One of the most frustrating issues with a window air conditioner is if it starts to ice up. For the owner of the air conditioner is could be perplexing.
When this problem occurs most people immediately think it is the fault of the refrigerant gas. More often the cause is the consequence of other difficulties.
It is most often the consequence of poor airflow.
Any time the airflow via an air conditioner is fixed the cooling system becomes affected. If taken to extremes the critical pressure-temperature balance of the cooling coil could be changed. If they drop too low the cooling coils surface temperature can drop below the dew point temperature of the room. When this happens the cooling coil will quickly operate as a refrigerator instead of an air conditioner. Rather than simply cooling the air it’ll collect and hold moisture. The moisture will freeze onto the cooling coil where it’ll appear as ice.
The primary job of an air conditioning equipment would be to de-humidify, not refrigerate, the room air. By detatching the moisture from the area air it gives us a sense of comfort. To do this although temperature of the cooling coil should always be greater than the room’s dew point. If it is allowed to drop below the dew point the air conditioning equipment will start to produce ice.
With this information in mind the following are several problems that can lead to your air conditioning equipment icing up:
1. Dirty filter.
In order to avoid this replace or clean your filter every couple of weeks of the cooling season. If a smoker do it weekly. To clean filter remove from air conditioner, wet thoroughly, and lay in bottom of a sink. Sprinkle detergent (laundry detergent is effective) onto filter surface. Allow to sit for a few minutes. Add tepid to warm water to sink so that filter is completely covered. Soak for quarter-hour. Remove from water and rinse. Allow to air dry.
2. Dirty or blocked cooling coil.
An air conditioning equipment requires regular maintenance. Usually every two or three years. Every year will be best, but this can be costly unless you do-it-yourself. During cleaning the cooling coil should be degreased and washed to remove accumulated dirt and debris. Degreasing is essential to remove any coatings on the coil. Or even done greasy residue can trap and hold air borne particles. They will build-up on the coil and affect heat transfer. If left too much time this can bring about the cooling coil becoming partially blocked. This will produce a lower airflow.
3. Dirty or blocked condenser coil.
The condenser coil is the one guiding the air conditioner. Its job would be to dissipate the heat that is being removed from the area. Just like the cooling coil it too must be cleaned every few years. Because the condenser is externally of the house it becomes exposed to plenty of dirt, pollen, and smog. Since airflow direction is from inside to outside it is the inside surface of the condenser that becomes dirty. Therefore to completely clean this part the air conditioner must be completely disassembled. Or even cleaned regularly an airflow blockage here can even burn out the compressor. Before this happens though the lowering of airflow will affect the overall operation. This can bring about the compressor efficiency dropping, the internal pressure-temperature relationships being affected, and the resultant production of ice on the cooling coil.
4. Inefficient compressor.
As describe above an inefficient compressor can cause icing up. If the compressor struggles to pump the refrigerant properly the cooing coil might not get cold enough to shut down the cold control. It can hover just above the cut off point. When this happens the cooling coil will quickly refrigerate. Ice on the cooling coil will result. If the compressor itself reaches fault the air conditioner should be replaced. But note that many icing problems are misdiagnosed as bad compressors if they were actually one of the other faults discussed in the following paragraphs.
5. Not enough refrigerant. An excessive amount of refrigerant.
Both scenarios can lead to and icing condition. If your air conditioning equipment was repaired recently suspect an excessive amount of refrigerant. Blended with an airflow problem this can be difficult to diagnose. If not repaired recently then suspect grandeairsolutions.com before considering a refrigerant imbalance.
6. Outdoor temperature too low.
Icing can occur if the outside temperature falls below 60 Degrees Fahrenheit. If the outside temperature is too low the air conditioner pressure-temperatures can be affected. Once the outside temperature falls the cooling coil temperature may also fall. So much that the coil will refrigerate the room air. This will result in the cooling coil starting to produce ice. This issue is more frequent in the fall. If it is hot during the day but cold during the night suspect this problem as the reason behind icing up. If this problem is suspected try running the air conditioner in the fan only position. Leave the re-circulating vent open. This will circulate the area air without cooling it, while attracting a small amount of outside air at night time.