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How to Prevent Ice Accumulation on Your Air Conditioning Unit

ice accumulation

Almost all homeowners in Azle, Texas, would agree that summers in the Lone Star State can be unbearably hot. On the warmest days, even a drink with ice in a glass doesn’t stay cool for long. Even during the cooling periods, it is possible for Azle homeowners to find ice on their air conditioning unit. Ice accumulation on air conditioners is not uncommon. You can prevent ice accumulation on your air conditioning unit with regular maintenance that will prevent mechanical failure, keep refrigerant at the right levels, and keep your system clean.

What Causes Ice to Form on Your Air Conditioner?

Usually, ice accumulation is a sign of an issue with your unit. One common cause of ice buildup is insufficient airflow over the unit’s evaporator coils. Reduced airflow, often the result of clogged and dirty air filters, causes the temperature of the evaporator coil to drop below freezing. Condensation collects on the evaporator coils and freezes.

Another common cause of ice buildup is insufficient refrigerant. If the refrigerant level falls below what’s recommended by the manufacturer, the evaporator coil’s temperature will drop below freezing. High humidity in the air surrounding the evaporator coils can also lead to ice accumulation.

Prevent Ice Accumulation on Your Air Conditioner

If you’ve dealt with ice accumulation on your air conditioner in the past, you know the importance of taking preventive action to make sure the problem doesn’t occur again. You can do this by:

  • Ensuring sufficient airflow across the evaporator coils of the air conditioner. Since the evaporator coils are responsible for removing heat and moisture from the indoor air, improper airflow over the evaporator coil can encourage ice to accumulate.
  • Replacing your air filter as recommended. A common cause of restricted airflow to the evaporator coils is a dirty air filter. Most basic filters need to be replaced monthly.
  • Scheduling regular maintenance during which your technician will check the refrigerant level. The refrigerant levels for your air conditioner should be high enough to prevent ice accumulation on your air conditioning unit. Lack of refrigerant can cause the unit to freeze due to low pressure within the system.
  • Keeping in mind that air conditioners function best within a specific range of temperatures. In general, if you run your air conditioner when the air outside is below 62 degrees, you can expect the pressure within the unit to drop and ice to accumulate. As a result, you should set your thermostat correctly so that this pressure drop doesn’t occur, especially when you’re on vacation.
  • Being vigilant and monitoring your system to prevent mechanical failures. Listen for strange sounds or a change in performance, for example. An out-of-balance blower fan or clogged filter dryer can change the pressure within the system and cause ice accumulation. Your HVAC technician will detect signs of problems during the preventive maintenance visit.

Getting Rid of Ice on Your Air Conditioner

If you find ice on your air conditioning unit, try replacing the air filter. If correcting the air filter doesn’t work, contact a member of our service department as soon as possible. You want to preserve your air conditioning unit, and the longer you let the problem go unsolved, the more likely your unit will suffer irreparable damage, resulting in the need for a replacement.

Once you’ve solved the problem of ice accumulation on your air conditioner, continue to check the unit for ice buildups periodically. Don’t forget to schedule annual maintenance so our HVAC technicians can keep your unit in top shape.

While it’s not unusual to see ice accumulation on your air conditioning unit, if it does happen, you shouldn’t ignore it. For more information about the causes of ice buildup on your air conditioner and to find effective solutions, call Airwise Heating and Air Conditioning today at (817) 444-0090. Our experienced and knowledgeable HVAC technicians are waiting to assist you.

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