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Troubleshooting Ice on Your Air Conditioning Refrigeration Lines

Spectrum Heat & AirTroubleshooting

Ice on Your Air Conditioner’s Copper Lines

  • Have you ever noticed ice forming on copper AC lines running to and from your equipment?
  • Did you know ice on copper AC lines is an indicator of a problem with your home’s air conditioner?
  • Do you know that YOU may be able to repair it yourself and be more comfortable because of it?

Typical Causes of Ice on Copper AC Lines:

  1. There is bad air flow across the air conditioner’s coil, or
  2. The AC unit’s refrigeration charge is incorrect

1. 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?

  • 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.
  • Next, check your filter. If it is dirty…change it and then turn your unit on again and see if that solves the problem.
  • 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.
  • 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 an HVAC service and repair company in the Denton or Collin County areas.

2. Refrigeration Charge Not Correct

Service tech troubleshooting ice on copper AC line by checking the refrigerant level on a residential air conditioning unit.

If bad air flow across the coil isn’t the problem, you likely have a refrigerant problem. That means you likely have a refrigerant leak somewhere in your AC system. Air conditioning systems running on low refrigerant will not cool properly, and you will see ice forming on copper AC lines. The lack of a proper refrigerant charge will do damage to the main components of your system. Schedule a service call with a local HVAC contractor ASAP!

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