My GE Air Conditioner (I believe its an AJCS06LCB) has recently not been getting the room very cold (it used to be very effective), and has also been spitting out ice chips. The machine is not more than 3 years old, and since I live in Minnesota, is only used for three or four months of each year. Does it just need a cleaning, or does this mean something worse is happening? What is worst case scenario if the problem is not addressed?
Hey mary you might be right about the cleaning which would possibly cause icing also a low refrigerant level.which supprising you would think would cause it to be warmer but refrigerant doesnt work that way,depends on the pressure level in the system causes refrigerant to change its properties.my advice is that if it was under 2 or 3 hundred dollars,get a deal on the cleaning if possible which is unlikely,but window ac system are more or less disposable items.so maybe get a new one and donate that one to a tech school in your area
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Your intuition is right, the ice buildup is why it's not cooling so well now: the evaporator isn't getting the correct air flow and surface area for heat exchange. The 1st thing you might want to check is to make sure that it's draining properly. The 2nd thing you might want to do is to check that the room is over 100 sqft. If you'r only cooling a tiny bedroom, the AC's basically oversized: your cooling already cooled air, so it freezes. The actual reason that is freezes is because the condition is just right for the immediate area near the evaporator to be at the saturation point. Think of it in terms of weather: warm and humid air collides with cool air and it begins to rain. The temperature drops further, and the rain turns into snow. One thing you could try to make it not freeze-up is to adjust the temperature setting a few degrees or change the fan speed.
Remove the front cover of the unit to expose the cooling coil. Put the unit on and observe if there will be formation of frost (ice) on the coil. If there's frost formation, the common cause is dirty cooling coil. Have it cleaned using an alkali base coil cleaner. If the coil is clean, then the problem is the fan motor. It might be turning slow due to copper loss. Have it replaced.
The likely reasons for a leaking AC are...
1) Improperly installed. A window air conditioner must be slightly lower at the rear than the front. This allows the water being removed from the room to drain to the back of the machine. A difference of one inch is sufficient. This is always the first thing to check. Many are improperly installed in the haste to get relief from the heat. If installed too low at front the water will flow into the room rather than outside. If installed too low at rear, water can roll out front edges before has chance to exit towards rear drain.
Icing up. Water being de-humidified can turn to ice if there are problems with the cooling system. There are many reasons for an air conditioner to produce ice. Remove front grille while machine is operating. If ice is present on the cooling coil you will probably need service. For more information see our other article:Why window Air Conditioners Ice up.
Air leakage around air conditioner. If warm air is able to enter around the air conditioner it will encounter cooler, dryer air. When they meet condensation will occur. If water leaking from front of air conditioner inspect to see if dripping from body of machine, or water droplets clinging to front area. To test, operate machine for 30 minutes and then use flashlight to check under front edge of base. Small water droplets here indicate an air leakage problem. Add foam insulation to stop warm air from infiltrating.
Drain hole blocked. Rear of air conditioner base has a drain hole or groove to allow water to escape. If becomes blocked water can back up. To test, operate machine for 30 minutes and then inspect if draining properly. If appears blocked use a small piece of wood to open drain hole at rear of metal base. CAUTION: Never be tempted to drill holes into the air conditioner body to relieve water pooling. Severe damage can result.
Internal drains blocked. There are small passageways that allow water to drain from front of air conditioner to the rear. If they become blocked water will pool at front of machine and overflow onto floor. If this happens the air conditioner will require removal from window and servicing.
Outside temperature too cold. This occurs at end of cooling season. If outside temperatures drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night the cooling coil may ice up. If no leakage at bedtime but water in front of machine in morning, suspect this problem. If this problem suspected turn off machine before bedtime and restart as day warms. Alternately, operate machine at night with selector switch in ‘fan only’ position. This will circulate room air during night but not allow cooling.
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First you need to make sure the filter is clean to allow good air flow through the evaporator. If the filter is clean make sure the evaporator is not plugged up with dust and lint. If all that is ok your problem is the a/c BTU's is to big for the size room you have the a/c in and it is getting the room too cold. If that happens the evaporator will ice up and will not cool the room.