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Why Is There Frost on My Air Conditioner?

Residents of Salt Lake City, UT, tend to worry about winter more than summer, and with the snows finally behind us, the city is looking forward to a mild and comfortable summer. There are always a few hot days that require an air conditioner, however, and even without a constant need, problems and issues invariably appear. You may have wondered, for instance, why frost has appeared on your air conditioner’s coils. It’s actually a fairly serious problem, requiring professional aid to solve. We’ve provided a brief outline below.

Refrigerant in Specific Amounts

Air conditioning depends on the use of refrigerant chemicals, which pull heat from the air when they shift from liquid to gaseous form. A set amount of liquid refrigerant enters the evaporator coils, which it turns to gas and sucks the heat of the surrounding air. A fan then blows the air through the duct system and into your home. But in order for that to work, the refrigerant needs to remain at a set amount determined by your particular air conditioning system. When those levels drop – usually because the system has sprung a small leak – the cycle is disrupted and frost forms on the coils.

That Frost Means Higher Bills

Besides the lost cooling power that that frost represents – forming on your coils instead of being blown into your home – it forms an insulating barrier between the refrigerant and the air it’s supposed to cool. That compounds the problem and increases strain on your system as it must now work harder to do its job. Your monthly rates will go up and the chances of a larger repair issue will increase.

If you spot frost on your air conditioner, don’t scrape it off. The leak must be repaired before it will do any good, and you don’t want to damage the coils by scraping. Instead, call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air to correct the problem right the first time, every time!

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