Three Complications That Can Arise When Your Ac Condensor Coil Freezes Over

Posted on: 17 May 2017

Although a frozen-over coil is a relatively common AC problem and one that often can be remedied without even calling for professional help, that doesn't mean that it's safe to ignore it. In fact, a frozen coil can not only prevent your unit from cooling your home effectively, but it can also cause many other problems, meaning that if you don't get the coil thawed and fix whatever problem caused it in the first place, you could end up with expensive damage as a side effect of your frozen coil. Here are three such complications that can occur if you ignore the situation.

Reduction in efficiency

Unsurprisingly, functioning while encased in a block of ice isn't something that AC units can do. If you don't give your machine a break and turn it off so it can thaw, it won't be able to continue providing you with cold air at the same rate that it usually does. The problem isn't so much that the machine can't cool air, but more that the ice is blocking airflow, which is a crucial component of cooling your home. (Of course, if you have an icing problem with your AC, this can also be caused by a reduction in airflow, possibly caused by a dirty and neglected fan or some similar problem, meaning that the unit's already not functioning at its best and so it's probably harder to tell the difference when it ices up.)  

Compressor failure

Unfortunately, if you don't turn your AC off when it's iced up, bigger problems than a temporary loss of cooling can occur. Your AC can suffer damage that makes it very, very expensive to repair. Compressor failure is one of these types of damage, and it can be caused by a frozen-up AC if you try to keep running it after it becomes encased in a block of ice. This is because the ice can spread up the line until it reaches the unit's compressor, which is not equipped to deal with ice and will likely just attempt to compress it until something gives (AKA the compressor dies).  

Coil damage

If you handle this situation incorrectly, it could also lead to coil damage. Be careful not to try to pry the ice off your AC unit; simply turning it off and letting it sit to thaw on its own will allow the ice to melt away without damaging the coils.

For more information, contact a business such as Hospitality heating and air conditioning Inc