The evaporator coil is the upside down “V” shaped component that has a copper tube and thin metal blades along the sides. When you see ice covering the evaporator coil, the air conditioner is experiencing a major problem. Not only is the evaporator coil covered in ice, but the air conditioner will fail to create cool air for your home. When the evaporator coil ices up, you will need to determine what is going wrong and repair the air conditioner to restore your home’s cooling system. Hal Mechanical will cover some of the common reasons why the evaporator coils will ice up and how these problems are repaired.
Why is My Evaporator Coil Freezing Up
Cold Evaporator Coils – When the evaporator coil falls to 32 degrees, the water droplets of condensation that have built up around the coil will freeze. Over time, the ice will build up more and more until the entire evaporator coil system is covered in a coat of ice. The evaporator coils may drop temperature when there is an air flow restriction somewhere in the cooling system.
Low Refrigerant – If there is a refrigerant leak present in your cooling system, the low refrigerant can cause the evaporator coils to ice up. The refrigerant is designed to absorb the heat from the air. Without enough refrigerant, the cooled air gets trapped by the evaporator coil which in turn causes them to drop in temperature resulting in ice.
Failed Defrost Cycle – An air conditioning system has a defrost cycle that is designed to prevent frost from accumulating on the evaporator coils. The defrosting system sends the warm refrigerant back over through the evaporator coils which prevents ice from building up. If there is a malfunction in the defrosting system, this will result in the coils icing up.
How Do You Melt Ice on an Evaporator Coil?
When you discover ice on your evaporator coils, you will want to turn off your air conditioner. You will need to allow the ice to melt. By turning the air conditioner off, you will allow the coils to warm back up. While you wait for the ice to melt, check the air filters and see if they need to be changed. Dirty air filters can result in a frozen evaporator coil. Also check the condenser unit and make sure it has plenty of air flow as well. One the evaporator coil has fully melted, see if the evaporator coils are dirty. Sometimes dirty coils will prevent the refrigerant from absorbing the heat and the coil will ice up instead. If the condenser unit is clean, the air filters were not the problem or the evaporator coil did not need cleaning, contact a professional HVAC technician. You may have a refrigerant leak that will need to be repaired and the refrigerant will then be recharged. If the defrosting system malfunctioned, they will be able to determine why it happened and have it repaired.
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When your air conditioner has ice, know that it is never a good sign. If your air conditioner’s evaporator coils have iced up, or you are experiencing other HVAC problems, contact Hal Mechanical and schedule our services today.