Spring is coming to an end, which means you’re probably already starting to use your air conditioner on an increasingly regular basis. As you start to use your air conditioner more often, you may start to notice ice forming on the inside unit. This is not a good sign, and is something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Read on to find out more about why air conditioner ice is such a bad thing.
How Your Air Conditioner Cools
Your air conditioner cools your home by using an evaporator coil, which evaporates refrigerant to siphon thermal energy from the air. The refrigerant gas is then condensed in the outside unit to vent the heat out of the home. While the system is operating, the air around the coil is constantly being cooled. This also causes condensation to form on the coil. If the flow of warm air over the coil is every interrupted, as happens with a broken air handler or clogged air filter, the condensate will freeze and form ice.
As the coil ices over, it will lose access to the warm air it needs to cool your home. Your air conditioner output will drop significantly as a result. The ice can also spread down the refrigerant line to other parts of the system, causing them to malfunction and break down.
If you want to keep your air conditioner from icing over this summer, you should have your air filter changed every few months. This prevents it from becoming clogged. You should also call for repairs if you ever hear a grinding sound coming from your air conditioner, as this tends to indicate a problem with the air handler. If the air handler breaks down, the flow of air stops and the coil will freeze.