Common AC Repairs: Ice on the Coil

September 20, 2023

Maintaining a clean and functional cooling system means enjoying the perfect indoor temperature at any time of the year, while issues that affect your AC’s efficiency can lead to poor cooling performance, higher monthly utility bills, and an increase in your system’s long-term risk for a major breakdown. If you see ice on your air conditioner’s evaporator coils, it can be easy to think that this is a sign that your air conditioner is performing well—however, ice formation is actually a sign of poor cooling efficiency that should be addressed immediately with the help of an AC repair professional in Columbus to restore your air conditioner’s ability to cool your home efficiently using less energy.

Ice Formation Due to Airflow Problems

The most common cause of ice formation is poor airflow through the system. When you AC filter has been left in place too long, it becomes clogged with the dirt and dust it’s meant to screen out. A clogged filter acts much more like a solid barrier than a screen, making it harder for your air conditioner to draw in air for cooling. This causes strain on the system, which increases the amount of energy it needs to cool your home. The added strain can also cause the air handler motor that moves air through your system to wear out prematurely; if the motor fails completely, it will bring your home’s cooling system to a halt until an AC repair professional replaces it. The easiest way to avoid this scenario is to change your air conditioner’s filter monthly and check with your HVAC service to ensure you’re using a filter that is compatible with your system. High-efficiency filters are meant to improve your air quality, but could end up reducing airflow through your system if the filter meshwork is too fine. If you do notice ice on your evaporator coil, change the filter immediately. If this solution doesn’t solve the problem, call a professional for AC repair—the entire system will likely need a complete cleaning and tune-up to restore efficient cooling without ice formation.

Ice Formation Due to Low Coolant Levels

Air conditioning systems use refrigerant to transport heat from the air inside your home to the air outside. Although your system should never lose coolant during normal function, loose fittings or damaged coolant lines can lead to leaks that reduce the amount of refrigerant present in your air conditioning system. As refrigerant levels drop, your air conditioner must work harder to provide cooling; you will likely notice a change in the temperature coming from your air registers as your air conditioner struggles to cool the air at all. Low coolant levels can also cause ice to form on the air conditioner’s evaporator coils—in this case, there is no home fix you can try before calling an AC repair professional. Only a professional can check for coolant leaks, repair damaged lines, and recharge your system with the right level of refrigerant to eliminate ice formation and restore cooling function. It’s important to schedule this type of repair promptly, as coolant leaks release refrigerant into the atmosphere that can be damaging to the environment.

If you find ice on your air conditioner’s coil, it’s a sure sign you need AC repair. Please visit our website to find out more about our comprehensive HVAC maintenance, repair, and replacement services in Columbus, Ohio, or click through our blog for more information about common heating and cooling issues and when to call in a professional.

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Last Updated: September 20, 2023