Help: My AC Won’t Shut Off and There’s Ice on It!

You may have heard that ice appearing on an air conditioning system is not a good sign… and it’s true. An air conditioner doesn’t use ice as part of the process of cooling down a home. What it actually does is use chemical refrigerant that moves through a process of evaporation and condensation to absorb heat from inside a house and exhaust it to the outside. If ice develops during this process, it means something has gone wrong that’s triggering water moisture to freeze along the evaporator coil.

The Runaway AC and the Frozen Coil

An air conditioner that’s compressor will not turn off and which has ice over its coil is actually a frequent malfunction professional technicians are used to dealing with. It almost always indicates the same problem: loss of refrigerant due to leaks.

We’ve already mentioned the job of refrigerant in an air conditioner, which is the transport of heat. Refrigerant doesn’t get used up in this process, so under ideal conditions an AC will retain the same amount of refrigerant (charge) during its service life.

But leaks can happen. When the refrigerant charge drops, the air conditioner will start to have a more difficult time absorbing heat through the indoor evaporator coil. If the AC can’t lower the temperature to its target, it will start running continuously, draining immense amounts of power while wearing down its components.

The ice is a consequence of the evaporator coil having trouble absorbing heat. The remaining refrigerant in the coil will stay too cold, and this lower temperature will cause any moisture along the coil to freeze. This worsens the problem, since the ice makes it even harder for the coil to absorb heat.

Don’t attempt to fix this problem yourself (like trying to scrape off the ice!). You must have professional seal the leaks, recharge the refrigerant, and then defrost the coils.

The air conditioning repair team you need is at Comfort Central, Inc. We serve Arden, NC and all of Western North Carolina.

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