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5 Reasons Spot Cooler Coils Freeze Up and What to do About it

Posted by Tina Behnke

Frozen-Spot-Cooler-CoilHmmm.... you want to supplement your server room cooling with your portable spot cooler to keep the temperature down but didn't plan on making ice cubes!  We get the occassional call from a frantic customer when they see a huge block of ice on the evaporator coil of the portable air conditioner! 

Why does a block ice form on the evaporator coil of portable spot coolers? 

Whether you are renting a spot cooler for emergency cooling or have been using one for months to supplement the server room cooling, an iced up coil can happen to any air conditioner.

5 Reasons Spot Cooler Coils Freeze Up and What to do About it

  1. Improper air flow -- check to make sure there is nothing blocking the return air vent -- this is the opening where the air goes across the evaporator coil and returns to the unit.  If airflow is blocked, you'll end up with a frozen coil.
    SOLUTION:  Move any boxes or equipment that may have been moved in front of the evaporator return.
  2. Dirty filter --  probably the number one cause of iced coils!  Portable air conditioners require little maintenance so it's easy to overlook the filters!  Some portable air conditioners have paper, disposable filters.  Our portable air conditioners have a washable media.
    SOLUTION:
      Simply replace the filter or wash with a mild, water-based detergent and replace.
  3. Malfunctioning Evaporator Fan --  If the evaporator fan is not pulling air across the coil then you'll end up with .... you guessed it, a frozen coil.  You may still hear a fan but it could be the condenser fan if you have a unit with seperate evaporator and condenser fans.
    SOLUTION:  Your best bet is to contact the manufacturer or an air conditioning contractor.  Unfortunately, this isn't likely to be a "fix it yourself" solution.
  4. Low refrigerant charge -- It is possible to have a refrigerant leak in a coil.  There could be a pin-hole size leak on the surface of the coil or at a connection point.  Over time, refrigerant would leak out causing the unit to not cool properly.
    SOLUTION:  Call an air conditioning contractor who will be able to put gagues on the unit and see if the refrigerant charge is low.  They may be able to add refrigerant and repair the leak or you may have to replace a coil.
  5. Improperly functioning thermostat -- If the thermostat is not functioning correctly, you may end up with an air conditioner that runs continuously without cycling on and off when the temperature set point is reached. This could definitely ice the coil.
    SOLUTION: Check the thermostat to make sure it is set properly.  Someone could have come in the room intending to turn the unit down a few degrees and mistakenly turned it down to a setting that would cause the air conditioner to run continuously.  Be sure to check the batteries as well if your thermostat has them.

We're glad to help solve your cooling problems.  And if we can't help you, we'll certainly point you in the right direction.  Click or call - you have nothing to lose.  We make it our business to keep your business cool.

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Topics: Spot Cooler Rental, Spot Cooling, Spot Coolers, Portable Spot Cooler