Air conditioners keep homes cold. So, you may not initially be that alarmed if you see ice or snow building up on your air conditioner. But actually, this is a symptom that you should find worrisome. Air conditioners should not be getting so cold or wet that they accumulate snow or ice. If your AC is icing over, here's what you need to do.
Step 1: Turn the unit off.
Before you can fix the cause of the problem, you need to turn your air conditioner off. Otherwise, it will keep running and building up new ice. Turning it off will allow the existing ice to thaw. You may want to put a towel or a pan under the unit to catch or absorb the water that drips down.
Step 2: Change the air filter.
While the AC unit is thawing, change the air filter. A blocked air filter is the simplest common cause of icing over. When the AC filter is clogged with dirt, air cannot flow properly through the system, which causes the cold to essentially back up in the AC unit. It gets too cold and starts forming ice. Make sure the filter you choose fits your AC unit properly, and slide it into place.
Step 3: Clear the vents.
Another common cause of freezing over is blocked or clogged vents. So, go through your home and make sure all of the vents are open. Move anything you find in front of a vent, too.
Step 4: Turn the unit back on.
Once you have a new filter in place and have cleared the vents, turn the AC back on. Watch over the next day or two to see if any new ice forms. If not, you have fixed the problem. If the unit does ice over again, then move on to step 5.
Step 5: Call an HVAC contractor.
If the steps above have not fixed the problem, then you may have a refrigerant leak. When the AC coil loses refrigerant, it can hyper-expand and get colder than it should. This problem needs to be diagnosed and treated by an HVAC contractor. They can add new coolant to the system and plug any leaks.
Air conditioners are not meant to get icy and snowy. In most cases, this problem comes down to a clogged filter or blocked vent, but sometimes, you do need to call in the pros.
To find out more, contact a company like JR Putman Heating and Air.