HomeBLOGAir ConditionersHow To Prevent Ice Buildup On Air Conditioner?

How To Prevent Ice Buildup On Air Conditioner?

Nobody wants to see their air conditioner covered in ice, especially during the summertime. But unfortunately, this is a common problem for many homeowners.

You can prevent ice build-up on air conditioners by regularly cleaning or replacing air filters and coils. Another way to avoid this problem is by ensuring your AC unit has proper airflow by checking the air vents and keeping them clear of any obstructions. 

This blog post will discuss why your air conditioner might be freezing up and what you can do to prevent it from happening. We will also provide some tips on thawing out an ice-covered air conditioner if it happens to you.

Where Ice Buildup Comes From and What It Looks Like?

There are several causes why your air conditioner might be freezing up. One reason could be that the evaporator coils and air filters are dirty or clogged with debris. When this happens, it doesn’t allow the refrigerant to evaporate correctly, which causes ice to form on the coils.

Another reason for ice build-up can be insufficient airflow. Restricted airflow coming from dirty air filters or blocked air vents can cause the coils to freeze up. Ice begins to accumulate within and outside the unit.

When you notice ice forming outside the unit, chances are the evaporator coils have already frozen over, and you’ll need to take action to thaw them out.

Another thing to observe is when your thermostat is not functioning as efficiently as before. The supply registers may also blow warm air instead of cold air. These are just some signs that there might be an airflow problem within your unit.

You may also observe that the unit has an irregular compressor cycle. It may be stopping and re-starting in irregular cycles causing the ice to form. The most common cause of this is a low Freon. Air conditioning units running on low Freon causes the coils to freeze up and will not evaporate properly.

However, if the air filters are clean, there’s a good chance that the issue is with the airflow. If the unit is new and has not been cleaned for a while, it is normal for the coils to have some frost dusting over during the first few times you use it.

You don’t have to worry as long as there are no large chunks of ice on the coils. The frost will eventually melt, and the water will evaporate.

How To Prevent Ice Build-up On Air Conditioner?

How To Prevent Ice Build-up On Air Conditioner?

The best way to prevent your air conditioner from freezing up is by keeping it clean and free of debris. Regularly check and clean (or replace) the air filters, coils, and vents to ensure proper airflow.

Air filter replacements vary from one manufacturer to another. An excellent way to determine filter replacement is by checking the owner’s manual of your unit. A professional should check and clean the coils at least once a year.

Another thing to remember is that low refrigerant levels can also cause ice build-up. Have an HVAC professional check your unit to see if it needs to be recharged.

Upon evaluation, it’s also essential to check for refrigerant leaks. If you happen to see a yellowish-green fluid flowing out of the unit, turn off the air conditioner and have it checked by a professional HVAC technician immediately to avoid further damage to your unit. Check for any visible damages on the coils and have them repaired right away.

Take away anything that blocks the airflow coming to your AC unit. Furniture, drapes, or rugs will often stop the vents. Keep the area around your unit clear to ensure proper airflow.

You can also try using a fan to help circulate the air and prevent ice build-up. Pointing a fan at the coils will help evaporate any condensation building upon them.

Another way to help prevent ice build-up is by raising the room’s temperature. It might seem counterintuitive, but you’re making the unit work less hard by raising the temperature.

A unit working too hard is more likely to freeze up than one that isn’t working as hard. So, if you find that your air conditioner is freezing up often, try raising the temperature a few degrees.

Check the insulation around your unit. If the insulation is damaged, it can cause the coils to freeze more quickly. Ensure that the area around your unit is well-insulated to help prevent ice build-up.

Regular maintenance is the key to preventing ice build-up on your air conditioner. By following these simple tips, you can keep your unit running smoothly and avoid any unexpected breakdowns during the summer.

Ideally, a professional HVAC professional should assess your air conditioner for any damages twice a year. A certified technician should check the unit once during springtime and fall. This is to make sure that your unit is ready to take on the summer heat or the winter cold.

Ice build-up on your air conditioner can vary in severity. There’s no need to worry if you notice a small amount of frost on the coils. However, if there is a significant build-up of ice, it’s best to take action to prevent further damage to your unit.


If you encounter this dilemma with your unit, do not fret. With the tips mentioned above, you can prevent ice build-up on the air conditioner in less time possible. It’s essential to remember that regular maintenance is still the key to a long-lasting unit.

If your unit is still acting up, taking this to a certified air conditioning repair shop is your best bet. They will help you determine the root cause of the problem and give you lasting solutions. They can also do a thorough checkup of your unit to ensure that everything is still working fine.

Preventing ice build-up on your air conditioner doesn’t have to be complicated. So, keep your unit running all summer long by following these simple tips.

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