Regardless of outdoor conditions, ice can form on the air conditioner’s coils, often accompanied by issues such as no cool air coming out of the air handler — or warm air, if it’s switched to heating mode. In this blog post, Green Air Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. takes a look at its causes and the steps that can be taken to help get your air conditioner up and running again.
What Causes Icing on the AC Coils?
Refrigerant is the substance that allows air conditioning systems to generate cool (and warm) air. In its cooled state, refrigerant draws heat from the room while allowing fans in the indoor unit to blow cool air. Heat from the room is then transported as the refrigerant flows to the outdoor unit, where heat is vented through the outdoor coils. As the refrigerant cools back down, it flows back into the indoor unit, where the cycle begins anew. Air conditioners with heating functions, also known as heat pumps, have the capability to reverse this cycle, that is, heat from the outdoors is transported indoors.
Icing happens when the air conditioner is low on refrigerant. Since the coils can’t draw enough heat, it becomes too cold while still drawing humidity from the room, which later turns to ice on the coils. When the air conditioner is switched to heating mode, the reverse happens and ice forms on the outdoor coils. Additionally, dirty coils can also prevent the refrigerant from drawing and venting heat efficiently, which can also result in icing in the coils.
How to Fix Icing In the Coils
It’s important to note that icing is merely indicative of the real problems: low refrigerant levels and/or dirty coils. It’s also important to remember that continuing to use your air conditioner despite such problems can increase the strain on your system and may lead to a premature breakdown.
If you notice icing on your AC coils, turn off the air conditioner and set an appointment with your HVAC technician. The first thing HVAC contractors do is check the coils and clean them if they’re dirty. They will also test the refrigerant lines for leaks and fix it before recharging (that is, refilling the refrigerant) and adjusting the refrigerant line’s pressure. Your HVAC technician will ask you to turn on the AC and wait for several minutes until they’re sure that ice isn’t forming on the indoor and/or outdoor coils.
Work With a Local Professional
AC problems require a timely response, which is why it’s important to work with a local HVAC contractor. If your AC coils are iced up or if you have other AC-related problems, contact Green Air Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. in Concord, CA. Our team of qualified HVAC and solar installation technicians will be there to help. Contact us today at (925) 284-7336 to schedule a consultation.