During the summertime, it's not unusual to see a thin layer of frost form on your air conditioner while it's running. Frost formation is often caused by small amounts of moisture freezing on the evaporator or condenser coil. However, too much frost can be a bad thing for your air conditioning unit.
Excessive frost and ice buildup can limit your air conditioner's performance and place additional strain on its components. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can prevent this buildup from getting in the way of your air conditioner's cooling duties. Simply take a look at these three effective preventative steps.
Change Your Air Filter
Sometimes it's hard to believe that something as minor as your air filter can cause so much trouble for your air conditioning system. Skipping several air filter changes in a row puts your air conditioner at risk of clogging up with dust and debris.
A clogged air filter prevents air from flowing properly to the coil. Without a steady flow of warm air to keep temperatures at the coil's surface just above freezing, layers of ice may start forming on the coil.
Changing your air filter on a regular basis is the best way to prevent frost and ice buildup. To ensure your air conditioner offers the best possible performance, you should change your air filter on a monthly basis.
Clean Your Coils
Dirty evaporator or condenser coils can also cause the same problems as a clogged air filter. Once again, the problem involves an adequate airflow through the coils. Cumulative dust and debris buildup over the life of your air conditioner can block air from passing through the coil fins. The end result is a blockage that allows heavy amounts of frost and ice to build up on the coil.
You should have your evaporator and condenser coils cleaned as part of your annual air conditioner service. Your HVAC technician has the right tools and expertise to clean your coils without causing any long-term damage.
Check Refrigerant Levels
Low refrigerant levels can also lead to excessive frost and ice buildup on your air conditioner. When refrigerant levels drop due to a leak or inadequate filling, the resulting pressure drop can also cause temperatures on the coil's surface to drop below freezing. This allows frost and ice to quickly build up on the coil in thick sheets.
Your HVAC technician will check your refrigerant levels as part of your annual service. You should also have your technician check for leaks throughout the air conditioning system. These preventative steps will ensure that your air conditioner remains frost- and ice-free throughout the year. For more information, contact a company like Allied Mechanical & Electrical, Inc..