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 can be perplexing.
When this problem occurs most people immediately think it is the fault of the refrigerant gas. More often the cause is the result of other difficulties.
It is most often the consequence of poor airflow.
Any time the airflow through an air conditioner is restricted the coolant system becomes affected. If taken to extremes the critical pressure-temperature balance of the cooling coil could be changed. Should 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 rather than 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 principal job of an air conditioner would be to de-humidify, not refrigerate, the room air. By removing the moisture from the room air it gives us a feeling of comfort. To do this though the temperature of the cooling coil must always be greater than the room’s dew point. If it’s permitted 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.
To avoid this replace or clean your filter every little while 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 works well) onto filter surface. Allow to sit for a few minutes. Add grandeairsolutions.com to warm water to sink in order 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 conditioner requires regular maintenance. Usually every several years. Every year would 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 important to eliminate 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 long this can bring about the cooling coil becoming partially blocked. This can produce a lower airflow.
3. Dirty or blocked condenser coil.
The condenser coil may be the one at the rear of the air conditioning equipment. Its job is to dissipate the heat that is being removed from the room. Similar to the cooling coil it too should be cleaned every few years. Since the condenser is on the outside of the house it becomes exposed to a great deal 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 clean this part the air conditioning equipment must be completely disassembled. If not cleaned regularly an airflow blockage here may also burn out the compressor. Before this happens although lowering of airflow will affect the entire operation. This can result in the compressor efficiency dropping, the inner pressure-temperature relationships being affected, and the resultant production of ice on the cooling coil.
4. Inefficient compressor.
As describe above an inefficient compressor could 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 will have to be replaced. But note that many icing problems are misdiagnosed as bad compressors if they were actually among the other faults discussed in this post.
5. Not enough refrigerant. Too much refrigerant.
Both scenarios can result in and icing condition. If your air conditioner was repaired recently suspect an excessive amount of refrigerant. Mixed with an airflow problem this is often difficult to diagnose. Or even repaired recently then suspect airflow problems before considering a refrigerant imbalance.
6. Outdoor temperature too low.
Icing can occur if the exterior temperature falls below 60 Degrees Fahrenheit. If the outside temperature is too low the air conditioner pressure-temperatures can be affected. When the outside temperature falls the cooling coil temperature will also fall. So much that the coil will refrigerate the room air. This will bring about the cooling coil beginning to produce ice. This issue is more prevalent in the fall. If it is hot during the day but cold at 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 can circulate the room air without cooling it, while attracting a small amount of outside air during the night.