We greatly depend on our air conditioner during the hot summer months. Summers in Southern Nevada are intense and when the air conditioner develops a problem or fails, we notice immediately. Our home and business will become very warm very quickly. When noticing the rising temperatures you may decide to investigate the problem only to discover ice on your air conditioner. Ice forming on the air conditioner can be due to a number of different problems. Hal Mechanical will walk through some of the common reasons why an air conditioner will freeze and help you troubleshoot this problem.
Low Refrigerant Levels
Ice will form on an air conditioner when the refrigerant levels are low. Low refrigerant can only mean a leak. The refrigerant recycles itself which means you should never run low simply due to use. When the refrigerant is low there is a leak somewhere within the air conditioning system. Some of the common sites for refrigerant leaks to develop are the evaporator or in the condenser. The leak must be located and then repaired. A licensed air conditioner technician must be the one to repair and recharge the refrigerant.
Faulty AC Wiring
If you notice the home might be getting too cold or the air conditioner has been running for a long period of time, this can result in ice developing on the air conditioner. When the air conditioner runs for long periods of time or won’t shut off, the air conditioner unit will get cold and cold to the point the condensation will freeze. The ice forms simply because the air conditioner is running too long, which may be the result of an electrical problem. The electrical contacts can fail which triggers the air conditioner to turn on and off. If the contacts are stuck to the “on” setting, the air conditioner will run constantly which will cause the ice to form. You may need to have the electrical system inspected to find the problem.
Dirty Air Conditioner
A dirty air conditioner leads to air flow restriction which then will cause the air conditioner to ice up. There are two major areas where the air conditioner can become so dirty that the air flow will become restricted. One is the air filters which sit between the air vents inside the home and the air conditioner. When the air is sucked out of the home and into the air conditioner, all of the dirt and particles are captured in the air filter. Once the filter becomes compacted with dirt, the air flow will become restricted which will cause longer cooling cycle. The air conditioner will become very cold allowing ice to form. The second major source of air flow restriction is dirty evaporator coils. The evaporator coil will develop condensation which allows dirt and other particles to collect on the coils. When the coils become dirty, then again the air flow will become restricted resulting in longer running cycles that form ice. If the coils are dirty, seek a professional HVAC technician to clean the coils as they are easily damaged. As the homeowner, make sure to change out your air filters often to ensure a healthy air conditioner.