Advanced Air

What to Do When Your Air Conditioner Has Ice on It

June 17, 2015

Some Florida homeowners freak out when they see ice on their air conditioning units in summer.

And freak out they should.

Ice or frost on an AC is a sign that something is wrong with the AC. The problem could be:

  • Low airflow over the inside unit’s evaporator coil
  • Low refrigerant level, which is caused by a refrigerant leak

Both of these issues can cause liquid refrigerant floodback to the compressor. This can either shut down the AC or damage the compressor—an uber expensive part.

So if you see this problem happening here’s what you should do:

Step 1: Turn off the air conditioner and set fan setting to “ON”

To prevent any damage to your AC, turn it from the “cool” setting to the “off” setting.

Then, to help melt the ice on the inside unit’s evaporator coil, turn the fan setting from “Auto” to “On.”

Whew. OK. Now you’ve prevented anything bad from happening. Now it’s time to get this problem fixed.

Step 2: Change the air filter and open any vents

When your evaporator coil (the part that cools the air) does not have enough air flowing over it, it gets too cold, resulting in ice forming on the coil.

Low airflow problems you can fix include:

  • Changing out a dirty air filter (make sure your AC is completely off before changing)
  • Opening any supply vents (metal grates that blow out air)
  • Unblocking any return vents (metal grates that suck in air)

Do the above and then turn your AC back on.

If the AC freezes up again, then you need to...

Step 3: Get the air conditioner checked by a professional

Everything we’ve mentioned so far are the DIY solutions.

Everything else that causes an AC to freeze up requires a professional to fix.

These problems include:

  • Malfunctioning indoor blower (the blower may not be delivering enough air over the evaporator coil)
  • Dirty evaporator coil (Dirt blocks airflow over the evaporator coil, causing it to freeze up)
  • Low refrigerant caused by a leak (a professional will have to find the leak, evacuate the remaining refrigerant, fix the leak, then add the refrigerant amount you need)

Need a professional AC repair now?

If you have this problem and need it fixed today, schedule a repair with Advanced Air (scheduling online saves you 10% on the repair).

Advanced Air has been serving Fort Myers and Naples, Florida, and the surrounding areas for over 25 years.