Jul 11 2014

If you’ve noticed ice on your evaporator coils, you may wonder whether there’s a serious problem or whether you can ignore the condition. There may be simple issues that can be corrected without assistance. However, you don’t want to ignore the ice as there may be a more serious problem that could result in system damage. Some preliminary diagnostics will enable you to make a decision about calling for AC service.

Troubleshooting Frozen Evaporator Coils

Make sure that your system is off so that the ice has time to melt. This may take some time if you have a lot of ice on your coils. As you wait, you can check a couple of simple issues. Verify that your air filter isn’t excessively dirty, and make a change if it is warranted. Check your thermostat batteries as well, installing fresh batteries if the existing ones are weak. Once the ice has melted, you can turn the equipment on again, checking regularly to see if ice forms again.

You should also check the movement of air at your registers. If air isn’t coming out, you may have a blower issue that needs to be fixed. If air pressure is weak, your evaporator coils may need to be cleaned. This may be confirmed if you noticed a thick layer of dirt or grime on the coils when you saw the ice. If you suspect these problems or if more ice develops, you will need to call a contractor for AC service.

Why Is the Ice There?

Ice forms when the condensed moisture in your air handler becomes too cold. Normally, your refrigerant draws heat from the air in the unit, keeping the temperature of the coils warm enough for the moisture to collect and drip away. However, poor air movement can affect this heat exchange so that the coil temperatures are too low. Low refrigerant levels or a layer of dirt on the evaporator unit can also result in frozen condensate liquids.

Your blower moves air out of the handler and through the ducts, facilitating effective heat transfer in the unit. It can malfunction if its motor or other parts wear out. A lack of air movement at your registers is a good indication of this problem, and air conditioning repair is needed. Weak air movement may result from poor blower performance, blocked evaporator coils or a dirty filter. Electronic components can also fail, affecting the blower. A thermostat problem could result in short cycling, another issue that may contribute to frozen AC. If cold air doesn’t move out of the unit, coil and refrigerant temperatures can remain too cold and cause ice formation.

Scheduling AC Service

If your troubleshooting efforts haven’t resolved your frozen coil issues, you can call the office of Watley Heating & Air Conditioning for service in the Phenix City, AL, area. We offer 24-7 AC repairs in emergency situations. Call our office to ask questions or schedule an appointment.