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Old 07-08-2010, 11:43 AM   #1
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Glacier on my AC Unit? Where's Al Gore?


Ok so I doubt Al Gore surfs this forum, but just in case he does, it wasn't me.

Issue: Our AC unit does not blow cold air anymore. After approximately 24 hours it developed large ice formations all over the place. See Pictures.

What I Know: Not much about HVAC units. I did some reading the last couple of days regarding the cleaning and maintenance of the unit. I went to HD and bought AC SAFE coil foam cleaner and Fin Straightner and cleaned the unit up really good. The last three summers I have cleaned the unit really well. This is the first year I have used the coil foam cleaner. Last summer I had to have the top fan replaced as it wasn't moving. That was covered under Home Warranty when we purcahsed in 2008. When I turned the unit on yesterday it was blowing consistent cold air through the system. Brought the temp down in my 3500 SF home overnight from 83 to 75. Then today it seemed to not be blowing any cold air so I went outside and discovered the glaciers that have formed all over the unit. Basically from where the black hose wrap ends all the way to the round black thing in the unit (condenser?) I believe this unit is 18 years old.

My Climate: I live in Minnesota so I am used to the glacier temperatures. But during the summer months of June-August we run the unit about 15 days a month. Mostly for the high humidy control, but anything about 85 degrees then it gets turned on as well.

What I am Looking For: Well any advice I guess on how to get this fixed. If fixing doesn't seem like a good idea then reccomendations on replacement units, brands and estimated cost. I am about a 3 on a scale of 10 for DIY skills. 10 being an expert. 1 being a "let me write you a blank check" idiot.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:46 PM   #2
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Glacier on my AC Unit? Where's Al Gore?


The pipe is probably not insulated properly where it's icing up so it condenses as the air touches it (like taking a pop out of the freezer), and then turns to ice because it's so cold. Actually, since you say it's not blowing cold air, I'm betting there's a leak, but lets let a resident HVAC guy here determine that, I'm no expert.

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Old 07-08-2010, 01:48 PM   #3
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Glacier on my AC Unit? Where's Al Gore?


I think Al is busy at the moment. . .
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...therapist.html
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:00 PM   #4
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Glacier on my AC Unit? Where's Al Gore?


Lack of airflow thru the furnace and evap coil or low on freon. Is your air filter clean and all vents open. A unit can blow cold air but progressively freeze up if it is borderline low on freon or airflow.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:12 PM   #5
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Glacier on my AC Unit? Where's Al Gore?


What Yuri said.


Also could be low on charge.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:27 AM   #6
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Glacier on my AC Unit? Where's Al Gore?


Yuri -

I changed the air filter before starting it up two days ago. I use a 7 Merv True Blue filter. THis goes onto my furnace unit in the basement. I am religious about changing it EVERY month at the begining of the month. During the cold months I check it every two weeks, but usually nonly change it once a month. All vents are open.

Where would I check if the airflow is good around the evap coil? Is this on the outside AC unit or int he furnace? I cleaned the AC coils a few days ago with AC SAFE coil foam cleaner.

If the unit is low on Freon is something that a novice DIY homeowner can refill?
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:26 PM   #7
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Glacier on my AC Unit? Where's Al Gore?


Charging is not a homeowner or DIY project. What's the fine guys? Been a long time since I took the EPA test but $25,000 rings a bell.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:15 PM   #8
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Glacier on my AC Unit? Where's Al Gore?


You need an experienced tech to check the freon level, airflow thru the furnace and indoor coil (you can check the underside of it for dirt if it is accessible), compression ratio of the compressor to see if it is healthy/pumping properly. None of it is DIYable except cleaning the inside coil.
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Last edited by yuri; 07-09-2010 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:27 AM   #9
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Glacier on my AC Unit? Where's Al Gore?


Thanks Yuri. Where can I find the indoor coil you mentioned should be cleaned? Can I just use the same AC SAFE Coil Cleaner foam that I used on the outside coil?
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:57 AM   #10
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Glacier on my AC Unit? Where's Al Gore?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
You need an experienced tech to check the freon level, airflow thru the furnace and indoor coil (you can check the underside of it for dirt if it is accessible), compression ratio of the compressor to see if it is healthy/pumping properly. None of it is DIYable except cleaning the inside coil.
i disagree, a little know-how and the proper tools and any reasonably experienced DIY'er can handle it. i'm one of them.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:59 PM   #11
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Glacier on my AC Unit? Where's Al Gore?


The coil is above the furnace and follow the freon lines back from the outdoor unit to find it.

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