What do you do when your AC unit sounds like it is running but won't blow cool air into your home? While there are a few issues that could make your AC system behave in this way, one of the first things to check is your evaporator unit. If you do have problems with your evaporator coils, the good news is that you should be able to take care of the issue on your own.
Problem #1: A Dirty Filter
If you fall behind on changing your filter, your filter can restrict air to the point that not enough air gets through to your evaporator coils, and they freeze over. If you have a severely clogged filter, it can impair the efficiency of your unit and cause undue stress and wear; thus, you should change your filter as quickly as possible.
Problem #2: Dirty Coils
While a good filter will remove most particles from the air in your home, some particles will get through, and these can build up on your coils. As more and more grime builds up on your coils, they can restrict airflow and cause the coils to freeze over. To clean your coils, remove the access panel to your coils, spray them with a coil cleaner, wait at least five minutes to allow the solvents in the cleaner to dissolve the particles on your coils, scrub your coils clean with a stiff-bristle brush, then replace the access panel.
Problem #3: Ice on Your Coils
As freon flows through your evaporator coils, it turns to vapor and absorbs heat from the air flowing through the coils. If there is not enough air flowing over the coils, the vaporizing action of the coils can make the coils so cold that they begin to freeze the water vapor in the air in your home. The frozen moisture will build up on your coils until no air at all can get through the coils. To remove the ice, follow these steps:
1. Turn off your AC unit.
2. Place a bucket and towels under the coils to collect meltwater.
3. Do not chip at the ice, because you can puncture your coils and create a freon leak.
4. You may use a hair dryer to speed up the thawing process.
5. Once all the ice on your coils has melted, you will need to change the filter and/or clean your coils depending on whether your filter, your coils, or both are dirty.
Failure to properly maintain your AC unit can cause serious problems. Changing your filter and cleaning your coils are not difficult jobs, but that does not make them any less important. For the best AC function, you should check your filter and your coils regularly and clean them when you see a need so that you never have to worry about ice forming on your coils. You may also want to schedule annual inspection with an HVAC company like Atlantic Heating and Cooling.
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