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A/C Filter Problems? Check For Ice on Your Air Conditioning Filter

My friend and fellow US Inspect Inspector, Jack, shared a funny experience with me today:

a/c coil covered in ice

When I walked in to one of my inspections yesterday, it was very warm. I walked over and lowered the air. It did not get cooler. When it came time to look at the air handler, I removed the cover to see the coils. Well, as you can see from the picture, …

The seller and their agent proceeded to say to me, “that is not a problem. That is how the air conditioning works to make the air cold. Ice equals cold. You (me) don’t know what you are talking about. We are going to get an air conditioning guy in here and when it checks out fine, you can pay for the service call.”

Surprisingly, I did not say a word. I think the look on my face said it all. I was sure that I was being set up on a hidden camera show.

For those of you new to air conditioning technology, when the filter does not get changed it eventually becomes clogged and reduces the air flow. The flow of the incoming warm air from the house normally flows across the coil to grow colder and warms up (relatively speaking) the coil in the process. When the airflow is impeded, the coil gets colder and colder until the condensation turns to ice and grows thicker and thicker. When the coil is covered in a block of ice the airflow is impeded almost entirely, making the ice grow thicker and thicker in an unending cycle until eventually the air conditioner breaks down altogether. This is one of the most common issues we run into with air conditioners. Change your filters, folks!