As you start to use your air conditioner more and more often to keep cool, you may notice ice starting to form on the indoor unit. This is an indication of a serious problem, one that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Read on to find out more about why ice forms on your air conditioner, and what you need to do about it.
The Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil is the part of the air conditioner responsible for siphoning heat from the home. It does this by evaporating refrigerant inside itself, while warm air from the ducts is passed over it. Condensation is continually forming on the coil as the air is cooled past the dew point. Normally, the balance between the warm air and the cool air around the coil keeps the condensation in liquid form. If the flow of air is interrupted, as when the air filter becomes clogged or the air handler breaks, the temperature around the coil will drop below freezing. This causes the condensate to freeze.
A frozen evaporator coil is unable to pull heat from the air, which means your air conditioner output will drop considerably. If the ice isn’t cleaned off in time, the weight of it can warp the coil. You’ll have to replace the part if that happens. The ice can also spread down the refrigerant line to the compressor, causing it to freeze up and creating a full system breakdown. Though the problem may start small, air conditioner ice will quickly grow to threaten the entire system. That’s why you need to call for repairs as soon as you notice it on your unit.