The evaporator coil is one of the most integral parts of any air conditioning system. It prompts the refrigerant to evaporate into its gas form so that the cooled air can be blown through the various air ducts. Simply put, it helps transform the hot air absorbed by the system into crisp, cold air. Without it, the air conditioner cannot cool the whole house to the comfort of the whole household.
Unfortunately, malfunctioning evaporator coils are one of the leading causes of an air conditioning failure. Usually, evaporator coils freeze, and when this happens, water could leak through the AC vents, and the cooling power of the AC is affected.
What causes a Frozen AC evaporator coil?
When the evaporator suddenly does not have any heat to absorb, it naturally freezes over. This is owed to the refrigerant that is in the coils. The substance is supposed to get transformed into gas once the evaporator absorbs the heated air from the house. But when it does not have anything to absorb, the refrigerant would just make the coils chillier until it gets frozen. But what prevents heat from getting into the coils consequently causing them to freeze? Below are some of the top reasons:
Clogged Condensate Drain Line
When the tube that drains out water from the air conditioning mechanism is clogged, water built up within could not be expelled from the AC system. And usually, when water gets stuck into the system, it will freeze, which would in turn cause the evaporator coils to freeze as well. The water within the drain line will likewise freeze, and would soon prompt an AC breakdown.
The good thing about this situation is that it is relatively simple to resolve. Clearing clogged drain lines is a routine AC maintenance chore that an eager homeowner can easily carry out, even without specialized tools. He however has to do it correctly and immediately to prevent the problem from worsening.
Dirty evaporator coils
Just like any part of the air conditioning system, evaporator coils can get filthy due to dirt build-up. When the build-up gets more severe, airflow to and from the evaporator gets blocked and the evaporator is impeded from moving heat. When it fails to move heat, it freezes over and causes the AC to malfunction and shut down.
The best thing to do is to seek professional AC maintenance so that the technician can carry out an appropriate AC tune-up that will thoroughly remove the dirt build-up within the evaporator coils and keep the AC working in optimal condition.
Blocked air ducts
Whether purposely done or accidental, blocked air ducts can cause needless strain on the AC mechanism. It disrupts the flow of air from the air conditioner to the house as well as the return air. This disruption can lead to freezing coils. In addition, obstructed vents can also cause the ducts to get torn and permanently damaged. Holes and perforations in the ducts will not only cause uneven temperatures at home but will also result in energy leaks.
Blocked Air Return Vent
Homeowners should make it a point to ensure that all air conditioning ducts are unobstructed, either by upholstery, furniture, or debris. Homeowners should also keep in mind that closing off vents will never result in energy savings. Blocking off an air register will never keep high bills at bay. Doing such will instead strain the AC system, causing it to increase power consumption which will just drive-up energy bills more. What is worse is that it could put undue pressure on the various mechanisms of the air conditioning unit and would shorten the lifespan of the AC.
Signs of a frozen evaporator coil
For homeowners suspecting a frozen evaporator coil, below are some of the signs to watch out for:
- The condensate drain pan is filled and overflowing with water.
- The AC is not blowing cold air.
- Ice or condensation is forming in the evaporator coil
- The condensate drain line is blocked or clogged
- There is ice in the outdoor refrigerant line
- How to deal with a frozen evaporator coil
How to Fix a Frozen Evaporator Coil In Your AC System
Frozen evaporator coils are best addressed by a certified air conditioning technician. The homeowner however can turn on the AC fan in the meantime, to help melt the ice that is around the evaporator coils.
It is also best to replace dirty and clogged filters. By doing so the homeowner gets to keep the air freely flowing to and from the system.
Air Conditioning Repair Services
Get your AC running at its peak performance so that everyone at home can feel cool and comfortable. For Air Conditioning services in the San Diego area, get in touch with us at Reliable Standard Heating and Air. When it comes to immediate, efficient, and lasting AC repairs, you have us to call on.