Have you discovered ice on your air conditioning system’s evaporator coil? A frozen evaporator coil can be perplexing. During the hot Georgia summers, you probably don’t expect ice to form over your air conditioning equipment. Evaporator coils, however, can freeze even when it’s hot outside. And with a frozen evaporator coil, your air conditioning system will struggle to cool your home.
Turn Off the AC
Upon discovering ice on the evaporator coil, you should immediately turn off your air conditioning system. There’s no point in running your air conditioning system if the evaporator coil is frozen. It may turn on, but it will probably offer little or no cooling power.
The evaporator coil is a heat exchanger. Air conditioning systems use it to pull heat from the indoor air. A frozen evaporator coil means your air conditioning system won’t be able to extract heat from your home’s indoor air, so it will likely fail to cool your home.
Check the Air Filter
You should check the air filter. If the air filter is exceptionally dirty or clogged, it may cause the evaporator coil to freeze.
A dirty or clogged air filter will essentially restrict airflow. As it circulates, air must pass through the filter before going over the evaporator coil. A dirty or clogged air filter will prevent air from passing through it. Therefore, little or no warm air will reach the evaporator coil, which may cause the temperature of the refrigerant inside of it to drop.
Let the Fan Run
While you should turn off your air conditioning system, you may want to let the fan run. Assuming there are no obstructions – a dirty air filter, blocked ductwork, etc. – the fan will force warm air over the evaporator coil.
You can control the fan at the thermostat. Most thermostats have two settings for the fan: ON and AUTO. When set to the former setting, the fan will run continuously.
Seek Professional Assistance
Don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance for a frozen evaporator coil. Evaporator coils shouldn’t freeze. Even if there’s only a small layer of ice over it, this typically indicates a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
Restricted airflow can cause evaporator coils to freeze. A refrigerant leak can also cause evaporator coils to leak. By contacting a professional air conditioning technician, you can get the problem diagnosed and fixed so that it doesn’t lead to an uncomfortably hot summer.