We’re glad that you recognize something isn’t right with your home’s air conditioning system if you’ve noticed ice forming on it. A common misconception people have about ice on an AC is that it means the cooling system is working really well—so well that it’s creating ice. Or they may think the air conditioner uses ice to cool the air.
An air conditioning system doesn’t use ice to operate. It takes a large amount of energy to create ice (such as in your freezer), much more than would make it worthwhile as a home cooling option. An AC that’s working well will also not generate ice. An AC isn’t “creating” cold but removing heat, and when the air conditioner is working as it should, it won’t cause ice to form.
So what’s actually going on? There are several reasons to see ice developing on the AC.