Ice on the Air Conditioner, Water Dripping Down Walls and Ducts – Common AC Summer Puzzlers

Every summer we receive calls from puzzled customers who ask, “Why do I have ice on my air conditioner?” A block of ice on an air conditioner is an unusual sight to see in the desert in the middle of July. During monsoon season, especially in the run up to a storm, the air is heavy with moisture. When humid air comes in contact with a cold surface, it causes droplets of water to form. Like condensation on a glass of iced tea, water forms on the cold metal pipes of your air conditioner’s evaporator. Simply put, when your AC unit is not adjusted properly, condensation will freeze, and the resulting ice may cause serious problems.

Condensation Can Cause Issues

When your air conditioner freezes up, you will notice the air blowing into your home is not as cold as it should be. Condensation can also form on your ducts and may cause dripping or water spots on your plaster ceiling or walls. Here’s a list of common problems that arise from AC-related condensation issues:

  • Lack of Sufficient Air Flow Across Your Coils

    One of the main reasons for an AC freeze is insufficient air flow across your evaporator coils. This can be caused by obstructions or dirt and grime on the coils which can build up over time. If you haven’t changed your air filters, this could be part of the problem.

  • Low Refrigerant

    When your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, a host of problems occur. Without going into a long technical explanation, less refrigerant causes the temperature of your evaporator coils to drop below freezing and when that happens, ice will form. If you do have ice on your AC unit, it’s best to turn off your air conditioner immediately and give us a call. Do not ignore the problem or continue to run your AC as this will cause further issues.

  • Water Spots on Ceilings or Walls

    When condensation forms on the ducts in your attic it can pool and drip down onto the plaster in your ceiling and cause nasty spotting. Sometimes with an improperly installed vent, cold air will cause condensation issues on walls. Wherever you have standing water or wet plaster, the potential for mold exists. We have observed many homes damaged by the constant drip, drip of condensation in places the homeowner has never seen (up in the attic.) If your ducts have gone unchecked for years and you notice spots on your ceiling, it might be time for an inspection.

Ice Belongs in Your Freezer, Not on Your Air Conditioner

If you’ve got ice on your air conditioner, you should call us immediately. Though it may seem like no big deal, water damage can be destructive, especially in places you can’t see. Let our expert service technicians check out your AC system and fix the problem ASAP. Give us a call today.