Ice in or on your air conditioner can be caused by a number of things. If water is dripping outside from your AC system, that’s normal, especially when it’s humid. Water in the AC system develops from condensing vapors, and it’s then drained on the outside of the unit.

On the other hand, if water is dripping from your AC system on the inside, and the drip pan underneath the unit is full or overflowing, there may be ice in the AC system that’s melting and collecting in the drip pan.

If you hear what sounds like chunks of ice dropping, similar to what you would hear if a refrigerator was defrosting, there’s probably ice in the unit which can seriously damage the system. Turn the cooling system off and call for air conditioning repair immediately.

What Causes Ice On Your Air Conditioner? 

Sometimes there is ice on your air conditioner because the system needs refrigerant. If the air conditioner needs refrigerant, it probably has a leak. The leak must be sealed and then new refrigerant added. Refrigerant leaks do not repair themselves, and adding more refrigerant without sealing the leak will not solve the problem. One indication of a refrigerant leak is that dirt and stains appear on the unit, but this may only be visible under the AC cover.

Ice can form on the air conditioner if the evaporator coil is dirty. If the coil is dirty, the system should be switched off until the evaporator coil can be cleaned or replaced. Continuing to operate the unit can damage the compressor and other parts of the system. If the damage is severe, you may have to replace the entire system. The AC might still work if you continue to use it, but it will gobble a lot of electricity and provide very little cool air.

There are other reasons why there is ice on your air conditioner. These include:

  • Dirty filters
  • Clogs in the system
  • Broken or damaged valves
  • Problems with the fan or fan motor
  • Poor airflow 
  • Closed vents or registers
  • Running your AC when the temperature outside is less than 65 degrees
  • Thermostat problems
  • A blocked drainage system

Schedule A/C Repair Promptly

If you notice ice on your air conditioner, turn the system off and call an AC repair professional immediately. Do not continue to operate the unit because the problem will only get worse. You could damage the system to such an extent that air conditioning replacement will be the only solution.

Bill Joplin’s Air Conditioning & Heating has been a trusted Colin County HVAC service provider for over 30 years. Our NATE-Certified technicians have the skill and expertise to fix most air conditioners, and we service all makes and models. Emergency service is available 24/7.

We see many air conditioners so damaged by ice that they are ruined beyond repair. The best way to keep your air conditioner healthy and ice-free is to have it cleaned, maintained and inspected every year.