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Our Guide to Ice on an AC’s Coil

We want to start off by saying that customers should never assume that their air conditioner is using ice to cool their home. Ice is not a part of the cooling process, and it’s really inefficient. It takes a whole lot of energy and water to create ice, and even then, ice is only good at cooling a small object or space; it’s never going to efficiently cool an entire home like an air conditioner is supposed to do.

So, with this in mind, if there’s ice growing on the coil of an AC, this signals the need for repair. Any customers, readers, or just other homeowners out there who stumble on this blog, keep reading to learn about how ice growing on an AC can be a problem. For more information, or to schedule an air conditioner repair in Scarsdale, NY, call our team at the number listed or click on our link to get in touch with a specialist.

How the Ice Forms

Ice forms on an air conditioner when the temperature internally drops too low. While it could form for a number of different reasons, none of them are good or reasons to ever be excited about spotting ice on the coil of an air conditioner. In truth, ice forms when there’s a hiccup in the cooling cycle and the refrigerant can’t accurately cool down the air to send it through the ductwork in a home. Refrigerant can keep cycling over and over again, getting cold and colder with each cycle, eventually causing temperatures to lower so much that any moisture in the air that condenses immediately freezes along the coil. This is bad.

Ice Is Never a Good Sign

Ice is never a good sign, even on the hottest days of the year. If there’s ice in a drink or a frozen treat, then we’d argue the opposite, but for air conditioning technology, ice spells disaster. As we mentioned above, if there’s ice on an air conditioner, that means the system is not functioning as it should and it could lead to either high energy bills, poor comfort, or a system breakdown in the near future.

3 Causes of Ice on the Coils

Here are three simple causes for ice on the coils. Remember, ice could form for other reasons as well, and only a trained professional can diagnose the problem properly.

  • Clogged air filter. If an air filter is clogged up, air won’t be able to easily circulate through the HVAC system. This means that air can stagnate, and as it cools, it will continue to cool until it gets to below-freezing temperatures. This is never good, because that cold air won’t be getting into the areas where homeowners should be able to feel it!
  • Refrigerant leak. With less refrigerant in the system due to a leak, it will not be able to absorb heat properly and will start supercooling the air inside of the system as the unit tries to compensate.
  • Broken blower fan. If the blower fan can’t take the air from inside the system and blow it through the air ducts, then the air is going to continue to get colder until it freezes water into ice.

Call Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators to invest in proper AC repairs by a professional team.

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