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24/7Emergency Service

Serving San Antonio for over 25 years

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Why Is There Ice on My Air Conditioning System?

You expect your air conditioner to give you soothing, lower temperatures to combat the Texas heat. But you don’t expect to see ice starting to form on its components—the air should be cold, but your AC shouldn’t be that cold. If your indoor unit starts icing over, it may be a sign of an issue with your system that needs attention before it has a negative impact on your AC’s operation. Our technicians at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating often see this problem during our San Antonio air conditioning service calls, so we can tell you a bit about why it may happen.

To better understand the reason why ice forms on your indoor unit, you should know a bit about the basic operation of an air conditioner. An air conditioner doesn’t “create” cold air. It removes heat from indoor air. The heat exchanger uses rapid evaporation and condensation of a chemical compound running through the air conditioner, known as refrigerant. Heated refrigerant in the outdoor coil causes condensation, releasing heat. The cooler refrigerant in the indoor coil evaporates, absorbing heat from your inside air and making you feel cooler.

If your indoor coil—also known as the condensing coil—has difficulty with evaporation, it will not absorb sufficient heat. The lower temperature of the refrigerant can then start to freeze over, causing the frost that you see. Interference with evaporation will make your AC work less efficiently when drawing out heat from your home. And no, just because the fan is blowing across ice doesn’t mean you’ll get cool air. The more ice, the less cold air.

There are a number of culprits that might trigger freezing.

  • A common one is a build-up of dust along the indoor coils because of an excessively clogged air filter. Dirty coils will block evaporation from occurring. Problems with your ducts can also cause this dusty build-up.
  • Another reason for frozen coils is a low refrigerant charge. Refrigerant doesn’t get used up during normal heat exchange, but leaks can happen. With less refrigerant evaporating, the refrigerant won’t get enough heat and may start to freeze the coils as it passes through them.

Ice in your air conditioner is a problem that will only become worse if you leave it unattended. Call in the experts at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating when you notice ice forming. Our technicians will diagnose the problem and offer repair solutions, whether it requires cleaning the coils or fixing refrigerant leaks. Offering exceptional air conditioning services in San Antonio, TX is our specialty, and we’re ready to help you!

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