If your air conditioning unit is not working, you will likely step outside and take a look at it. If you notice ice forming on it, you have a problem. There are three main reasons why ice can form on an air conditioning unit. Your unit may not be getting the air flow it needs, it may be low on refrigerant or there may be problems with the fan. If ice is building up on the unit, you will want to take swift action to properly remove the ice and prevent it from forming in the future, as ice can cause permanent damage to this appliance. Here are the steps you will want to take if you see ice building up on your air conditioner.
Removing the Ice
As soon as you notice ice building up on your air conditioning unit, you will want to remove the ice. If you allow your unit to continue to run with ice on it, more will accumulate, which can eventually cause the motor to overheat.
In order to remove the ice, you will want to allow the unit to defrost. If it is warm outside, you can simply turn the unit off and allow the sun to defrost it. If it is cool outside, you can run the air conditioner in fan-only mode. The heat from the motor turning the fan will slowly melt the ice. Continue the thawing process until you are sure all the ice has melted from your air conditioning unit.
Checking for Air Flow Problems
After all of the ice has been removed from your air conditioning unit, you will want to start to try to figure out why the ice formed on the unit in the first place. This will help you prevent it from forming in the future.
One of the most common reasons why ice forms is because air is not flowing through the air conditioner as it should. There are three primary reasons why air doesn't flow like it should.
- Bushes, Grass or Weeds are Impeding the Flow of Air
You should always trim or cut bushes, weeds and grass that are located near and around your air conditioning unit. If these items get to be too high, they can deter from the amount of air that your unit can pull in. When this happens, air is not moving the condensation around inside of your unit, which can cause ice to form. If you have tall grass or bushes growing near or around the unit, trim them to solve this problem.
- You Have a Dirty Air Filter
It is recommended that you replace your air conditioning unit's air filter every one to two months, depending on how often you use the unit. The filter helps filter out impurities in the air such as dust and pollen. As it does so, these impurities build up on the filter, which can eventually prevent air from flowing into the unit, which can lead to ice forming inside. If you haven't change your unit's air filter, do so now to see if it solves the problem.
- Your Air Conditioning Unit has Not Been Cleaned in Some Time
The last common reason that air may not be flowing through your air conditioning unit like it should is because the air conditioner has not been cleaned. It is recommended that you have your air conditioning unit cleaned on a yearly basis by a professional. This helps remove dirt and dust that build up on items such as the compressor and coils. If these items are not cleaned, air may not run alongside the coils like it should, which can cause the coils to freeze and ice to form. If you haven't had your unit cleaned, schedule an annual air conditioning cleaning appointment today.
Calling in a Professional
If you have checked your air conditioning unit for air flow problems and do not suspect that that is the reason ice is building up, you will want to call in a professional. Ice may also develop on this appliance because the fan is not working properly or because refrigerant needs to be added. Unfortunately, these are problems that are difficult to diagnose or fix yourself.
An air conditioning repair company will open up the air conditioner and troubleshoot it to determine why ice is forming. From there, they can fix the problem and prevent it from happening in the future.
Ice is not something you want to see on your air conditioning unit. It can stop your air conditioner from working and cause permanent problems. If you see ice forming on your air conditioner, you will want to remove the ice and check for air flow issues. If no air flow issues are noticed, you will need to call in a professional to determine the cause of your problem before it worsens or causes permanent damage. Continue to read more.