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One of the most common problems that your AC can run into is a frozen evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is a very important part of the entire system, and if it freezes over, your AC will not be as efficient. Oftentimes, you won’t be able to handle this type of AC repair yourself because you’ll need to take the whole system apart. Unless you are trained on how to do this, you won’t be able to determine what the cause is without professional help.
The good news is that this is one of the most common problems that require repair services. As a result, you should be able to easily and quickly find an HVAC company that can help you navigate this problem and solve it. Most HVAC companies will be able to get the problem fixed within a day, so you experience as few interruptions to your day-to-day life as possible. While repairing this issue, the technician will also be able to take a look at the other components of your AC system in order to determine whether anything else needs to be addressed.
This article will serve as a mini-guide as to why evaporator coils freeze over, how to spot a frozen evaporator coil and how to prevent this phenomenon from happening in the first place. After all, if you’re able to prevent it, you’ll be able to save yourself from a lot of headaches.
What Does the Evaporator Coil Do?
So, what exactly does the evaporator coil in your AC do? And, why does it require AC repair at times?
The evaporator coil is responsible for absorbing heat that is present in the air in your home. In a sense, it is responsible for cooling down the air before it gets distributed throughout your home once again. Since the evaporator coil needs to absorb heat, condensation will naturally build up around the outside of the coil. If the coil cools down this condensation below a certain temperature, you can freeze.
This causes the AC to break down or become less efficient and is why you’ll need to call a professional in Irving, TX for AC repair services. In most cases, a frozen evaporator coil is quite easy to fix. The difficulty lies in finding the reason why it has frozen over and fixing that issue.
Signs the Evaporator Coil Is Frozen
Since the evaporator coil is located inside the unit, you won’t be able to tell that it is frozen over unless you disassemble the unit. This means that most homeowners don’t know that their evaporator coil has frozen over until they get some type of AC repair service. By that time, it’s usually too late. They’ll have to spend a lot of money on AC repair services in order to fix the situation.
Knowing what signs to look for is half the battle. Below, we’ll look at three signs that may indicate that the evaporator coil has frozen over:
- Decreased overall cooling efficiency. Once the evaporator coil has frozen over, it becomes much harder for your AC system to do its job. The layer of ice will prevent the refrigerant in the coil from absorbing as much heat as possible. As a result, you’ll notice that your AC system is less efficient. No matter how long you turn your AC on for, it might not be able to cool down the temperature inside the room as quickly as efficiently. In short, your room might still feel quite warm even with the AC on.
- Indoor water leaks. If the evaporator coil is frozen over, the ice on the frozen evaporator coil can start to melt at times. You’ll start to notice leaks coming from the AC from the inside panel. In most situations, the melted water will drop out of the drip pan and onto your walls or floors. It’ll be very easy to notice.
- Overworked compressor. Last but not least, if the AC system has a frozen evaporator coil, the compressor will need to work overtime in order to cool the temperature inside your room down. This means that you’ll usually notice higher energy bills, as well as noisier compressors. You might notice that your AC system appears to always be on nowadays although it wasn’t like that before.
Once you notice any of the signs above, you should call an AC repair technician immediately. This isn’t really considered an HVAC emergency. However, you should schedule an inspection as soon as possible. The longer that you wait, the worse the problem will become. Before the AC repair technician arrives, you should try to avoid using your AC as much as possible. The more that you use it, the more likely it will sustain more damages.
3 Reasons Why the Evaporator Coil Freezes
As it is quite easy for evaporator coils to freeze over, it’s important for us to also look at some of the top reasons behind this phenomenon. Diagnosing the source of the problem can be difficult, and you’ll find that your AC repair technician will spend quite a lot of time in this area. They will need to inspect the unit when it is turned off and when it is running to get a better idea of what could be wrong.
Let’s look at some of the most common reasons why the evaporator coil may freeze over below.
#1. Dirty Filter
This is perhaps one of the most common reasons why you need to call an AC repair technician. Most homeowners aren’t diligent enough in cleaning or replacing the dirty filters in their AC. Replacing a dirty filter with a new one literally only takes several minutes once you learn how to do it, and it’ll make such a significant difference in the overall performance of your AC unit.
If the air filter is dirty, it will restrict overall airflow in the AC system. A clogged filter will allow dirt to build up on the evaporator coil, which can then cause it to freeze. You’ll notice a difference the moment that you replace the dirty filter with a new one. The airflow inside the unit will improve greatly, and the AC system will run much more efficiently. This means that the evaporator coil will also stop freezing over. You’ll have to wait for it to thaw out first though.
#2. Low Refrigerant or a Refrigerant Leak
Another common cause behind a frozen evaporator coil is low refrigerant levels or a refrigerant leak. Depending on what the reason is, an AC repair technician in Irving, TX can either top up the refrigerant level or patch up a leak. Since refrigerant is considered quite toxic, it’s always better to leave this type of job to a professional. They’ll have the right type of protective equipment, and will know how to handle the refrigerant properly.
If there’s a refrigerant leak in your AC, you might hear a hissing or a gurgling sound. In general, a hissing sound is an indication that you have a small leak somewhere in the system. When the hissing sound becomes a gurgling sound, you should be worried. This is usually an indication that the problem has worsened significantly, and that you’ll need to deal with a much larger crack or leak in the AC unit.
#3. Dirty Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil is also much more likely to freeze over if you do not get your AC system serviced regularly. One of the most important parts of the service is at thorough cleaning. If you do not get your AC system cleaned regularly, the evaporator coil can become quite dirty, and a dirty evaporator coil is much more likely to freeze over than a clean one.
When dirt builds up on the outside of the evaporator coil, it prevents it from absorbing heat efficiently. As a result, the temperature of the coil will drop. This causes the coil to freeze over.
In order to clean the evaporator coil, the AC repair technician will first need to let it thaw. Once all of the ice has melted, the AC repair technician will be able to clean it thoroughly. This can take some time.
How to Prevent the Evaporator Coil from Freezing Over
Like with all things, it is much cheaper to prevent the evaporator coil from freezing than it is to get AC repair services. Depending on the reasons behind why the evaporator coil has frozen over, the AC repair services can be rather costly. In worst case scenarios, AC repair services might not even fix a frozen evaporator coil. You might need to replace certain components inside the AC unit instead. This can become quite costly. It can also be rather problematic if the HVAC company doesn’t have the part available.
In order to avoid the AC from getting to that point, you should try your best to prevent the evaporator coil from freezing. Here are some tips:
- Replace the air filters regularly. As mentioned above, we cannot stress this enough. If you want to prevent your evaporator coil from freezing over, you should replace the air filters regularly. The frequency of what you need to replace the air filters will depend on how often you use your AC system. You should ask the professionals when they come in for an AC repair. They’ll be able to provide you with more information based on what they see.
- Inspect the AC unit often. This is equivalent to getting your AC system serviced regularly. Most experts recommend getting your AC system serviced at least once a year. If you constantly blast the AC throughout the year, you might want to get it serviced every several months.
- Clean the AC unit. Usually, the AC repair technician will clean the AC unit when they service it. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do your part. You should try to clean the AC unit whenever you can. Although you might not want to disassemble the unit, you can always clean the vents and get rid of any dirt or dust that might have clung onto the outside of the unit.
Once again, getting your AC system serviced regularly will make all the difference in the world. If you are willing to invest in maintenance services, you will be able to save a lot of money on AC repair services in the long run. Your AC system will be a lot more efficient as well.
Call Us for AC Repairs in Irving, TX
A frozen evaporator coil can be a pain to deal with. However, this type of repair job is usually quite simple and straightforward. It should take the technician almost no time to diagnose the problem and propose several solutions that will fit different budgets and needs. This type of repair job is usually also quite inexpensive, so you don’t really need to worry too much about budgeting. The only thing that you really have to do is find a good HVAC company that can provide you with the repair services that you need.
One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas offers a wide range of AC services. Our technicians are licensed and insured and have a lot of experience in repairing all types of AC systems, from central AC systems to portable units and more. We’ll be able to quickly identify whether the evaporator coil in your AC has frozen over, and if it has, we’ll be able to propose several different solutions for you to choose from. If you’re not sure which solution is best, we can help you break everything down to something more manageable, so you can make a decision more easily.
Call us at 682-269-2786 to get answers to any and all of your heating and air conditioning questions. Our technicians will be happy to walk you through the pros and cons of various solutions, as well as possible causes behind the problems that you are seeing.