Your Troubleshooting Guide for Evaporator Coils

Person holding a card that says "troubleshooting" to figure out common HVAC issues with Moncrief Heating and Air Conditioning

If you're not sure what an evaporator coil is, it's the component that cools your air conditioner. The coils are usually hidden in the ceiling or wall of your attic, and they can encounter problems over time. When your air conditioner evaporator coils are frozen, it harms the unit as a whole. And if you don't unfreeze the AC unit fast, you might end up with some pretty big problems.

If this sounds like something you need help with, read on for our guide on how to take care of a frozen AC coil.

What Is an Evaporator Coil and What Does it Do?

The evaporator coil is an essential element of your air conditioning unit. Typically, it is located either inside the blower compartment or the air handler. It cools the air in your home since it holds the chilled refrigerant. When you have a frozen evaporator coil, you might think it would work even better, but it actually prevents the unit from functioning well at all.

Why Do Evaporator Coils Freeze?

While there can be several reasons, the two most common are a refrigerant leak and a dirty evaporator coil. With a refrigerant leak, you’ll want to call our HVAC team in Virginia Highlands to help.

However, if the problem is a build-up of dirt on your evaporator coil, you can handle this all on your own.

How to Unfreeze Air Conditioning Coils

Start by turning off the unit and leaving it off. Once the ice melts, you can get to work—keeping the unit off until the coil is cleaned. Then, clean the evaporator coil using a cleaning detergent mixed with water and a gentle rag, start working on eliminating the dirt and build-up from the coil.

Once the coil is free of debris, air should be able to properly circulate, preventing the evaporator coil from freezing once again. Just be sure not to turn the AC on again until you've given it the chance to dry properly.

While the colder months are upon us, it is still a good idea to have your AC unit checked and serviced. Our AC installation technicians in Atlanta do more than just hook up new units; they can also repair and maintain your existing system, and getting your furnace up to snuff as well. All you need to do is give us a call.

For more information on frozen AC units, read: Why Is There Ice on My Air Conditioner?