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What It Means When Your Air Conditioner Has Ice on It

Fall is upon us, but there are still a couple more weeks of warm weather before the days start to get colder. That means you still need to keep a close eye on your air conditioner, in case it develops any problems. For example, ice building up on your air conditioner is a bad sign. Let’s take a look at why air conditioners ice over, and what needs to be done about it.

Why It Happens

Your air conditioner makes use of a part called the “evaporator coil” to cool your home. It works by evaporating refrigerant, which sucks thermal energy from the surrounding air and into the coil. This causes condensate to form on the coil, and the temperature of the surrounding air to drop. The reason the condensate doesn’t freeze is because of the constant flow of warm air over the coil. If the air flow is ever cut off, as can sometimes happen, the condensate will freeze and form ice.

Why It’s Bad

Ice on your evaporator coil is bad for a number of reasons. For one thing, it cuts off the coil’s access to warm air, which it needs to cool the home. This leads to a dramatic drop in the air conditioner’s output. For another, the weight of the ice can cause the coil to permanently warp, requiring replacement to restore the system to full function. Finally, the ice can eventually spread to other parts of the air conditioner, interfering with their operation and causing them to break down. If you want your air conditioner to remain in good shape, you’re going to need to call for repairs as soon as you notice ice building up on the coil.

If your air conditioner is icing over, call SPS Mechanical Inc. We serve the entire Haddonfield, NJ area.

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