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Why Is There Ice on My Air Conditioner?

We’re still experiencing warm weather in the Catawba valley, so your AC unit won’t be getting a long break just yet. This constant use can cause a common, yet frustrating, HVAC problem for Hickory homeowners: Ice buildup on the air conditioner. What causes it, and how can you fix it? Canella Heating & Air Conditioning has the answers.

Leaking refrigerant in Hickory, NC

In our last blog, we mentioned that refrigerant is meant to be recycled, never fully consumed. Therefore, your HVAC system should never run out of refrigerant; if it does, you have a leak. But why is a refrigerant leak such a big deal? Well, aside from the cost of recharging your system, low refrigerant levels can result in ice forming on your AC unit. Low refrigerant reduces pressure, making the evaporator coil much colder than usual. When humid air comes in contact with the coil, the moisture freezes and turns to ice. When this happens, you’ll notice that your home doesn’t feel as cool as it should, and the air conditioner may shut down.

Low airflow

Refrigerant leaks aren’t the only causes of frozen evaporator coils. Improper airflow can also cause ice to form on your AC unit. Without steady airflow, the evaporator coil will continue to drop in temperature until it is completely frozen. Reduced airflow can be attributed to various different issues. If your home’s air vents are blocked or closed, airflow will suffer. Also, a malfunctioning blower motor won’t be able to maintain healthy airflow. Finally, a clogged air filter will kill airflow and is the HVAC system’s worst enemy.

How to elimintate ice on the air conditioner

Fortunately, this isn’t a permanent problem. Make sure to change your air filter at least once a month. In addition, be sure to leave all air registers in your home open, no matter which room they’re in. If you have a refrigerant leak, a broken blower motor, or a dirty evaporator coil, you’ll need professional HVAC service. If you can’t seem to keep ice from forming on your AC unit, call Canella Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll identify the source of the problem and keep your air conditioner running smooth and efficiently.

Call or click Canella today for reliable HVAC service in Hickory, NC!


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