Ice on Your AC: Good or Bad?

Our Busy Bees Make Happy Homes

HVAC Experts Since 2012

When the temperature is reaching double digits, seeing ice anywhere can feel like a breath of fresh air. Whether it’s in your drink or on your air conditioner, ice makes things cooler and more comfortable in the summer, right? Well, not exactly.

Ice in your drink or in your freezer is perfectly fine, because ice is supposed to be there. Ice in a drink helps keep it cold, and your freezer is designed to keep things frozen. However, your air conditioner isn’t designed to freeze anything, and if there’s ice growing on the coils, then you’ve likely got a serious problem.

Today’s blog post is devoted to one phenomenon in particular: ice on your air conditioner’s coils. We’re going to talk about why it forms and how you can get rid of it. Just remember that our team is here and ready to provide you with AC repairs in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

How Ice Forms on an AC

Your air conditioner is designed to cool the entirety of your home unless it’s a window unit (and in that case, we can’t really help you. It might be time to replace it). That means that it’s set up to cool 1,200 or even up to 3,000 square feet of space, which is even more intense if you think about the air volume that takes up that space. What we’re saying is that an AC is designed to cool a huge amount of space.

So, if the system works as intended to cool things down, but there’s a problem with the refrigerant or the airflow, it’s going to put all of that cooling power into a much smaller amount of space, which will cool things down more than they’re supposed to be. It’s common when there’s a problem to see an AC unit cool down to sub-freezing temperatures.

Then, when you mix the humidity in the air that’s condensing inside of the system with the sub-freezing temperatures that are now stuck there, you get ice!

Why Ice Is a Bad Sign

Ice is always a bad sign because it means that the cool air isn’t getting to where it should be, or that your AC is overcompensating trying to cool your home. If you see ice forming, you should know that you’re paying for the energy that’s used to create that ice, and it’s not contributing to the cooling effect of your home and comfort.

Causes of Ice Build-Up

Here are three reasons why ice might start to form:

  • Refrigerant leak. If the system isn’t cycling enough refrigerant, it might not properly push out the cooled air or release enough heat from the refrigerant, causing ice to form.
  • Clogged air filter. A clogged air filter can make it harder for your system to cycle air, which can make things stagnant and cold inside of the system.
  • Problems with the blower fan. If the blower fan can’t properly send the cooled air through your home, it’s going to get stuck inside the system and become freezing cold.

Notice ice on your coils? Call Busy Bee Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning Inc. for comprehensive repairs. 100% more than satisfied promise!

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