Is Ice on My AC a Problem?

Yes, it absolutely is. Now, we understand why some homeowners may see ice on their central air conditioning systems and think that it simply means that their systems are working just a little too hard. Keep in mind, however, that your air conditioner is there to cool the air, not to generate sub-freezing temperatures. That is why ice on your air conditioner in Miami, FL is definitely cause for concern.

In this post, we are going to cover some of the reasons why ice may form on your AC, and how that ice is able to form. Not all causes of this problem are terribly serious — but at least one of them is. Plus, regardless of how serious the instigating problem may be, the results of the icing itself can have serious consequences for your home cooling system. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so ruling out an obvious quick fix, contact a professional to assess and service your AC as soon as possible. 

First of All: How?

What do you need to form ice? Just some cold conditions and water, right? Well, that still doesn’t make much sense. After all, your air conditioner should not be that cold — and it also doesn’t have any water running through it! So how does the ice form?

The water comes from the air, actually. Your air conditioner is no replacement for a whole-house dehumidifier, but it does have a dehumidifying effect on the air that runs over the evaporator coil and cools off. That results in condensation on the coil. When operating properly, your system just drains this condensate out of the house via the condensate drain assembly. So why might it freeze?

Your Coil Is too Cold, but Why?

There are a few reasons why your coil may get cold enough to freeze the condensation collected on it. First and foremost is a refrigerant leak, and this is the type of problem that only trained, professional AC repair technicians can handle. Your system does not consume refrigerant, so low levels mean you have a leak. This can seriously damage an air conditioner, irreparably so if given the chance, so always act fast to have the leak fixed and the refrigerant recharged.

You could also just have a cleanliness issue at hand. A very dirty air filter, for instance, could restrict airflow to the point that your system is unable to draw a sufficient amount of heat out of the air passing over the evaporator coil. Simply changing out your air filter should resolve the problem, if this is actually the case.

Your evaporator coil itself could be dirty, too. This is not a terribly complex problem, but letting a trained professional access the coil and clean it thoroughly will help to prevent damage to the system. When there is a layer of dirt and grime on your coil, it is not going to allow for proper heat transfer, and the ice is only going to insulate it further.

Schedule your air conditioning system services with One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating® of Miami.