IERNA's Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Icing Problems’

AC Repair Tip: Icing Problems on Air Conditioner Cooling Coils

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Air conditioning cooling coil icing problems can arise for a couple of reasons: either the air filter has not been properly replaced, or there is a condensing coil leak.  It is best to check and test the easiest problem first and then move on from there.

It is important to replace air conditioning filters as often as is recommended by the manufacturer.  A common result of not replacing filters frequently enough is a buildup of dust and dirt on the filter, which causes reduced air flow throughout the air conditioning unit.  With reduced air flow, the evaporator coil or cooling coil within the air handler can become blocked by ice or frost build-up.  Having cooling coil icing can significantly reduce or completely stop the amount of cool air being produced by an air conditioning unit.

Easy steps to diagnose and resolve air conditioning cooling coil icing problems:

  • Visually inspect the air conditioning cooling coils to check whether reduced air flow has been caused by cooling coil icing.  If ice or frost is found on the coils, thus blocking air-flow, proceed with the next step.
  • Turn off the air conditioning system completely to allow ice to evaporate, the unit will have to remain off until all ice is completely melted and drained away from the unit
  • Unclog the condensate drain to ensure proper drainage of melting ice
  • Replace all dirty filters on the air conditioning unit
  • Once the a/c unit is de-iced and has fresh filters, it is safe to turn the system back on, to test whether the icy build-up happens again

If after completing these steps, when the air conditioning unit is turned back on the cooling coils do not ice-up, the unit runs normally and cool air runs smoothly through the system, congratulations!  That do-it-yourself attitude paid off; the problem has been fixed!

If after completing these steps, when the air conditioning unit is turned back on cooling coil icing happens again, this could mean one of two things.  Either too little of the refrigerant is being released into the cooling coil due to a clogged capillary tube or a stuck thermostatic expansion valve.  Or the refrigerant charge is too low due to a refrigerant leak.  A refrigerant leak can happen at any point in the refrigerant piping system which would then need to be soldered and resealed, or it can happen in the cooling coil or condensing coil which could mean the entire coil needs to be replaced.  Fixing of refrigerant leaks should be handled by a Tampa HVAC professional.  Contact  Ierna’s Heating & Cooling so we can identify the air conditioner cooling coil icing problem and execute the proper solution.

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