The evaporator coils on your air conditioning unit are supposed to be near 40 degrees. If the coils are below this temperature, freezing can occur. The biggest problem with ice buildup is that once it starts, more ice often piles on top. If your system keeps running with frozen evaporator coils, you can end up with expensive repairs to deal with. The compressor can be ruined, the blower won't function, and you may have water damage in your home to take care of when the system runs with frozen evaporator coils.
Turn Your AC Off
If you see ice on your evaporator coils, turn off your air conditioner to allow the ice to melt. The problem could be with your blower; air is not flowing properly through the coils. The blower fan will begin to strain as it pulls cold air through the unit, trying to pull the air through the ice. Allow your system to rest, and get the problem fixed before running your system again. Turn your system to fan only so that the warm air will cause the ice to melt faster.
Check for Ice Buildup
Ice buildup within your air conditioner is going to cause your compressor to struggle. When this occurs, you can end up burning out your compressor and causing the need for an expensive repair. The compressor circulates the refrigerant within your air conditioner. When the refrigerant isn't circulating, your system is at high risk for overheating. The compressor in an expensive component to repair when it comes to air conditioning systems.
Watch for Melting Water
If possible, use towels to prevent water from flowing as the ice melts off of your evaporator coils. If the system shuts off on its own while you aren't home, you'll come home to a watery mess when the coils melt. To avoid damage to your home, control where the melted water flows if possible.
If your system shuts off because of the circuit breaker protection, this can be due to ice on your evaporator coils. You may not see the ice; instead, find water surrounding your unit. When you have ice on your evaporator coils, it's time for your system to be inspected further. You may have a simple issue with a blower not working properly, or you may need to have a more extensive repair done on your air conditioning system. If that is the case, contact local air conditioning repair services to help you out.