Although frosty ice might sound enticing on a hot day, it's a bad thing if the ice is coating your air conditioning unit. Ice on the evaporator coil or condenser is a fairly common problem that can have a few causes. Low refrigerant can cause the evaporator coil to ice over, and once that happens, the ice can spread along the refrigerant line to the outdoor condenser. This problem needs prompt attention from an AC professional.
Another thing that can cause the evaporator coil to ice up is restricted airflow. Here are some things that restrict airflow and what you or an air conditioning repair technician might have to do about the problem.
The Return Air Filter Is Clogged
It's easy to forget all about the return air filter in the air handler. However, the air that circulates through your home gets pulled through this filter on its way to the evaporator coil. If the filter is all clogged up with dust, pet hair, or debris from home construction, air can't get through.
When a reduced amount of air flows over the evaporator coil, the coil gets so cold that condensation freezes on the coil rather than falling in the drip pan. The ice keeps building and spreading until the situation is resolved. In this case, the air conditioning repair is simple. All you have to do is replace the filter and wait for the ice to melt. After that, your AC should be working properly again unless something else is wrong with the unit.
Register Vents Are Blocked
Another thing to check before you call an air conditioning repair service is your register and return vents. They should all be open and unblocked. If you closed off the vents for some reason, open them up and make sure they're not coated with dust to see if that solves the problem.
The Blower Isn't Working
If the blower in the air handler isn't putting out enough air, it has the same effect as a blocked filter. Not enough air will flow through the evaporator coils, so condensation will start to freeze. If the blower is the problem, an air conditioning repair technician needs to find out what's wrong with it through inspection and testing.
The problem might be a bad blower motor; in which case, the motor can be replaced. The capacitor or control board could also be bad and not giving the blower enough power to start up. Once the blower has been repaired and is working properly, airflow is restored and problems with ice should be eliminated.
When your AC gets coated with ice, it won't cool down your home. Your AC might even shut down until the ice melts. In addition to the bother of dealing with a broken air conditioner, you also have to deal with a wet floor from all the melting ice.
When you see ice on your AC equipment, check your filter and vents first, and if they're in good shape, call an air conditioning repair service before the ice builds, spreads, and causes damage to your floor and the equipment.