Ice Build Up on AC Unit: 5 Causes and Troubleshooting Tips

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When you have ice on your air conditioner, and the air coming from your unit is warm, then it indicates something in your unit has frozen due to a number of factors. In this article, we look through 5 of the common causes of ice buildup in your air conditioner, and how you can troubleshoot this problem.

Causes of Ice Buildup on Air Conditioner

Reason #1: Dirty Air Filter

Dirty air filters account as the cause of the majority of common air conditioner issues, including a frozen AC unit, or ice buildup in the air conditioner. The debris buildup in the filter cakes on a layer of dust that restricts air circulation, thereby effectively trapping the cooled air inside your air conditioner.

You'll notice your air conditioner is blowing warm air instead of cool air, and the AC unit may even overheat when the air filter is dirty. Cleaning the air filter should immediately solve the problem, and get your air conditioner to work properly again.

Reason #2: Dirty Evaporator Coils

When dust and debris layer around the evaporator coil, the refrigerant inside gets insulated, supercooled, and forms a buildup of ice around the evaporator coil using moisture from condensation. This will cause your air conditioner to malfunction, and may cause irreversible damage to your evaporator coils as well.

Doing a routine cleaning of the evaporator coil works well to prevent ice buildup, but it is important to schedule a deep and thorough cleaning to ensure the evaporator coil is completely free from dust and debris.

Reason #3: Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is what cools the air that flows through your air conditioner as it moves through the coils, releasing the heat to the outdoor unit, and cooling the air inside. With low refrigerant levels, your HVAC unit cannot properly function, and will release warm air instead of cold.

Refrigerant leaks are not uncommon in air conditioners as the wear and tear of everyday use can thin out the coolant lines. As the refrigerant escapes, it cools the condensation around the coils and the filter, causing ice to form inside your aircon.

Reason #4: Extreme Temperatures

Using your air conditioner when it's extremely cold out may also cause the condensation in your unit to ice up. This often happens in humid environments, but it may also happen when your filter is damp, or you've just cleaned your unit and used it without drying.

Reason #5: Humidity

Ice buildup is one of the common signs of high humidity in your room. You may have a humidifier in your room that is increasing the moisture in the air, or your area is simply humid all year round. The moisture in the air can condense in your air conditioner, and freeze with the cold temperatures inside.

Troubleshooting Guide

Tip #1: Clean Your Unit

Cleaning your unit is the first step in aircon maintenance as you remove the dust that has built up in your air conditioning unit. Wash the filter with soap and water every two weeks, and use a can of compressed air to remove the dust on your evaporator coil, condenser coils, and other components.

Tip #2: Schedule a Deep Clean

Contact aircon servicing company to schedule a deep, thorough clean of your unit. We do chemical washes that will upkeep the condition of your evaporator and condenser coil, as well as the blower motor and fan blades in your unit. A deep clean would both remove the debris that built up in your unit, and protect the parts from damage.

Tip #3: Schedule Yearly Maintenance

A yearly, routine maintenance checkup will be able to detect an issue with your aircon before it becomes a bigger problem. Don't wait until you experience troubles with your unit. A yearly checkup will avoid the high repair costs in the future!

Tip #4: Use a Dehumidifier

Use a dehumidifier in your room, or opt to move the humidifier as far away from your air conditioner as possible. This will keep the air around your unit dry, and prevent ice buildup during the cold weather.

The Quick Fix

Luce Aircon is your trusted partner in aircon services! You can be assured we know how an air conditioner works and our experienced technicians will be able to clean, maintain, diagnose, or repair that problem for you in a jiffy!

Also read: frozen evaporator coil!
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