Is There Frost on Your AC Coils?

With higher temperatures arriving, you’re going to be using your air conditioner more and more often. That makes this time of year a perfect time to check for trouble with your system. Only a trained professional can diagnose trouble with your air conditioner the right way, but you can do yourself a favor by looking for the signs of a problem. When you spot them, shut the system down and call for repair service.

One of the more common symptoms of trouble with your air conditioner—and one many homeowners overlook—is the formation of frost or ice on your evaporator coils. It might not sound like a big deal—after all, isn’t the air conditioner supposed to be cold?—but in point of fact, it could be a huge problem with your system.


Frost on the coils can be caused by any number of issues, including but not limited to the following:

  • Refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant needs to be a specific type and be introduced into the evaporator coils in a set amount for the air to be cooled as it should. If it leaks, it could result in frost.
  • Faulty fan motor. A faulty fan motor could keep the cool air trapped in the air conditioner instead of blowing it into the home the way it should. That could result in the frost of ice forming on the coils.
  • Blocked filters. A filter that is clogged or blocked will similarly keep cool air inside the system instead of getting it clear. That will cool the air more than it should and create ice or frost.
  • General mechanical failures. Any kind of hiccup in the system can slow the flow of refrigerant and freeze up the coils.
  • Low temperatures. Any time the temperature drops below 65°F, you should turn off your air conditioner. Otherwise, you risk frost forming on the coils.


Regardless of the causes of the trouble, the results are predictable. The ice or frost forms an insulating barrier between any remaining refrigerant and the air they’re supposed to cool. As a result, the air conditioner needs to work much harder to do its job, which raises both your monthly bills and the chances of a larger breakdown later on down the line. Even worse, the problem can cascade: creating more ice and forcing the system to work even harder until a shutdown is inevitable.

The plethora of causes shows why you should never attempt to scrape the ice off of the coils. The ice is merely a symptom, which means it will quickly re-form. Moreover, you could easily damage the coils in the process, and add their replacement to the cost of dealing with the core issue. (The coils are usually highly expensive to repair, and could turn a potentially simple issue into something much costlier.) Instead, shut the system off and don’t touch it until a repair service arrives.

For quality air conditioning repair services in Round Rock, TX, call the professionals at Intelligent Air Services today!