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This One Simple Issue can Cripple Your Air Conditioner

Jul 30, 2018

Frozen-ACIn a perfect world, your air conditioner would never break down at all and you could enjoy the summer without worrying about it. But, as we’re sure you’ve noticed, this isn’t actually a perfect world. It’s also incredibly easy for your air conditioner to malfunction and break down at exactly the worst possible time.

The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to schedule preventive maintenance for your air conditioner every spring. This will keep the odds of a serious issue cropping up with your system pretty low. Still, it is a good idea to know what kinds of issues your air conditioner can run into if you’re not careful.

With that in mind, let’s go over a single, fairly easily solved problem that can nevertheless cripple your air conditioner if you aren’t cautious.

The Air Filter

Inside your air conditioner’s air return duct is an air filter, designed to protect it from the various debris and other nasty stuff that can be found in ductwork. While the filter does a pretty good job of protecting the air conditioner, it needs to be changed every three months or so in order to prevent it from becoming clogged. What happens if it does get clogged? Bad stuff. Very bad stuff.

A clogged air filter will prevent most of the air in the ducts from flowing into the air conditioner, and thus over the evaporator coil. The coil is what evaporates refrigerant to siphon heat from the air around it, and thus cool the air. No air flowing over the coil means your system won’t be able to cool your home very well. However, it also means that the temperature around the coil will fall well below what it should without the balancing effect of a constant hot air flow. Eventually, the temperature will drop low enough that the condensate on the coil will freeze, and the whole thing will ice over.

Why is ice on the condenser coil a problem? Because it cements the coil’s lack of access to the warm air it needs to function properly. However, it also has the added effect of being able to spread down the refrigerant line to other parts of the system, causing them to freeze and eventually leading to the entire system breaking down.


You can prevent this from happening by, as we said, scheduling regular preventive maintenance. Your technician will change out the air filter as necessary during the typical maintenance appointment. You can also change the filter on your own, if you know how. If not, have your technician show you. If there is already ice on your air conditioner, then you’re going to need to call a technician to clean out the system for you. Otherwise, the issue will only get worse.

Desert Suns Heating & Cooling Inc. offers a full range of HVAC services in Albuquerque, NM. If you need to have your air conditioner repaired, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our professional air conditioner technicians.

Categories: Air Conditioning