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There are many components that make up an AC unit. Regardless of how well you take care of your unit, something will fail sooner or later with regular use. This is normal and to be expected. When something fails, the first thing that you need to do is to contact an AC repair company in Chattanooga, TN for help. Because of the complexity of AC units, you should never try to do any of the repair jobs yourself unless you have previous experience and knowledge.
One of the most common problems that you’ll run into is a frozen evaporator coil. This happens when ice forms around the outside of the coil. Most people will fail to diagnose the problem until it’s too late if they do not call an AC repair company for help. Unless you know how to take apart the AC unit, you won’t be able to properly inspect it.
In this article, we’ll look at this problem in detail. By the end of the article, you should have a good idea of what causes this problem and how you can identify and solve it.
3 Ways to Spot a Frozen Evaporator Coil
Unless you take the AC unit apart, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to see the frozen evaporator coil. In order to diagnose this problem, you’re going to have to pay attention to your system to see whether it’s displaying any odd behaviors. You should contact a repair company the moment that you notice these are behaviors.
If the evaporator coil is frozen, many different behaviors will emerge. Not all of them are easy to discern. We’ll look at the most obvious symptoms below.
#1. Decreased Cooling Efficiency
This is something that might take some time for you to notice. In the beginning, the decreased cooling efficiency may not be noticeable at all unless you have some type of equipment that can measure the performance of your AC unit. This is also why it’s important to contact an AC repair company. The contractor from the AC repair company will be able to test the overall efficiency of your AC unit and compare it with what it should be able to do. If they notice a decreased cooling efficiency, they will be able to take a deeper look into the problem.
As the evaporator coil freezes over, the layer of ice on top will make it difficult for the refrigerant around the coil to cool the air in your home. After some time, you should notice that your AC unit is not working as efficiently as before. For example, it might take a much longer time for your AC unit to cool down a room. In severe scenarios, the AC unit may never cool the air down to the temperature that you want. You might feel like the air that’s blowing out of the AC unit feels rather warm.
The thicker the layer of ice that surrounds the evaporator coil, the less efficient the AC unit becomes. This doesn’t mean that your AC unit isn’t running or working. However, since the system will notice that the temperature inside the room isn’t dropping through the thermostat, the AC unit will continue to work overtime. At the end of the day, you’ll notice that the temperature never cools down to the set temperature; however, your utility bills will continue to rise.
#2. An Overworked Compressor
This ties in with what we were talking about above. As the AC unit becomes less efficient, the AC system will be under a lot more strain. In other words, the AC system will need to run for longer periods of time in order to compensate for the decreased efficiency. This will affect a lot of the different components and parts inside the AC unit.
In particular, the compressor will become overworked. It’s one of the parts that becomes damaged most quickly. The compressor basically acts like a small engine inside the AC unit. If you notice that the compressor is constantly running and overheating, the issue might be that you have a frozen evaporator coil. If you do not act quickly, you’ll need to replace the compressor as well. It’s no surprise that replacing the compressor can be relatively expensive. It might also take the AC repair company some time to get this job done, which means that you won’t be able to use your AC unit for the time-being.
If the compressor is overworked, it also becomes very susceptible to a thing known as flooding. This happens when refrigerant enters the compressor while it is still a liquid. The compressor will not be able to handle the refrigerant in this state. As a result, it will sustain a lot of damage to its internal valves and pistons. When this happens, the AC repair company will generally recommend that you replace the compressor. It’ll be extremely difficult to repair. In fact, even if the AC repair company can repair it, it might not be worth repairing.
#3. Indoor Water Leaks
Last but not least, a very obvious sign that you’re dealing with a frozen evaporator coil is when there are indoor water leaks. The ice on the frozen evaporator coil will melt sometime or another. When this happens, the melted ice will become water vapor that leaks out of the unit. Normally, this water will drip off the coil and into a special pan. However, this pan can only accommodate very little water since a normal AC unit will not leak out a lot of water.
Due to this reason, you’ll notice that the water will leak out from the unit and into your home. The first sign that you have a frozen evaporator coil is if you notice that there are puddles underneath your AC system. You might also notice water stains on the walls that are very close to the AC unit.
This is problematic not only for your AC system, but also for your walls as well. Water damage can be very difficult and costly to repair. If you contact an AC repair company quickly and fix the problem, you won’t have to worry about further water damage.
3 Reasons Why the Evaporator Coil Has Frozen
There are many reasons why the evaporator coil may have frozen up. A contractor from the AC repair company will not only be able to diagnose the problem, but they’ll also be able to uncover the primary cause behind it. By being aware of how this situation happened in the first place, you’ll have a better idea of how to prevent it from happening in the future.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why an evaporator coil may freeze below.
#1. Insufficient Regular Services
Most experts recommend that you get your AC unit serviced by an AC repair company at least once a year. This servicing will include a thorough cleaning of the unit that gets rid of excessive dirt and dust that has accumulated within. If you do not get your AC unit regularly serviced, you can get dirty really quickly. This means that the evaporator coil will not be able to work at its peak capacity. It also means that it’s easier for ice to form on the sides.
If you noticed that the evaporator coil is constantly becoming frozen, speak with the AC repair company to see whether you need to increase the amount of servicing that your unit gets.
#2. Clogged Air Filters
You really should replace the filters in your AC unit quite regularly. If you use the AC unit on a daily basis, you might want to consider replacing the filters every month just to be safe. Replacing the air filters will improve the air quality within your home. It will also prevent your evaporator coils from freezing over.
In order to distribute cool air effectively throughout your entire Chattanooga, TN home, the AC unit must need sufficient airflow. If the filters are clogged, air cannot flow properly in and out of the system. This means that the coils can get too cold. Once it becomes too cold, it becomes susceptible to freezing.
Due to this reason, if you are dealing with a frozen evaporator coil, there’s a good chance that you should replace your air filters at the same time. It’s also a good time to replace your air filters because the AC repair company will need to take the entire AC unit apart in order to thaw the evaporator coils. You might as well kill two birds with one stone.
#3. Refrigerant Leaks
All AC units require refrigerant in order to function. This chemical runs through the coils in order to change the pressure and temperature of the air that’s circulating within your home. If the refrigerant is leaking out of the AC unit, it will cause you to absorb more heat than it should. This will cause not only the evaporator coils, but also the refrigerant lines to freeze over.
This is another problem that you need to contact a Chattanooga, TN AC repair company to fix right away. A refrigerant leak is bad for the environment. It’s also bad for the health of anyone who is living on your property. In some places, it’s even illegal to not fix this problem and allow the refrigerant to continuously leak out. The contractor from the AC repair company will need to not only fill up the unit with more refrigerant, but also identify where the leak is and fix it. If the leak is too big, the contractor from the AC repair company will need to replace the parts that are involved instead.
Fixing a Frozen Evaporator Coil
If the contractor from the AC repair company has already identified that the problem with your unit is a frozen evaporator coil, then the next steps should be fairly easy. There aren’t many different ways that you can solve this situation.
The first thing that the contractor is going to need to do is to turn off your unit. Next, they’re going to need to take the entire unit apart in order to get to the evaporator coils. Once they can reach the evaporator coils, they will use different methods to thaw the ice. Once the ice is thawed, the AC unit should run smoothly again.
The issue is identifying the cause for the frozen coils. It’s crucial that you identify the cause behind the issue so that you can prevent it from happening again. If you don’t, you’ll continue to damage the AC unit.
For example, if the air filter is clogged, you’ll need to replace it immediately. You should also set up a system with the HVAC company to get the filters replaced regularly. The goal is to prevent the evaporator coils from ever freezing again.
Get Reliable HVAC Services from Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air
If you suspect that you are dealing with a frozen evaporator coil, you should definitely call an AC repair company in Chattanooga, TN as soon as possible to do an inspection. A licensed contractor will be able to take apart your AC unit in order to determine what the cause of the problem may be. He or she should also be able to offer you several solutions to choose from based on your budget.
Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air offers a wide range of HVAC services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. We are a family-owned and operated AC repair company with decades of experience in handling all types of HVAC systems. Our licensed contractors can take a look at your system and figure out what’s wrong with it in no time. Most importantly, we provide affordable services.
If you’re looking for an AC repair company in Chattanooga, TN give us a call at 423-250-3502. You can also reach out to us online at any time.