Why Does Ice form on AC units?

Whether you live in a warmer or cooler climate, ice on your AC unit can happen to anyone. Dealing with ice on your air conditioner doesn’t quite classify as fun — but it’s certainly one of those things that’s better to deal with early on.

Ice on your unit can happen for a variety of reasons but if you know what to look for, you can spot the problem and take care of it before it becomes a larger issue. From restricted airflow to coil cabinet sweating, let’s take a deeper dive into your icy air conditioner and see what the freezing fuss is all about.

Causes

There are several things that can lead to ice forming on your AC unit — and if you’re wondering what causes this problem, you’re not alone! Restricted airflow is a common cause of freezing and happens when your AC doesn’t breathe in enough air. When this occurs, the evaporator coil gets too cold and ices over.

Low refrigerant levels are another problem that will lead to the formation of ice on your unit. Refringent is a special chemical that allows your AC unit to absorb heat from your home and transfer it outside. When you have a leak in your refringent, the pressure and temperature of your evaporator coils will drop and lead to freezing.

Ice can also come about due to restriction in the refrigerant circuit, which can be caused by something simple like a plugged filter drier, or something more complex like a blocked evaporator feeder tube.

 What to Look For

If you keep your eye open for some of the telltale signs of ice on your unit, you can catch the problem sooner (and then hire a professional to take care of it, if need be). Look for coil cabinet sweating, which will happen when the temperature decreases, ice on the refrigerant lines, and water near the unit. If you’ve spotted these things, it’s time to take care of your unit before a larger problem develops.

Recommendations

There are certain steps you can take for de-icing your unit. One of the simplest things to do is to check your air filter and make sure that airflow is not being restricted. Depending on the type of filter you have, you might need to clean it or change it if the filter appears to be dirty.

Remember that your AC unit has two circuit breakers — one on the outside and one on the inside. Check your breakers to see if they’re tripped. If they are, turn them off and then reset them. Remember, breakers trip for safety reasons, so if this happens again, it’s wise to contact a professional.

To prevent freezing and help regulate temperatures, you can also put your AC unit in heating mode in the summer and cooling mode in the winter.

Rest assured, if you can’t prevent or solve this problem on your own, Air Authority is here to help. Whether you’re dealing with ice on your unit or something else, we’ll be happy to serve you.

Feel free to reach out to us today — and from all of us at Air Authority, thanks for reading!