HVAC maintenance can be complicated sometimes, especially when you don’t have much experience with HVAC systems. Many issues have multiple potential causes, some more serious than others. Ice forming on an air conditioner is a common problem but one that many homeowners don’t know how to solve. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available both on and offline that can help you learn more about your HVAC system and how to maintain it properly. If you don’t know where to start, keep reading to find out why there could be ice on your air conditioner and what you can do about it.
What causes ice on your air conditioner?
Finding something wrong with your AC can be confusing, especially if you’re new to taking care of your own HVAC system. If you find yourself asking, “Why is there ice on my air conditioner?”, know that you’re not alone in needing help to diagnose the problem. There are several reasons why you might be noticing ice on your air conditioner. One of the most common is a refrigerant leak. Without enough refrigerant flowing through the evaporator coil, the condensation removed from the air will freeze rather than drain into the pan as it should.
Faulty wiring could also be the culprit. If your air conditioner stays on, even after your home has reached the temperature you set on the control panel, that can be an indication that your AC has a wiring issue. It could be related to your thermostat or a failed electrical contact in your outdoor unit. When the compressor keeps working after the fan stops, ice forms. Dirty filters and evaporator coils are another common source of ice on your air conditioner. Sometimes, this can be remedied with a filter change, but if you still notice ice formation, you should call a technician.
The best way to avoid breakdowns or issues with your HVAC is to ensure your system receives regular maintenance. The unit itself should be inspected annually, and your filter will need to be changed at least once every 90 days, though many homeowners prefer to change theirs on a monthly basis to ensure peak performance.
What else can you do to stay cool in the summer?
If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your HVAC system, the best thing you can do is invest in a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled and compatible with other types of home automation. Many smart thermostats also make use of an algorithm to adapt to your schedule, which means that your system will only use the amount of energy you need to maintain your preferred temperature at home. This can have the practical effect of significantly lowering your energy costs.
Smaller lifestyle adjustments can make a big difference when the temperature starts to climb. It may seem counterintuitive, but one thing you should do is close your windows. It will keep air that has been cooled by your AC in and prevent hot air from seeping into your home. You can use fans to help circulate air and turn off heat-emitting LED lights, too. It might also make sense to avoid using the oven as much, as it can noticeably raise the indoor temperature.
It isn’t always easy to stay cool without driving up your utility bills, but there’s a lot you can do to manage your energy costs while keeping your home comfortable. Preventive maintenance is by far your best option for avoiding breakdowns and keeping your HVAC system in good working order. If you have ice on your AC that doesn’t disappear when you change the filter, you should call a technician right away. Products like smart thermostats and standing fans can also help your household beat the heat all summer long.