How to Stop an Evaporator Coil From Icing

Regularly cleaning an air conditioner can help prevent icing on the evaporator coil.
Regularly cleaning an air conditioner can help prevent icing on the evaporator coil. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Evaporator coils are an important part of most air conditioners, as the coils cool the air that is pulled into the air conditioner prior to releasing the air back into the atmosphere. The evaporator coils also remove some of the moisture from the air, which is turned into condensation that runs out of the air conditioner and into a drain pan. However, ice can sometimes form on evaporator coils for a variety of reasons, such as dirty condenser coils or blower fan blades. Preventing ice on an evaporator coil is fairly simple and can be accomplished through some basic maintenance.

Things You'll Need

  • Standard screwdriver (if necessary)
  • Compressed air
  • Clean cloth

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Avoid using the air conditioner when the ambient temperature is cool or cold. If the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, this cold air may freeze when it crosses the evaporator coils.

Turn off and unplug the air conditioner. Open the front access panel and use a can of compressed air, available at most hardware stores, to blow away excess dirt and debris from the evaporator coils. If the coils are dirty, proper air flow may be obstructed, resulting in ice.

Wipe the blower fan blades with a clean, damp cloth. If the fan blades are dirty, less air will move and may result in a buildup of ice on the evaporator coils.

Contact a service technician if none of these steps resolve the issue, as other possible problems include a low refrigerant level or thermostatic expansion valve issue, both of which may require professional assistance.

References

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