How to prevent icing of window AC

Published: 23rd March 2011
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Icing of a window air conditioner is one of the most frequent and irritating problems one can face. Many think that this is the problem with the refrigerant gas, but more often than not, it's many other factors that contribute to the situation.

The first among these is the problem with the air filter of the AC unit. If not cleaned properly and on time, it can be the root cause of many problems besides the icing of the window AC. Further, if a lot of people smoke in the room where the AC unit is placed, then it is preferred that the cleaning be done every week. In order to clean the air filter, the procedure is very simple. One just needs to remove the filter, rinse it thoroughly by keeping it in a sink and running water through it. For better cleaning, one can also use some detergent, and scrub lightly using a soft brush. Warm water, if used, will give a cleaner wash. Drying should be done in the sunlight.

Another reason of the icing can be a dirty cooling coil. An air conditioner requires maintenance on a regular basis with regards to the coil, and the practice must be done once every two years at least (although an annual basis is recommended). It is usually an expensive affair, so one can also do it on his own. During the cleaning, the coil needs to be degreased and washed to remove the dirt and debris, since this forms a greasy residue that serves as an obstacle in the free flow of air, resulting in icing.

The condenser coil can also be the cause of icing in a window AC. Its purpose is to provide a vent to the heat that is being taken out from the room. Similar to the cooling coil, it must also be cleaned every two years, and annual cleaning is even more important in case of this coil, since it is exposed to dirt, smog and pollen. Further, as the flow of air is from inside to outside, the inner surface of the condenser needs to be cleaned, and for this, it is essential that the AC unit needs to be de-assembled, otherwise proper cleaning can't be done. Hence, it's best to take professional help, otherwise the situation might aggravate into lower compressor efficiency, negative impact on the internal pressure-temperature relationships, and, not to mention, icing.

Icing might also be a result of a faulty or inefficient compressor, since if it is not able to pump the refrigerant in the right manner, the cooling coil would not get cold enough to shut down the cold control, and will just hover above the cut off point, which will result in the cooling coil refrigerating. Also, if this is indeed the problem, then the entire AC unit would have to be replaced.

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