What Causes Ice On Your Air Conditioner?

24 August 2018
 Categories: , Blog


An air conditioner is one of the appliances that is used by homeowners on a daily basis during the hot summer months. Without a functional air conditioning system, it would be impossible to keep the temperature in your home cool and comfortable when outdoor temperatures reach triple digits.

Despite the important role an air conditioner plays in the day-to-day lives of homeowners, many people don't really know how to spot problems with their air conditioning unit. One of the most obvious problems you should be on the lookout for is a buildup of ice on the air conditioning unit itself.

A Clogged Air Filter

Your air conditioner needs access to a clean filter at all times. The air that is pulled into the unit from the outside environment passes through the filter, where contaminants are removed. A clogged air filter results in restricted air flow that could place your air conditioning system at risk.

Your condenser unit will not have access to the air it needs to maintain proper operating temperatures. The condenser coil will ice over because it will be unable to draw out enough heat from the restricted volume of air to operate properly. Check your air filter regularly to ensure that a clogged filter doesn't put your air conditioning system at risk in the future.

A Refrigerant Leak

Specialized fluid known as refrigerant flows through your air conditioning condenser unit. This refrigerant plays an essential role in helping to cool the air that is distributed throughout your home.

The refrigerant travels through the condenser via a system of rubber hoses and tubes. These tubes and hoses can become damaged or start to deteriorate over time. As refrigerant leaks out of your air conditioning system, you will start to notice ice forming on the condenser coils.

Refrigerant is responsible for absorbing some of the heat that is transferred from the air pulled into the air conditioning system when this air passes over the condenser coils. A lack of refrigerant causes the condenser coils to become too cold, and condensation on the exterior of the coils begins to freeze.

A refrigerant leak can spell serious trouble for your air conditioner, so an experienced HVAC technician from an air conditioning company should be contacted immediately to make repairs.

Ice on your outdoor condenser unit isn't an indication that your air conditioner is working hard to cool your home: it's a sign of distress. Address the causes of ice buildup to prevent serious air conditioning system failures in the future.