Ice, Ice, Baby, But Not Too Cold: Why Your AC Is Freezing And What Not To Do

Cold air coming from your home's air conditioner is always a good thing, so wouldn't it be natural for there to be ice accumulation inside the unit? In reality, no. If you spot ice buildup inside your AC, you could have major problems. As common as ice accumulation inside of a central residential cooling unit may be, a lot of property owners have no idea what to do when this kind of quandary occurs. Take a look at why your AC may be freezing, what you should not do to rectify the situation, and why it is better to call an air conditioning repair professional for help. 

Why Your AC Is Freezing 

To understand why your AC can have a buildup of ice inside, you have to first look at how the system works. To create that awesome cooled air that makes your home so comfortable, the general AC will force air over evaporator coil lines filled with really cold refrigerant. The air that passes through gets force-fed through your vents, and then the return vents pull warm, humid air back through the system. If there is too much moisture inside the AC, the moisture particles get trapped around the refrigerant lines. Why can this happen? Usually, the problem is that there is not enough warm air being fed back through the system to prevent freezing. 

What Not to Do with a Frozen Home AC 

It sounds like such a simple problem: you have ice in your AC. So, the general plan is to turn off the unit and try to remove the ice. As logical as that may sound, trying to manually remove the ice can cause problems. For example, if you jab at the ice chunks with a metal object, you could damage the metal coils of the evaporator, which can lead to: 

  • Refrigerant leaks 
  • A need for evaporator coil replacement 
  • Chunks of ice falling down into your AC's interior

Turning off the unit and allowing it to slowly thaw is the better plan. However, in this process, you also have to do something to capture the water as the ice thaws to avoid water damage.

Why Call an Air Conditioning Repair Pro for Help 

So, maybe a little ice doesn't look like such a big problem. But it is always best to contact an air conditioner repair pro for advice if you have this kind of issue. The ice may thaw, your system may still work, but there is an issue that needs to be tended to. Otherwise, you will end up with a frozen AC again in the near future. The AC repair technician can properly assess the system, find out where airflow is being impeded, and make the necessary adjustments.