If ice begins to form on the evaporator coil or on other parts of your AC unit, it’s a sign that your machine isn’t functioning optimally.
Even minimal freezing shouldn’t be ignored, as the ice is likely to thicken and spread to other components of the machine.
Here are three troubleshooting tips for dealing with ice buildup on your air conditioner.
1.) Replace the Air Filter
Ice buildup on AC units is typically caused by problems with airflow. A sufficient flow of warm, humid air is needed to prevent the condensation on the evaporator coil from turning to ice.
A dirty air filter is the most common cause of airflow issues. If there’s ice buildup on your evaporator coil and you haven’t changed your filter in several months, this is likely where the issue lies. Check the filter and change it if it’s caked with dirt and debris.
2.) Look for Other Airflow Problems
Airflow issues can also be due to closed or blocked vents or return air grilles. Ensure that all the vents and grilles for your air conditioning system are open and unobstructed.
Some other potential culprits are the blower motor and the evaporator coil. Both a damaged blower motor and a dirty evaporator coil can restrict airflow and cause ice buildup.
You may be able to spot these issues by inspecting the unit but you’ll have to call in an HVAC specialist to remedy the problem.
3.) Have the Refrigerant Levels Checked
When airflow is normal, very often the problem is with the refrigerant. Leaks or low levels of refrigerant lead to pressure drops in the unit’s evaporator coil. This, in turn, causes moisture on the coil to freeze. This is another circumstance in which you’ll need to call in a technician to assist with rectifying the situation.
Defrost Your Machine Before Maintenance
Once you’ve identified the issue, make sure to defrost your machine. Switch it off and wait for all the ice to melt. However, don’t expect all the water to flow down neatly into the drain pan. There will probably be some overflow, so put down old towels to avoid water damage to the floor.
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