Dirty air filters
- Blocked air vents
- Dirty evaporator coils
- Leaky air ducts
- Blower fan problems
How to resolve this issue?
- Inspect the air vets responsible for pushing air into space. Also, check the return vents that function by pulling the air back. These vents should not have any sort of obstruction or dirt.
- Inspect the air filter to ensure that it remains clean. This way, the air would easily flow through the system. The air filters are present inside the return vents. So, you would be able to see the filter on opening the vent cover. In case you find a layer of brown dirt, simply replace it.
- Next, have a look at the blower fan for your AC. Check the thermostat controlling the AC unit. It would be in the ‘Cool’ mode, and you need to switch it ‘Off’. After locating the fan controls, put the fan to ‘On’ from ‘Auto’. Once you switch your fan on, the system would blow air even without the AC On the cooling mode. This helps the warm air to pass over the evaporator coil, eventually defrosting the pipes. Let the system operate in this mode for four hours and then turn the AC mode to ‘Cool’.
By now, the ice on the pipes should have disappeared. However, if they continue to bother you, hire an authentic HVAC company to fix the issue.
2. Low level of refrigerant
Low levels of refrigerant in your AC can lead to the presence of ice on the outdoor unit. Due to a drop in the refrigerant level, a scarcity of fluid would counterbalance the humid or warm air that blows over the coils. The lack of warmth can freeze the moisture in the humid air on the coils.
Your AC has a system of pipes that encloses the refrigerant. It recirculates while remaining in the evaporator coil. This implies that you need to maintain a constant fluid level. With a low level of refrigerant, there might be a leak in the coil.
In case there’s a refrigerant leak in your AC, you will find the following signs.
- High energy bills
- Inadequate cooling
- Hissing sound from the pipes in the outdoor unit
How to resolve this issue?
No matter what triggers the refrigerant leak, you need to work with a professional company to fix the issue. Only professional technicians can safely handle chemicals like refrigerants. Once you reach out to them, the experts will repair the lines.
3. Damaged components
Like all machines, ACs can have damaged or broken components. So, a broken blower motor blocked drain, or tangled refrigerant line can cause excess ice to form. To reduce the chances of this damage, hire professional HVAC experts during the spring and fall to have the system properly inspected.
If there’s ice outside your AC, you can easily detect the issue. Ignoring the problem can lead to expensive issues, so make sure to hire an HVAC expert at the earliest. Experienced professionals can help you troubleshoot such problems seamlessly. This explains why most domestic and commercial AC users count on established professionals to remove ice from their AC. In some cases, the ice might even accumulate indoors. It would be wise to work with the experts to keep your unit in proper functional condition.