Ambrose Air, Inc.
has been a family-owned AC repair and HVAC company in Orlando for over 25 years. Our slogan, “Honesty and Quality at a Fair Price,” speaks directly to our aim of keeping our customers happy.
AC Frozen Evaporator Coils
Summer time is near and the most important appliance you don’t want to fail you is your Air Conditioner. It’s important to get your yearly tune ups for AC Repairs in Orlando. A frozen evaporator coil is one of the most common issues for air conditioners and heat pumps during the cooling season.
Why Do Evaporator Coils Freeze?
The first step in understanding how to fix your frozen evaporator coils is to understand why they freeze in the first place. In a properly functioning system, the evaporator coils are cold, but should never freeze over. Over time, small amounts of ice can form on the coils, which isn’t always an issue. The issue arises when over time, due to the already frigid system, more ice forms. Eventually, you will run into issues when your entire evaporator coil is encased in a block of ice.
Eventually, overload protections may shut down the system or a circuit breaker may trip. What follows next may be more headaches, however, as the oversized block of coil ice rapidly melts. Gallons of water may spill outside the air handler, soaking structural components of the house or leaking through a ceiling.
Troubleshooting Frozen Evaporator Coils
Most homeowners don’t realize there is a problem until they see that the unit runs continuously, the temperature is too warm, or there is reduced airflow. When people here the hum of the blower and compressor running, they assume it is working. If they happen to go outside and see ice on the line coming out of the home, they might become concerned. The real cause for the reduced capacity is that the evaporator coil, the one inside the air handler, is either partially or completely frozen preventing any air from getting through. To see this you would have to remove an access panel on your unit to inspect the coil. If you go to the air handler you may notice the area where the coil is located may be sweating due to the ice inside coming in contact with the metal casing of the unit or plenum. The condensate drain may also be sweating from the colder than normal temperatures. In extreme instances, ice will begin to form on the outside of the unit.
What To Do
The best thing to do once you notice your air conditioner is frozen is to turn it off. If it is summer and you have a frozen heat pump system you can turn it to the heating mode and it will pump hot refrigerant through the coil to accelerate the defrosting process. If an excessive amount of ice is on the evaporator coil, defrosting the frozen coil may overflow the condensate drain and you may have some water damage. This may happen on any type of system if the air handler is located in a hot attic. For standard AC systems, go to the thermostat and turn the air conditioner to the off position and turn the fan switch to on or manual at the selector switch on your thermostat. This will help defrost the frozen evaporator coil and by blowing warm room air over the coil.
On manual thermostats the selector switch is on the bottom or side to place the fan to ON
Also note that a heat pump will form frost or ice on the outside condenser coils in the winter which is common and most heat pumps are equipped with a method to defrost the condenser coils.
What Not To Do
Dirt or dust accumulation on the surface of your coils can inhibit heat being transferred. This can the coil to run too cold and freeze. Most evaporator coils are sealed and not a good project for do-it-yourself methods. Coil inspection and cleaning is a standard part of regular annual maintenance by an HVAC service provider.
If you notice that your evaporator coil has frozen over, contact an AC Repair so they can find the source of the problem. It’s helpful if you turn off your air conditioner before they arrive at your home so that it can defrost before they arrive. After the source of the problem is discovered, they will fix it and advise you on how to avoid it from happening again!
FAQ ON AC FROZEN EVAPORATOR COILS
At first, it might sound like something being frozen in your air conditioning unit is a good thing… right? Unfortunately, frozen evaporator coils will almost always mean that your unit is going to stop working. And in the middle of the summer heat, that’s definitely not a good thing. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our customers who have had this unfortunate experience and needed our Orlando Ac repair services.
First Things First – Just What Exactly is An Evaporator Coil?
All AC units have evaporator coils on the inside. The air conditioner blows air over the coils, which have a refrigerant liquid inside them. The coils then absorb all of the heat from the air passing over them, thus lowering the temperature of the air to make it nice and cold for you.
Why Do Evaporator Coils Freeze?
Have you ever noticed that when you’re running your air conditioner, the air feels a little more dry? That’s because an AC unit will also dehumidify the air as part of its normal operation. Air becoming dehumidified means that it has the moisture “pulled” out of it – and some of this moisture (condensation) can end up on your coils. This is actually quite normal, but in some cases the moisture builds up and doesn’t drain properly, so your coils will freeze, being as cold as they are.
Makes Sense. But How do They Freeze?
Evaporator coils can freeze for a number of reasons, but there’s three scenarios that we see the most in the field. Usually airflow is the culprit – if the air filter is clogged, or the air registers are somehow blocked, there won’t be enough air flow over the coils – and remember, the purpose of the coils is to cool down air. If there isn’t enough air, they get so cold on their own that they freeze.
We also frequently see dirty or corroded evaporator coils. This is usually the result of customers who haven’t had a good checkup in a while and haven’t replaced their air filter. When dirt and grime collects on the coils, it acts as an insulator, meaning that the coils can’t absorb heat from the air as efficiently.
Finally, we also encounter AC units without enough refrigerant liquid in the coils. This may have occurred because of a leak, so we’ll go through the unit and repair it.
If you’re experiencing frozen coils, feel free to call us today so we can come out and get your air conditioner back in good working order! Whatever the cause is, we’ll find it.
Ambrose Air, Inc. has been a family-owned AC repair and HVAC company in Orlando for over 25 years. Our slogan, “Honesty and Quality at a Fair Price,” speaks directly to our aim of keeping our customers happy.
Ambrose Air, Inc. has been serving Central Florida since 1990. Our company was founded on the principal of Honesty and Quality at Fair Price. We have done jobs ranging from a simple repair to as large as 3/4 of a million dollar
Ambrose Air, Inc.
6457 Hazeltine National Dr. Suite 165, Orlando, FL 32822
We are a state licensed contractor License # CACO42735