Air Conditioners

Frequently Asked Questions – Air Conditioners

Air Conditioners – Maintenance and Repair

Q. Why is my indoor A/C coil/pipes/compressor covered with ice?

A frozen indoor coil indicates that the refrigerant level is low, or the air filter is clogged. In either case, the coil will get colder & colder until the condensation on the coil turns to ice. This condition can be very harmful to the air conditioner, and is a common cause of bad compressors.
In the event of a freeze-up, turn the system off. Check the air filter. If the filter is not clogged, the air conditioner probably needs service.

Q. What can be done to fix “hot spots” in my house?

Temperature variations from room to room result when duct work is incorrectly sized. In some cases, our technicians are able to rework the duct system to improve airflow. Another solution may be to replace the windows in a hot room with Low-E glass, or have the existing windows tinted. The reduced sun load will cool the room and save energy.

Q. My air conditioner has just been diagnosed with a bad compressor. Should I repair the system or just get a new air conditioner?

Compressors fail for a number of reasons. One of the most common is “burnout.” In this situation, acid and burnt varnish is distributed throughout the system contaminating the indoor and outdoor coils and the refrigerant piping. This acidic oil is very difficult and costly to clean-up and will contaminate and shorten the life of the new compressor. In a burnout situation, we recommend replacing the entire air conditioner (indoor, outdoor, and piping) to insure long life and reliability of the new system.
If the compressor failure is due to broken valves, lightning strike, etc., compressor replacement is a feasible option. A homeowner should then consider the current age of the system, the energy saved by a new high-efficiency A/C, and benefits of a new system warranty.


JMT Mechanical, Air Conditioning Contractors & Systems, Concord, CA