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Ice and Your AC: Why This Is a Bad Combination


With temperatures cooling down, we’ve had a few mild days where it was possible to turn off our air conditioners for a bit. For the most part though, we’re still using them pretty frequently. As such, it’s important that they work as efficiently and effectively as possible. And if you see ice anywhere on that system then we have news–it’s not performing as efficiently and effectively as it should.

Fortunately, you need to only call our team to resolve this problem (no, you shouldn’t try to remove the ice on your own). Read on to learn why!

Why You Don’t Want To See Ice

There are times where folks see a buildup of ice on their AC coil and think that it isn’t a problem. They might even think that it’s a sign their system is doing a really great job. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case.

Any buildup of ice on your air conditioning system’s coil is the clear sign of a problem. It can be caused by more than one problem, actually! We’ll explain them in a moment. But the point is, ice can and will harm your air conditioner if it’s not professionally addressed.

What Causes Ice to Form on Your AC?

There is more than one potential underlying cause that can lead to ice formation on your cooling system, specifically on its evaporator coil. Read on as we uncover some of the problems this can indicate:

A clogged air filter: Yes, a buildup of dirt, dust, and other debris in your HVAC air filter can cause problems for your cooling system. This air filter is in place to protect the interior components of your HVAC system from that debris we just mentioned. But what happens is that homeowners often wait too long to change the air filter, and airflow is restricted.

When airflow is restricted, there isn’t enough air going over the evaporator coil for it to absorb. As a result of not being able to absorb enough heat, the coil freezes over.

A dirty evaporator coil: The problem of ice always comes back to one main AC component, the evaporator coil. If debris and grime are allowed to build up on the evaporator coil, it will keep it from being able to absorb enough heat to make it to the refrigerant.

This leads to the creation of ice on the coil like the above problem.

A refrigerant leak: Upon manufacturing, your air conditioner is supplied (charged) with enough refrigerant to ideally last its entire lifespan. If your system is losing refrigerant–which you’d notice by a lack of cooling or even a hissing noise–it means there is a leak that must be repaired. And if there is a leak, it means there is not enough refrigerant in the evaporator coil in the first place to absorb heat.

Therefore, the coil can get too cold and develop ice.

For quality and reliable AC repair in Evanston, IL, look no further than Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning. Contact us today!

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