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Professional Heating & Air Blog

Why Is There Frost on My AC Coils?

Summer comes earlier and earlier every year, and that means your air conditioner is likely going to be put to the test every day. When trouble arises, you need to be ready for it, and one common sign of trouble is frost or ice forming on the air conditioner’s coils. At first glance, it may not seem like much. After all, aren’t air conditioners supposed to be cold? But in point of fact, frost on the coils represents a significant problem and needs to be addressed by a professional before your air conditioner runs for too much longer.

The Process

The process of air conditioning depends on refrigerant, which circulates through a never-ending loop to cool the air in your home. The gaseous refrigerant is first placed under a great deal of pressure while being shifted to liquid form: a process that releases heat into the air and is usually vented from your home by the outdoor portion of the unit. The pressurized liquid refrigerant then enters the evaporator coils in a set amount, and shifts back to gaseous form. The process pulls the heat from the nearby air, cooling it and allowing it to be blown into your home with a fan. The refrigerant then returns to the front of the cycle to start the process anew.

What Happens When There’s Trouble?

Ice can form on the coils for a number of reasons. The most common entails a loss of refrigerant, which reduces the amount of refrigerant entering the coils and throws off the delicate process of cooling. Other issues can involve excessive humidity in the air or a malfunctioning component.

Regardless, when ice forms on the coils, it creates all sorts of problems. It represents lost cooling potential, means that the air won’t be cooled as quickly or as thoroughly. That means monthly bills will likely go up, and the increased strain on individual components increases the chances of a breakdown.

It gets worse. The ice forms an insulating layer between the system and the air it’s intended to cool. The more the problem goes unaddressed, the thicker the ice becomes and the worse the issues become. Eventually, it will create a shutdown and possibly result in a severe repair bill as well.

Call the Professionals Every Time

Some homeowners believe they can simply scrape the frost off and correct the issue. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the first place, the problem typically lies elsewhere, so scraping the ice off won’t solve anything. (The frost will just reform.) More importantly, doing so can severely damage the coils, possibly necessitating their replacement. That can turn an often routine repair job into something quite serious. Instead, shut the system off immediately and call in a professional service to correctly diagnose it. They can pinpoint the true source of the issue and ensure that it gets fixed the right way.

In the Covington, LA, area, air conditioning repair services can be conducted by the friendly pros at A-Professional Heating and Air.

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