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HVAC Maintenance: Solid Ice in Front of My Air Conditioning Unit

Every home needs a reliable cooling system. Similar to central heating, central cooling means you have to set the thermostat to your desired temperature and allow the system to work efficiently in the background. In spite of this, it is still essential for a homeowner to know how the mechanism works or operates especially when it is time for a routine HVAC maintenance and repair.

How does central cooling work?

Here’s how a central cooling system works to cool air inside the home:

• Central cooling systems powered by electricity has refrigerant flowing through a network of refrigeration line connecting the indoor and outside air conditioning units.

• A motorized fan draws warm indoor air into the ventilation ducts.

• Coolant pumped to the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air.

• Cooled air gets pushed back out into the ventilation ducts circulating around the home.

This consistent method of cooling helps keep your home comfortable during warm weather and also reduces humidity. A central air conditioning system also cleans the air as the ducts suck in air from different rooms around the house pulling it through the air filters. There are filter systems sophisticated enough to remove airborne bacteria and other harmful pollutants from the air.

Another advantage of a centralized air cooling system is the relatively quiet operation. The compressor unit is placed outside the home minimizing noise coming while the system operates.

Parts of a central AC system

Each part of a central AC system plays an essential role in its operation. The following parts need routine HVAC maintenance to ensure a smooth working condition.

• Outdoor unit consisting of the condenser coil, compressor, electrical components, and fan
• Evaporator Coil
• Series of pipes, ducts, and refrigeration lines
• Refrigerant
• Thermostat or temperature control system

When any of these parts fail to work correctly, it will cause the system to break down. It can be very inconvenient when your central cooling system does not work in the middle of a hot, humid summer.

Problems with air conditioning – tips for DIY HVAC repair

Most problems encountered with an air conditioning system result from incorrect operation. For example, an elementary rule when your air conditioning is on is to close all doors and windows. Other common causes of problems include poor installation and inadequate HVAC maintenance. Most air conditioning systems are built to be rugged and robust. When you do experience issues, you can assess the severity of the problem by doing the following:

Check your circuit breaker. Begin to evaluate the system by checking if the power supply is connected correctly. This quick check can help you isolate a potential quick fix to the reason why the air conditioning system is not turning on.

Check the thermostat. Another simple troubleshooting tip is to examine if the thermostat needs new batteries. Check the settings and make sure that it is below the room temperature or is not set to fan.

Clean or change filters. Clogged filters can inhibit air flow which in turn reduces the cooling capacity of the system. You should check filters regularly and change or clean them as often as possible.

Examine the ducts. If you are comfortable checking the air ducts that run inside the home, you can examine them to ensure that air is flowing through properly. You can also inspect for possible damage that may require professional HVAC maintenance help.

Clean the units. Regularly clean the outdoor unit by removing any debris or brushing off dust build-up from the fan blades. Be extra careful in handling fan blades and other vital parts as these may get damaged.

Simple steps to check your air conditioning system can help you save money. However, if anything more severe or complicated happens, contact a technician to avoid causing further damage.

Do I need ac repair when there is solid ice in front of the air conditioning unit?

Another common problem encountered by homeowners with their air cooling system is ice build-up. You will first notice the signs when frost starts to accumulate on the copper that protrudes out of the unit. In some cases, the freezing can be severe that a solid block of ice forms.

Nevertheless, there is no reason for you to panic because this problem can be fixed.

The first thing you need to do when you notice frost building up on your air-conditioning unit is to turn it off and allow the system to thaw naturally. You need to watch out for water levels as your air conditioner may get damaged if water overflows inside the evaporator coil. You can always call for an ac repair or HVAC maintenance technician to help you thaw out your air conditioning unit in case it freezes up.

What causes your air conditioning unit to freeze up?

While an HVAC maintenance technician can quickly fix a frozen air conditioning unit, it is also essential that you know the cause so that you can employ some preventive measures in the future. Here are reasons for frost build-up in your air conditioner.

1. Low refrigerant. A refrigerant behaves differently when subjected to varying levels of pressure. In an ideal system, the refrigerant passing through the pipes is subjected to a temperature that allows condensation to form outside. If the pressure in the system changes, the refrigerant will also start to act differently. As the warm air gets drawn into the evaporator line, moisture will condense and begin to freeze on the coils. In the beginning, you won’t notice any changes in the performance of your air conditioning system. However, as more ice forms, it will start to insulate the system and refrigerant will evaporate at a faster rate. When refrigerant reaches a critically low level, it will not be enough to freeze the lines, causing ice to melt and damage the AC.

2. Poor air flow. The heat coming from the warm air inside your home helps prevent condensation from turning into ice. When the air conditioning unit can’t get enough air, ice will start to build-up in the condensation lines. Check if air filters need cleaning or replacement. Otherwise, have an HVAC maintenance expert check the entire system for other causes of poor air flow such as blocked ducts, blocked grates, or blocked dampers.

3. Damaged blower fan. An effective air conditioning system depends on a perfect balance of airflow and air pressure. The blower fan is responsible for pushing cold air into your home and sucking warm air outside. If the blower is not working correctly, there will be significant changes to the air flow. When air is not flowing properly, condensation will start to build-up and may not evaporate fast enough; hence, frost will begin to appear. A damaged blower fan can also cause more serious trouble for your air conditioning systems such as frozen refrigerant lines and frozen condenser unit. If you suspect there is something wrong with your blower fan, contact an HVAC maintenance technician as soon as possible to fix it.

4. Dirty coils. When dirt builds up on top of the coils, it hinders proper moisture absorption. As such, waterlogged coils will freeze. Part of a routine check-up and ac repair involves cleaning the coils to prevent this from happening.

When you start noticing ice build-up on your air conditioning unit, it is possible to handle the issue yourself by merely turning it off and allowing it to thaw. However, if there are serious problems such as water damage, damaged fans, or dirty coils, you will need the help of an HVAC technician. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to determine whether a frost build-up is not a symptom of a more severe problem. Therefore, have a bi-annual checkup and HVAC maintenance to ensure that your cooling system is always in good condition.

AC repair technician – who do you trust with your home’s air conditioning system?

Finding an ac repair technician is an important decision. As much as you invest on making sure that your home is a comfortable and safe, you should always take the time to find only the best professionals to trust with maintenance and repair work on your air conditioning. After all, if you want your central cooling system to remain reliable, you need the help of an expert for repairs and maintenance.
1. First, use all your available resources to find a local HVAC maintenance company. This means using online tools to make a list, checking references, as well as verifying with the Better Business Bureau.

2. Second, you should check how the company operates by visiting their facility. A professional HVAC maintenance should maintain a physical location and hire professional staff.

3. Third, compare services especially if you are buying into a maintenance plan. Carefully assess what you are getting out of the package and make sure that you are getting the best value for your money.

4. Lastly, read the reviews and comments from customers.

If you are looking for a reliable HVAC maintenance and ac repair company within the Seattle area, Fischer Heating is a local company with years of experience in the field of air conditioning maintenance, installation and repairs. Call them today for assistance with any of your air conditioning needs.

Image Copyright: Wuttichok Panichiwarapun / 123RF Stock Photo



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