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Why Is There Frost on My Air Conditioning Coils?

Spring is fully underway and with it, summer can’t be far behind. The Pittsburgh, PA area experiences bouts of high heat and humidity throughout the summer months, which means that homeowners need to have their air conditioners fired up and ready to go. One of the most obvious signs of trouble is the appearance of frost on your coils, something that most laymen would see as normal. The air conditioner is supposed to make things cold. Why should a little frost raise an issue? In point of fact, however, frost on the air conditioning system represents a serious problem, required professional service to correct. “Why is there frost on my air conditioning coils?” you ask. Because your refrigerant is likely leaking.

How Refrigerant Works

Chemical refrigerant is what makes air conditioning possible. It pulls heat from the air when it shifts from liquid to gaseous form, which the system takes advantage of with the evaporator coils. Liquid refrigerant enters the coils at high pressure. As it shifts to gaseous form, it lowers the temperature in the air surrounding the coils before moving back to the start of the air conditioning cycle. The AC unit then uses a fan to blow that cool air into your home.

When There’s a Problem

Trouble arises when the refrigerant leaks out or others is lowered. Your unit’s cooling power relies on precise amounts of refrigerant. When that level drops, the process is disrupted, and frost forms on your coils. That represents cooling power that should be going into your home, forcing your air conditioner to work harder to do its job. That increases strain on the system as well as costing you more in monthly cooling bills. Even worse, the frost forms a layer of insulation between the refrigerant and the air it’s supposed to cool, compounding the problem.

Luckily, the experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling are here to help. If you spot ice on your air conditioner, give us a call and let us correct the problem right the first time!

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