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No, Ice Appearing on Your Air Conditioner Is Not Normal!

Posted on: May 16, 2016

One of the more common misunderstandings people have about air conditioners is that the presence of ice is a regular part of how they operate. This is simply not true! Your home’s air conditioner doesn’t use ice during any part of the process of cooling down the indoor air. It uses the circulation of refrigerant to remove heat from the air around a coil inside your house. A blower sends air past this coil, sending the cooled air into the rest of the house.

So what is ice doing on my air conditioner?

Whatever the reason that it’s there, it isn’t good. Usually, when ice begins to form on the evaporator coil (the indoor coil) of your AC, you must call in repair technicians right away to find out what’s wrong and have it fixed.

Here are some of the possibilities:

  • Refrigerant leak: Leaks along the refrigerant line can allow gaseous refrigerant in the system to escape. When this happens, the evaporator coil will remain too cold because it won’t be able to absorb enough heat. The extra chill turns moisture on the coil to ice. Low refrigerant puts the entire AC at risk of a breakdown, and the problem must be remedied as soon as possible.
  • Clogged air filter: If the air filter in an air conditioner isn’t changed on a regular basis, it will choke off airflow into the system. Lack of warm air moving across the cold evaporator coil will cause it to frost over, making the AC less efficient at its job.
  • Grime on the evaporator coil: An air conditioner must receive routine maintenance to keep its evaporator coil clean. A layer of dirt, dust, or other grime across it will serve as an insulator against heat absorption. This will again trigger the development of ice and the restriction of the AC’s ability to cool the air.

This is part is very important: don’t try to scrape the ice off! The coil must be specially defrosted, and professionals will also need to trace the original source of the problem. Only call on HVAC technicians when you need help with ice on your air conditioner.

Bud Matthews Services is here for all your home service needs in Durham, NC. Contact us any time of the day or night when you need repair work with your air conditioner.

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“Many heartfelt thanks to the people I talked with on the phone late this afternoon who were concerned enough to send Pat over to check on our frozen pipes and dripping shower. Pat was so kind and professional and fixed...”

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We recognize that our services are of a special and often emergency nature, and we remain fully committed to fulfilling the needs of our community even as potential demand for our services may increase with more families either choosing to or being required to remain home for extended periods of time. More importantly, the safety of our employees and customers is always our highest priority, and we recognize that heightened diligence and focus on health and safety is required during these challenging times. We are actively monitoring updates from the CDC, WHO and local health officials; and we have been proactively and continually implementing measures and developing plans to prioritize the health and well-being of our employees and customers. Including:

  • Equipping all technicians with masks, gloves, and disinfectants.
  • Social distancing – Avoid handshakes and limit direct contact with customers during their visit.
  • Requiring technicians to clean all surfaces with disinfectants before and after performing work.
  • Requiring all employees to stay home if they are experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing or fever.