Care For Your AC Evaporator Unit
There are two main components of an AC unit: you have the condenser unit located outside of your houses, and you have the evaporator unit located on the inside. If you have a problem with either one of these components, then your AC system will either stop working efficiently, or it will stop working at all. Knowing what to do when you have problems with your AC unit can help you to save money on AC repairs.
What Causes Problems with an Evaporator Unit
The evaporator located inside of your house is responsible for cooling the air in your house. It accomplishes this by using a fan to push hot air over a set of coils containing liquid refrigerant. The hot air causes the refrigerant to vaporize, and as it does so, it extracts heat from the air. Thus, the whole system depends on airflow. If you have a problem with airflow, your AC coils can cool too much to the point that water vapor in the air begins to freeze on the coils. As ice builds up on the coils, it can completely block airflow through the coils, and at this point, the AC unit will no longer be able to pump cool air into your home.
What to Do About Frozen Coils
If you stand by a vent while your AC is running and notice that little to no cool air is flowing into your house, then you need to shut off your system immediately and investigate. Once you have shut off your system, you should go down to your mechanical room and remove the access panel to your coils. Follow these steps:
1. Check the filter. If the filter is badly clogged, it can prevent airflow into the evaporator. Replace a dirty filter.
2. Check the coils themselves. If there is ice built up on the coils, place a bucket and/or towels beneath the coils to catch water as it melts off of the coils. Don't turn your AC back on until all the ice has melted off, or the coils will just start to freeze over again. You can speed the process by using a hairdryer to blow hot air over the coils. Don't try to chip at the ice because you could damage the coils.
3. Check the evaporator fan. Replace the access panel and turn your AC on. If you have the option, turn your thermostat to the fan position so that only the fan turns on. Listen for the fan. If you don't hear the fan turn on, then you will need to call an AC repair person to investigate and deal with problems with the fan itself.
In the best case scenario, replacing a dirty filter and melting the ice off your coils will fix your problem. But if not, taking the time to troubleshoot your AC unit on your own will not cost you any money, and you will be able to give your AC repair person some insight into what the problem is.
Contact a company like Seliga Heating and Cooling for more information and assistance.