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Frozen Evaporator Coil: A Sight You Never Want to See!

frozen-evaporator-coilWhile other parts of the country are concerned about the service their heating systems are providing, we are dutifully using our AC systems, with temperatures still remaining steadily in the 80’s. That being said, it’s only natural that you want to ensure your air conditioner is working as effectively and efficiently as it should be.

One of the most common misconceptions about air conditioning systems is that it’s okay to see ice developing on it. After all, AC systems produce cold, so it’s only natural that they freeze over, right? Wrong! This is actually a sign of something going awry with your system, and requires immediate attention. We offer the best in West Palm Beach, FL air conditioning repairs, but in the meantime we’d love to share with you why you may experience this AC problem and what should be done about it.

How Does an Evaporator Coil Work?

When your AC air handler blows return air over the evaporator coil of your system, the refrigerant that is housed inside absorbs the air’s heat. As a result, the temperature of the return air is lowered, which allows cooled air to be sent back into your home’s living space.

In addition to cooling your air, your air conditioner dehumidifies it as well, which means it pulls moisture from the air. This moisture—known as condensation—settles on your evaporator coils and can freeze over to build a layer of ice. This is a problem, since the ice insulates the coil and does not allow it to do its job properly.

How Does One End up with a Frozen Evaporator Coil?

As mentioned above, the condensation from the air can collect on the evaporator coil and freeze. But what actually causes this to happen?

  • Airflow Problems: This is one possible cause of a frozen evaporator coil. A clogged air filter, leaky ductwork, or even a blocked air register can create airflow resistance. And if there isn’t enough return air blowing over the coil, it won’t have enough heat to absorb—thus running the risk of freezing over.
  • Dirt on the Coil: When is the last time you scheduled an air conditioning maintenance appointment? This service should be performed on at least an annual basis. During this appointment, our technicians fully inspect and clean your entire system—including the evaporator coil. This keeps it free of obstruction and less likely to freeze over.
  • Leaking Refrigerant: Upon installation, your air conditioner is supplied with enough refrigerant to ideally last its entire lifecycle. If the AC system loses refrigerant, it means that there is a leak. Without an adequate amount of refrigerant to absorb heat from your home’s air, your evaporator coil may very well freeze up.

Do Not Attempt to Remove Ice on Your Own

This can do more harm than good, first of all. You may accidentally dent your coil or dislodge something within your AC system. Additionally, removing the ice doesn’t get to the root of the problem. You need a professional to inspect and find out where your problem actually is, so they can solve the issue at the core—whether it is a refrigerant leak or just a case of a clogged air filter or dirty coil.

Envirotech Air Quality Services provides exceptional HVAC and indoor air quality services throughout the Palm Beach area and beyond. Contact us today, whatever your cooling needs may be!

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