Why Is Ice in My Air Conditioner a Bad Thing?

It’s the experience of almost any air conditioning repair contractor that ice along the coils of an AC is one of the least understood malfunctions a system can suffer. Homeowners often ignore the problem when it occurs because their minds connect the cold air coming from the air conditioner with ice, and assume the appearance of frost on the coils is a natural product of cooling. Even when they hear that it’s a serious repair need, it’s often hard to grasp exactly why ice on an air conditioner is such a threat to its operation.

We’ll break down the reason ice can develop along AC coils and why it requires professional repairs.  At Advantage Airtech Heating & Air Conditioning we have the experience necessary to remedy any air conditioner or heater malfunction.

Whenever you see frost along any section of your air conditioning in Ajax, ON, call the skilled repair technicians at Advantage Airtech to solve the problem.

Why ice may appear on an AC

The frost you see spreading across the evaporator coil (the indoor coil) on an air conditioning system is a symptom of a drop in the coil’s ability to absorb heat. The coil is responsible for removing heat from your indoor air, resulting in the cooler temperature you feel from the AC. The refrigerant inside the coil absorbs heat during evaporation, and then the refrigerant travels to the compressor and the outside coil where it releases heat.

If the refrigerant in the indoor coil is unable to absorb sufficient levels of heat, the cool temperature of the refrigerant will begin to freeze moisture along the coil, resulting in ice. The ice further blocks heat absorption, which will cause the icing problem to continue to grow. If the source of the problem is not fixed, the ice will eventually form a solid block over the evaporator coil and no heat exchange will take place… which means no cooling power.

There are two common reasons for lowered heat absorption along the coil. One is a loss of refrigerant because of leaks. This is what often confuses people: why should losing refrigerant make the coils colder? But refrigerant loss impairs heat absorption, and the remaining refrigerant is cold enough to freeze the moisture on the coil.

The other reason for the icing is dirty evaporator coils. Dirt and grime along the coil will reduce heat absorption, starting the downward cycle of ice across the coil.

What repairs can do

You can’t just scrape the ice off the coil to fix the problem: that doesn’t address the core issue. Technicians will need to either 1) find where refrigerant is leaking, seal the leak, and then recharge the refrigerant to its proper level; or 2) Remove the dirty coil and clean it so it can operate normally again. Sometimes they may need to do both: rely on their expertise to find the root cause.

Advantage Airtech has the skill required to de-ice your air conditioning in Ajax, ON, as well as any other repair needs it may have. Call us today.