Ice on your air conditioner? Reliable Heating & Air – Video Blog


So you don’t have any air conditioning and you walk outside and you see ice all over your air conditioner. You’ve got a freezing up problem. Stay tuned and we’ll talk about that for a few minutes to tell you what to do. Home Care & Maintenance: Air Conditioner Freeze Up with Dan Jape So many times when you don’t have air conditioning, you’ll go outside and you’ll see ice on your outdoor unit, and you think you’ve found the problem. You’ll turn it off, some of the ice will melt and you’ll try to turn it back on. You think you’ve fixed the problem. Well, the real problem starts inside on your indoor coil. This coil will be a solid block of ice and this area that you see here will be completely encrusted with ice, oftentimes an iceberg, sometimes two or three feet high. And until that ice is melted you can’t get any air through the cooling coil. So the big mistake when you have a frozen unit is you turn it off and you turn it back on in an hour and it just starts icing up again. What you have to do when an air conditioner ices up is it has to thaw. Generally overnight, four, five, six or seven hours because the volume of ice is such that it will just take a long time to thaw. You have to be very careful to during this thawing process because that ice will melt into water come down and cascade down on the furnace, many times burning out components in the furnace. Now and air conditioner should never ice. If you ever see any ice on the outdoor unit or on the big line there’s a malfunction. There’s a problem. Many times people will let it thaw, they’ll turn it back on they’ll get cooling for a short time and then they think the problem’s fixed itself. They’ll actually call our company, set up a service appointment, the ice will thaw, they’ll cancel that appointment and then the next day they’re back on the line frantically. An air conditioner should never have ice on the line, the big line, or any other lines or any of the tubes. If you ever see ice you have to call for help. There’s a couple reasons why an air conditioner can ice. One of the most common ones is a dirty furnace filter. If you don’t have enough air across this coil it will start to ice. But the most common problem we see is a lack of freon and when the freon drops in the unit the surface temperature drops so cool that the water the spleen removed from the air freezes this surface. When this surface gets blocked with ice then that ice starts building up, building up the which works very much like the ice maker in a refrigerator. So icing is always a problem that if you don’t have a dirty filter you need to call your heating and air contractor tell them what the problem is and turn the unit off. One of the biggest issues that we have with frozen units is people call for help and they think that if they leave the air conditioner running they’re gonna have cooling while they’re waiting for us to get there. That’s not true. If you can’t get air across the cooling coil you’re not going to have any cooling. As a matter of fact you can burn up your air conditioner to leave it running with ice on it. So you need to call your contractor and regardless of how uncomfortable you are turn it off. And you need to wait at least four or five hours to have them come out. Because if they get there and there’s any ice left on this coil there’s not a thing they can do technician’s usually gonna charge you a service call turn around and leave and tell you he’ll be back the next day. Many, many times people say they turned it off and they don’t and they’re very unhappy because we can tell. And remember until that ice is all gone you’ve got a problem. If you like our videos, please leave a comment below. And for a new home care video every week subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Don’t forget to like us and share this video with your friends. And as always, if you need a professional visit our website or call us at Reliable Heating and Air. Heating, Air, Plumbing, and Electrical Subscribe and Share! Thanks for watching. See you next week!

98 thoughts on “Ice on your air conditioner? Reliable Heating & Air – Video Blog

  1. Best video with great explanation on what to do, and what to check for possible cause of frozen coil/lines…

  2. you are correct, i couldn't believe it when my friend told me about this site. Listen to this, it's way easier than i thought do a few surveys and boom a few $100 extra in your bank every week. if you wanna try just try now: bit.ly10Z3EIz

  3. Heat pumps will ice up in the summer as well in the winter. How long have you been servicing heat pumps?

  4. which unit will iced first if the condenser fan is not working? (inside unit or outside unit) I like your video

  5. My problem was a dirty filter. I ran the heat for several hours and that seems to be helping. I will wait till the ice is melted before calling for help. Thank you for the info.

  6. how do i know where to find the unit that is in side the house? my ac unit is ouside but im refering to the unit with coils you demonstarted on your video. help please?

  7. if a unit is running in side and the fan or compressor out is not fan and compressor and fan checks as good have power what to troubleshoot for

  8. why does ice build up on my window air condition coil , please anybody advice me on how to fix problem !

  9. I've got a 2 yr old low end American Standard Si Silver series AC condenser rated 13.25 SEER (outside unit), as well as a Si Silver furnace, also low end, rated 4 tons, which should be more than enough to cool and heat my 1800 sq ft home. A few weeks ago I noticed water leaking from the bottom of the furnace, thinking why the fuck is this happening to a 2 yr old installation. Well, I did some research and found that, in most cases, the leaking can be caused by…..

  10. 1) a clogged PVC pipe that drains the condensation from the evaporation coils above the furnace. As mentioned in the video, a pan under the coils collects the condensation, which is then drained through one or two PVC pipes either to a drain in the floor, or outside. I checked this and the pipe was clear. 2) frozen evaporative coils as described in the video. Again, these coils are located encased on top of a vertically positioned air furnace, or next to a horizontally positioned furnace….

  11. Well, I was able to eyeball the bottom of the coils through the drain hole with a flashlight, and sure enough, the coils were frozen, but thankfully not to the extent described in the video. Now I needed to identify the cause of the coils freezing, which is usually caused by 1) dirty condensation coils on the unit outside, or dirty evaporation coils on the inside by the furnace. 2) Lack of airflow over and around the evap. coils, which can be caused by a dirty filter, or….

  12. A filter that is TOO DENSE for the airflow generated by the blower. This is often overlooked, because one would think that a denser filter would trap smaller particles, so it must be ok. Wrongo moose breath…if the blower isn't real strong, a dense filter, like anything over 800 MPR, will suppress the airflow over the coils, resulting in the coils freezing up. 3) As previously mentioned, the blower could be on the fritz and not generating enough (or any) airflow, or….

  13. 4) low on coolant, as mentioned in the video. I thoroughly cleaned both the outside and inside coils (I used a spray foam on the inside coils, which you let sit for awhile before rinsing, or you can let the condensation rinse it. It's sold on Amazon and I recommend getting 2 cans). I should probably mention that I first thawed the frozen coils by running the heat for a half hour or so, but that's entirely dependent on how frozen they are (how much ice is built up)….

  14. Thereafter, when I noticed the coils just starting to ice up (by looking through the drain hole), I would turn off the ac and just run the fan for an hr or so, which was enough to thaw the coils. I ended up leaving the fan on all the time (rather than on auto), so when the ac went off, the fan would continue to run and prevent freeze ups (usually). This is not a long term solution, because leaving the fan on all the time shortens the life of the fan and increases your electric bill noticeably

  15. My apologies for the lengthy comment(s), but I've concluded that the filter I'm using is too dense at 800 MPR, so I'm buying a package of 6 from Amazon that are only 300 MPR, which will trap most particles, to see if that will stop the freezing. If not, time to call a tech and have the coolant level checked. In conclusion, if you have the freezing coils problem or your airflow out of the vents just seems weak, either the filter is dirty or too dense. Those 300 MPR filters on Amazon are a good

  16. buy and highly rated, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to stock up on those if you decided your problem was high density filters. Also, you could afford to change them more often if you bought them in bulk. I think they're filtreet brand, but they're one of the first to come up if you search for furnace filters, and they're rated around 4.5, and come in most sizes. Again, that's the 300 MPR rated filters, about as low density as you would want to go. I'll follow up with the results.

  17. Big line lol it's called the suction line and your in hvac i'm only 16 and i'm studying this. It happens when liquid refrigerant gets in the evaporator, vapor refr. is supposed to be in the suction line.

  18. Good info, very useful. My outside fan stopped working, tech came out and replaced the "capacitor," we still weren't getting air and the unit sounded like it was struggling. Took off plate and saw a bunch of ice. Don't know jack about AC units, but that sure didn't seem right.
    Pulled out filter and it was pretty dang dirty, now gonna wait for it to thaw. May not have to use AC for rest of season anyway, but at least I know it could just be filter related. Thanks!

  19. Carlos… He is talking to people who obviously don't know how their a/c works. He was explaining this to people like they have never seen an a/c, which is why most of us are looking at this video. If we know what's wrong with it, we aren't going to go to youtube to look up how to fix it. If he was to start saying technical terms, most people would have no clue what he was talking about. But if he says the big line on the outside, we know. Smart ass know it all teenager…

  20. my panasonic window ac froze up last night! I was awoken by loud fan noise and crunching.
    there was snow all over the ac even here where the nights are as hot as hell. I fixed itt by running warm water over the dust filter so the ice would melt.

  21. He missed a key suggestion, at least for central A/C. Yes, you need to turn off the cooling then set your a/c's fan (the inside blower) to On instead of Auto. The air flow will melt the evaporator ice quicker, and actually give you some cooling into the house while you wait for repair.

  22. video was some what informietive but I have air conditioner paired with an electric heater in side now when I turned on me heater I found a busted blower moter condencer in home I f ixed it and now when I turn heat in air coils in the house freezes up

  23. Wow with this many views from homeowners and it was a good video ….but how about running the fan while waiting for service call. As the ice melts it will provide a very small amount of relief as you wait.

  24. You can switch the thermostat to off but move the fan switch to on instead of auto. This will continue to move warm household air over the iced coils but not run the compressor and will help defrost the ice faster. It will also continue to cool the house using the store up ice on the coils. It will however be a little more humid and you must make sure your condensate drain is not plugged or your unit will spill over. Attic unites are a disaster when that happens

  25. This is absolutely NOT how an icemaker works, despite what he says.  An icemaker works by depositing water in a tray, it freezes due to the air temperature inside a freezer, and then is ejected by a timer.  That has nothing to do with the mechanism described of moisture from air freezing on the condenser coils.

  26. UGH! Ive got icing again this year! Gonna call you guys again Reliable! Your tech "fixed" my system last year "enough" lol to last me the majority of the summer season.

  27. Help!?? We always pay for our freon and we paid a lot because somehow it wage so quick like 2 weeks idk what to do we already wasted money on the freon last year and this year 😁😁😁

  28. Thanks! Now if we can only get the worst apartment on the planet to come fix this then we will be in luck.

  29. Thank you for this great video. very informative I just had the same thing happen to me and the service call was made.

  30. I just got done with cleaning my condenser coil and check for air flow.  All is good there.  And I changed the filter yesterday.  I note the date when I change my filters.  But before that I can tell that the coil below the furnace was freezing up so I turned to thermometer up a little and the A/C went off.  What ice that was left on that coil though I didn't see any ice on the condenser coil quickly melted off being aware of the problem when I had a service man to come out a few years ago for the same problem.  I will be checking this icing again.  But, my questions, can an air conditioner temp be turned too low and should I get a service man out to check he Freon?   It has been murderously humid around here and even the shelves in my frig ice up until the humidity has gone done.   Thanks.   Your video was very helpful and yes I subscribed..  

  31. Very interesting and good information.  This should be mandatory viewing for everyone who has refrigerated air conditioning.  My unit is thawing now after discovering the compressor and lines covered in frost and ice.  I wish I could get that much cooling in the house.   Thanks for the video.

  32. Hey, thanks a lot for the simple excellent explanation. I opened up the air handler to find the evaporator coil completely frozen over. probably a lack of freon because the tech was just here about 3 weeks ago to replace a part on warranty. He had to empty the freon & refill so he may not  have sealed the system back up again!

  33. Absolutely GREAT and helpful video!  So informative and a money saver with regard to how technicians will charge you a fee if there is ice on the unit when they come out.  Thanx Dan !!!

  34. So i have to turn it off? I haven't slept for 30 hours and when i finally went to sleep 3 hours later a woke up sweating like craaazzzy and i have to turn it off for 5 hours, thanks man, and from the bottom of my heart FUCK MY LUCK

  35. A ductless AC making ice cubes on the fan unit inside the room. and the compressor unit outside in balcony is making sound like a car engine changing speed high and low. What would be the problem ?

  36. If the filter is new and installed properly and the Freon level is correct, should a unit ever ice up if it is otherwise working correctly? Specifically, if you are asking the unit to cool to a temperature that is too cold will it ice up or just fail to get you as cold as you would like?

  37. Thank you. That was very helpful. I have a new air conditioner and it has exactly that problem. At least I know how it needs to be fixed. I called the guy that installed it and turned off the cooling and am letting the air run to melt the ice. I don't know if there is a heating filter or where it could be. The installer will check the coolant level when he comes.

  38. You said that one of the causes of ice forming on the coils is insufficient Freon! How could lack of Freon cause ice formation?! This doesn't compute! No freon-No AC-No Ice Anywhere!
    CAUSES OF ICE JAM:
    1. Clogged air filter
    2. Oversized condenser for the size of the house
    3. Closed vents in rooms
    4. Inadequate sizing of the delivery system ( i.e. pipe dimensions)

    What you said didn't make any sense!

  39. Joe is right when you have an icing problem either low on Freon or the a/c unit has been running constantly due to hot hot summer months, place the cool / heat option switch to off.. most systems will have another switch that shows auto or on that's your fan control turn the fan on and it will circulate air.. leave on five to eight hours to defrost your system….

    Note:
    If your system has reverse cycle Aka: heat pump system you can switch over to heat mode and defrost your system out within a few hours but only if you have reverse cycle – heat pump system which is more common in areas like central and northern florida

  40. At my in-laws house, lines froze up,the condenser was plugged terribly outside. Flushed condenser with garden hose. Waiting for the thaw now with blower only on. Filter is good. My guess is this issue is put to bed.

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