An air conditioner’s job is to cool the air for your room, so it follows that an aircon that is spitting out ice is a good thing, right? Not at all.
It is abnormal if your aircon is spitting out ice. Most likely, it was because you did not clean your AC’s filter which led the evaporator to freeze over, eventually being blown into your room when it defrosts. Normally, this does not pose any lasting damage to your aircon.
In this article, we will discuss why your aircon is spitting out ice, how to solve it, and how to prevent it from happening again.
Where is the ice coming from?
The ice is coming from your aircon’s evaporator.
The evaporator is where the refrigerant gas (known as Freon) evaporates. During the evaporation process, it absorbs the heat from the air, thereby cooling down the air.
This is why the evaporator is the coldest part of the aircon, and why it is the prime suspect when your your unit is spitting out ice.
If you want to check, the evaporator is located inside the air intake panel, behind the filter.
Warning: Before checking the innards of your aircon, make sure to unplug it first to prevent electrocution!
Why does ice form inside your aircon?
The evaporator icing over is not the problem but the symptom.
The ice will build-up over your evaporator if the air flowing over it is impeded by a dirty or clogged air filter. The thick dust from the filter can trap cold air over the evaporator coils, and if the air is humid enough, it can form ice inside your air conditioner.
Eventually, the ice gets spitted out when it defrosts, giving you an unpleasant surprise during a hot day.
What to do when your aircon is spitting out ice
Do these immediately when your air conditioner has ice inside of it:
- Turn off and unplug your unit immediately.
- Allow the ice to melt naturally – this can take about half a day.
- Clean the air filter, then put it back in.
Additionally, you can have the evaporator coils cleaned by a technician to clean out any left over ice and gunk over the coils.
Warning: Don’t try to scrape off the ice on the evaporator coils – this can lead to long-term damage like Freon leaks when you puncture the coils.
How to solve your aircon icing problem
Since poor maintenance is the cause of your icing problem, the best way to solve it is through proper maintenance! Here are the things you can do to prevent this problem from recurring:
Clean the air filter regularly
We recommend cleaning the air filter every 250 hours of use, or at least once a month.
Clean the evaporator coil
The evaporator coil needs to be cleaned at least once a year. You can do this on your own, but you can always call a technician over if you don’t know what to do.
If your aircon is spitting out ice, it is indicative of bad maintenance habits (or lack of it).
Always solve the problem at the root whenever it manifests itself. If you don’t the ice may damage the interior of the aircon, leading to more expensive repairs.
- Unsdorfer, S. (2015, August 19). How to Remove Ice From Your Air Conditioner. Angie’s List. https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-remove-ice-your-air-conditioner.htm
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.