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Home Heating Hints

How good is your home heating system? Does it warm up the whole house on a cold day? Does it cost more than you think it should to get enough heat in the winter? Are you thinking about switching to an alternative heating system? Do you want to upgrade to a newer heating system? I started this blog to talk about the different alternatives for heating your home. Find out when it’s time to upgrade your heating unit and when you can make modifications or repairs to your old unit to improve its efficiency or keep it going a while longer. Also, check out the pros and cons of different alternative heating options from geothermal units to pellet stoves. Your home heating answers are here!

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Is There Ice In Your Air Conditioner? Here Is What You Should Know

Freddie Kuhn

Ice formation on an air conditioner's coils during winter is nothing unusual. With low winter temperatures and the availability of moisture in the air, it is something that is bound to happen. What is unusual is ice formation on the coils when environmental temperatures are way above freezing temperatures. This is a clear sign of a faulty air conditioner.  

Your air conditioner is low on refrigerant

The refrigerant is what cools the air passing over the coils. As it evaporates, it absorbs heat from the air blowing over the coils and thus causing the cooling effect that cools the warm air passing over the coils. However, the refrigerant's change of state, from liquid to gas and later on back to liquid, is not just dependent on temperature changes. This process also depends on pressure changes. Problems are therefore bound to arise if there is less of the refrigerant , especially pressure wise.

Normally, when the refrigerant flows into the evaporator coil, there is a drop in pressure that is accompanied by a drop in temperature. But the temperature drop is nothing that the warm air passing over the coils can't handle. It is usually enough to cause the air to cool without causing any freezing. However, when the air conditioner is low on refrigerant, the pressure drop is usually extreme and thus causing excessive temperature drops at the coil area. This temperature drop is usually enough to not only cause the moisture in the air to condense but to also freeze. This is why ice usually forms on the coils. 

Topping up the refrigerant is an easy way to solve problem. However, since most low-refrigerant problems usually arise because of leaks, it is important to inspect your air conditioner for any signs of leaks before refilling.

Your air conditioner has an airflow problem

At the evaporator coil, the cold refrigerant usually absorbs heat from the air passing over the coils as it turns from a liquid into a gas. This usually has a cooling effect in the area around the coil. But this reduction rarely causes freezing in this region because of the constant influx of warm air. However, if there is a problem with flow of warm air into the air conditioner, freezing will occur.

Air conditioner airflow problems can occur in cases where the unit's blower motor isn't working or doesn't have enough power to drive enough air over the coils. Dirty air filters can also restrict airflow, something that can also limit the amount of air flowing over the evaporator coil. In such cases, cleaning the air registers and replacing the blower motor should be enough to get rid of the freezing problem.  

For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from Chappel's Heating & Cooling.


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