Although the occurrence of ice or frost on the pipes of a central air conditioning system seems to indicate that the unit is working well, is not. The refrigerant lines should always be cool to the touch, but never frozen.
How central AA work?
Place central air conditioning is a multistep process that requires several components. Starting from the outside of the house, a compressor placed under pressure gaseous refrigerant, changing it to a cold liquid, which is sent home through copper tubing to the evaporator and then to the coil. As the coil cools, the home hot air is blown through the air handler and via the coil. The coil absorbs heat from the house and the air is cooled and sent home. Inside the coil, the coolant absorbs heat and becomes gas. As air is dehumidified condensation forms on the coil and then drained off. Hot coolant travels back to the compressor where the heat is vented, and the whole process begins again.
Condensation occurs when the hot air hits the cold tubes house, refrigerant filled coil. Moisture in the air is attracted to the cold tubes and beads are formed with shapes that become sweat droplets. The water drips to the bottom of the evaporator and is drained. This process is vital for dehumidification of the house. Other sections of the cold pipe condensation can form, particularly the supply line at the bottom of the compressor. These dew points are the first to freeze if the system malfunctions.
The ice or frost formation tends to occur in the supply line of copper. Examine the pipe on a warm day can reveal an ice ball that grows as the system works, which is the condensation freezes and not a coolant leak. If ice outside is clear, more than likely that a significant amount of ice being deposited in the coil. At the first sign of ice, turn off the system and investigate the cause.
Possible causes of freezing pipes
Three common problems can form ice: a dirty coil, a dirty air filter and low coolant levels. A dirty air filter can wreak havoc on an air conditioner because it reduces the flow of air from the house to the coil. If the heat does not bind with the cold coil surface temperatures fall until condensation begins to freeze. A dirty coil can also cause a similar problem as coils are insulated with dirt and do not work properly. Low levels of coolants are generally the problem in this situation. The cold coolant without a significant amount in the system will sit on the main supply line and also in the coil enabling the temperatures reach freezing levels in the ice surface and create condensation.
Before you call a technician, there are some things you can do to try to correct the problem. The easiest is to replace the air filter. The dirt in the air filter is usually the culprit of several air conditioning problems. Although air filters prevent dust and dirt from reaching the coils, over time dirt can build up in the coil, making it less efficient and possibly cause freezing. You can use a commercially available spray and drip cleaner to clean the coil every summer. Turn on the air conditioning after application, so that condensation can rinse any residue of the coil.
It’s time to call a professional
More often that cause freezing of the pipe is the lack of cooling. Although the coolant system is sealed and must remain closed during the lifetime of the system, gas leaks and leaks occur. Make an authorized check your coolant levels AA, examine for leaks and replace the lost gas. If a small leak is suspected, the technician can add a sealant for gas.