Is Ice On My AC Coils Bad?

Ice or frost growing on your AC coils is a bad sign. It may at first seem normal because the unit is supposed to be cool, but ice on coils is actually a sign of a larger problem. 

So what causes ice to form on the coils?

The most common cause is low refrigerant. This can be because of a refrigerant leak or undercharging of the system. If a leak is present, charging the system won’t solve the problem because the leak will continue to drain the refrigerant. An HVAC technician will need to fix the leak before recharging the system. Other causes of ice include clogged filters and a faulty fan. If the temperature is below freezing, the ice may just be a result of the extreme weather.

What does the ice do?

The ice acts as insulation between the coils and the outside air, preventing it from cooling the air properly. The AC unit will have to work harder to cool the air, costing more money and requiring more energy. The harder the unit has to work, the more likely it is to break down and require serious repair. Until the problem is repaired, the ice will continue to form, exacerbating the issue.

What can you do?

If you see ice on the coils, do not scrape it off. You may end up damaging the coils while attempting to remove the ice. Additionally, scraping off the ice will not solve the problem because it is merely a symptom of the deeper problem. The ice will continue to form until the true issue is resolved. Call a technician to inspect the unit and complete any repairs.

Call Express Refrigeration in Sacramento, CA if you see ice growing on your coils or encounter any other HVAC or refrigeration issue. We’re here to help!