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Why is there Frost in My Air Conditioner?

One of the most common symptoms of a problematic air conditioner is the formation of frost on the evaporator coils. At first glance, that doesn’t sound like a big deal. Shouldn’t the air conditioner be cold? But in point of fact, frost on the air conditioning coils is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by a professional technician. With fall finally arriving here in Cedar Falls, IA, now is the time to treat the problem properly. But why is there frost on your air conditioner? The causes may vary, but the effects are unmistakable.

What Happens

Frost is a problem because it interferes with the cooling process. The evaporator coils contain refrigerant shifting from a liquid to a gaseous state, which pulls heat from the nearby air and allow it to be blown into your home. With the ice or frost in the way, that can’t happen as readily. As a result, your system needs to work harder to do its job and your monthly energy bills will go up. Even worse, the added strain means that another component in your system may suffer a serious breakdown, necessitating expensive (and avoidable) repairs.

The Causes

Some homeowners feel that the solution is to simply scrape off the ice. This is a huge mistake. In the first place, the actual problem lies somewhere else, and clearing off the ice won’t fix it. In the second place, you could damage the evaporator coils, which will necessitate a serious repair bills. Frost on the air conditioner is often caused by leaking refrigerant, but it can also be caused by fan problems, compressor problems, or even just excessively cool weather. It takes a professional to determine the true source of the problem and instigate proper repairs.

If you spot frost on your air conditioner, call Dalton Plumbing, Heating and Cooling today!

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