Perhaps it has happened to you.
Your air conditioning system works fine for years. Then, suddenly, it stops cooling and you become concerned it may need an AC repair service . Maybe you’re a little handy and you check out the system yourself. So, you pull the access door off the indoor air handler and find a big block of ice.
There's your problem but what is the solution?
Read on to discover the 2 most common causes of a frozen coil:
In case it makes you feel any better, this happens a lot here in Florida and especially in New Port Richey.
Common cause 1) Blocked or restricted air flow
The coil inside your indoor section is called the evaporator coil. This coil acts like a radiator in your automobile except that it contains very cold refrigerant that is circulated from the compressor within your outdoor section, also known as the condensing unit.
If the airflow over this coil from the indoor fan is not kept at a certain minimum volume, this refrigerant reaches the freezing point due to a lack of heat absorption from the passing air. The next step is a big, frozen block of ice encases the coil itself.
This further prevents even the limited air from moving across the open fins and makes the problem even worse, sometimes leading to a very expensive compressor failure. And 99% of the time, this reduced air volume is caused by a VERY dirty filter.
Other times the filter has become dislodged and has been pulled up onto the coil where the air is restricted or redirected around the coil.
So what can you, Mrs. Homeowner, do about this? First, pull the filter and check it. If it is dirty, either clean or replace it. If it is dislodged, try to see why it became dislodged. Many times the filter got so dirty that it was just pushed out of place by the restriction it caused.
Other times it is not sized properly or was not re-inserted correctly after the last cleaning or replacement. These problems are very simple to fix yourself once you determine what caused the filter to become a restriction to the airflow.
The culprit is usually a dirty air filter and this is a simple problem to prevent.
How to de-ice a frozen indoor cooling coil
Simply shut the air conditioning system off and disconnect the power supply by either shutting off the breaker or flipping the shut-off switch placed right near most units today. Next, let the system defrost for an hour or two. If you are in a hurry, you can use a handheld hair dryer to speed up the process.
Once the ice has all melted, either clean or replace the filter (depending on the type you have). Then, restore the power and turn the system back to cooling and all should be good.
Common cause 2) Refrigerant leaks
This one is of much greater concern. Your A/C system is designed to operate within a given range of pressure and when a leak occurs, the pressure drops and ice begins to form on the coil. This problem, unfortunately, requires skill, training, and proper tools to repair. If it turns out the filter was not the problem, call your A/C repair expert and have them diagnose the leak.
Leaks can be very tough to isolate and even tougher to repair. If your system is less than 10 years old, chances are you have a 10 year warranty on all parts. You will have to cover the A/C contractor’s labor but the part may be covered by the manufacturer.
Your AC contractor can simply run the system serial numbers (which are on the equipment) and tell you for sure the status of your warranty.
Helpful hint – Not all technicians will alert you as to warranty possibilities so be sure to ask them to run the serial numbers and check. A system still within warranty can save you a ton of money when you have a major failure.
If you live in the New Port Richey area and need an A/C repair, call us for award winning service today