Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

What Causes an AC to Ice Up?

air conditioner

When the heat of summer is at its peak, you are obviously going to want your air conditioner to be up to the challenge of cooling your home effectively and reliably. That being said, you should also realize that your air conditioner is not and should not be a freezer. If you see ice on the system, particularly on the evaporator coil in the indoor unit, your response should not be “wow, my system is really keeping things cool this year!”

The truth of the matter is that ice on your air conditioner suggests that there is a problem with your system. We’ll be discussing two such problems today. One is quite simple to resolve. It is actually one of those few air conditioning problems that you can resolve on your own. The other is much more serious, and puts your system at considerable risk. If this is the case, you’ll need air conditioning repair in Loveland, CO right away.


It Could Mean That You Have a Refrigerant Leak

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first and foremost. If your evaporator coil is iced over, particularly if you also notice frost or ice on the refrigerant lines themselves, then you could definitely have a refrigerant leak in your system. Refrigerant plays a vital role in the air conditioning process, so this type of leak could really spell trouble for your system—potentially very expensive trouble.

Your air conditioner doesn’t consume fuel to generate coolness in the way that a heater may consume fuel to generate heat—and it doesn’t consume refrigerant at all, period! If you have a low refrigerant charge, it means that you have a leak. It could have been improperly charged at the factory or by a technician during a dry install, but that’s far less likely.

Refrigerant evaporates in the evaporator coil, which allows heat to be drawn out of the air. If there isn’t enough refrigerant, then the coil can get too cold and condensation collected on it can freeze up. Having the leak sealed and the refrigerant charged to the proper level will resolve the issue.

You May Just Need a New Filter

Before you contact us with concerns about a refrigerant leak, you should check to make sure that your air filter is not just really dirty. It sounds strange, but this could actually be the cause of a frozen evaporator coil. How? Restricted airflow.

If airflow is sufficiently restricted, the coil will get too cold as too little heat is drawn out of the air. When that happens, you guessed it: condensation freezes on the coil. This is just one of the reasons why it is so important that you keep a fresh air filter in your air conditioning system. They’re cheap, they’re easy to swap out, and they really do make a difference! Don’t let a dirty filter cause problems for you.

Schedule your AC services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.Big enough to serve, small enough to care.


Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog