Troubleshooting Ice on Your Air Conditioning Refrigeration Lines

  • Have you ever noticed ice on the copper lines running to and from your air conditioning equipment?
  • Do you know that is an indicator of a problem?
  • Do you know that YOU may be able to repair it yourself and be more comfortable because of it?

Ice on Your Air Conditioning Refrigeration Lines

Ice on A/C copper lines is typically indicative of 1 of 2 things:

Scenario 1: Bad air flow across the coil
Scenario 2: Refrigeration charge not correct

Bad Air Flow Across the Coil

Bad air flow across a coil means that something is restricting or preventing air from moving across the evaporator coil. Some common issues are dirty filters, dirty coils, restricted ductwork, and blower fan malfunction or failure. What can you do if this is the reason you’re seeing ice on your air conditioning refrigeration lines?

  1. First, start with turning the unit off (you can leave the fan running to speed up the process) so the ice will thaw out. The unit will not function properly and cannot be properly repaired until it is completely thawed out. Be Aware: ice can build up to the point of overwhelming you drain pan and spilling water in your attic or closet, so you will want to keep a close eye on it while it thaws. Damage can occur, but you must thaw out the unit to get it working again.
  2. Next, check your filter. If it is dirty…change it and then turn your unit on again and see if that solves the problem.
  3. Then, make sure the fan on your inside unit is running. If it is not running you need to schedule a service company to take it from here.
  4. Finally, make sure your ductwork is still intact and not restricting the air flow to the coil. If the ductwork is collapsed you may try repairing yourself or schedule a service company.

Refrigeration Charge Not Correct

If none of the issues in Scenario 1 are present, you likely have a refrigerant problem. That means you likely have a refrigerant leak somewhere in the system. Systems running on low refrigerant will not cool properly, and you will see ice on your air conditioner’s copper lines. The lack of a proper refrigerant charge will do damage to the main components of your system. Schedule a service company ASAP!

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