Keep Ice Buildup at Bay with These Helpful Tips

Posted on: 1 August 2017

As outdoor temperatures reach the triple digits, the last thing you want to see is your air conditioner enveloped in ice. This strange sight is usually a sign that your air conditioner is in need of a little TLC. To keep this sight from being a common one for your home, it's important to follow the tips listed below.

Keep Your Air Filter Clean

An air filter that's caked with dirt and debris can starve your air conditioner of the airflow it needs to operate properly. Without enough warm air flowing over the coils, temperatures near the coils' surface can drop below freezing, leading to ice buildup. Changing your air filter before it becomes completely clogged up can help prevent ice buildup. In addition, frequent air filter changes can also give your home's air quality a well-needed boost.

Keep an Eye on the Refrigerant

Ice buildup can happen if there isn't enough refrigerant in your air conditioner. Low refrigerant levels often occur due to pinhole leaks along the refrigerant lines or failing seals. Either way, these issues can lead to temperatures near the coil dropping below freezing, resulting in heavy frost or ice buildup.

It's always a good idea to monitor your air conditioner's refrigerant levels, especially if you're dealing with ice buildup. However, it's not something you should do on your own. Your HVAC technician has the proper training and the right tools needed to check refrigerant without causing damage to the air conditioner itself.

Avoid Running It at Night

Nighttime temperatures can be enough to trigger ice buildup on your air conditioner, especially if you're using the same thermostat settings as you would during the daytime. Instead of running your air conditioner at night, you may want to consider an alternative. If you use your air conditioner to dehumidify your home, for instance, you may be better off using a dehumidifier throughout the night.

If you must use your air conditioner, it's a good idea to set your thermostat temperatures a few degrees above what you'd normally use throughout the day.

Keep Your Coils Clean

It's also important to keep the coils themselves free of dirt, debris, and other types of buildup if you don't want them to freeze over. Debris buildup on the coils not only keeps the coil from absorbing and releasing latent heat, but it can eventually lead to ice buildup if it isn't removed in time.

For the condenser coil, all you need is to hose it down with fresh water to remove dirt and debris buildup from the coil. For the evaporator coil, you'll need to gently scrub it down using a soft brush and mild detergent.

For more info, check out companies like Pell City Heating & Cooling Inc.