Can dirty condenser coils cause evaporator coils to freeze up?

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Old 06-24-19, 12:29 PM
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Can dirty condenser coils cause evaporator coils to freeze up?

Bad me... I let the condenser coils (outside unit) on my system get really dirty! : ( I'm sure the effects of that have been developing, but after coming home from 5-day trip and finding system struggling to cool and the air handler making deep noise, like a sub woofer, I decided to take action. (Note: This morning, the high side line coming into the condenser was cool and moist and the 'cold side' was even 'condensating' through the insulation.) So, I first checked my condenser coils and they were filthy as I thought they might be, so I blew them out well with hose sprayer. Next, I checked the evaporator coils and sure enough, they were iced up. Obviously, the odd noise was due to fan overworking due to restricted air flow. (right?) I warmed and melted the ice off all sides of the coils. I then turned the system back ON. The high side line is initially warm and I have great air flow (of course) and it's cool. I need to see over a few hours of cycling what will happen, but back to my post Title question.... could lack of cooling at the condenser coils cause the evaporator coils to freeze due to inability to cool the Freon sufficiently? Thanks!
 
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Old 06-24-19, 01:03 PM
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To answer your title question..... no.
A dirty outside condenser will greatly reduce overall performance.

The evaporator coil will freeze up from lack of refrigerant or lack of air flow.
Have you checked the air filter(s) ?
 
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Old 06-24-19, 01:56 PM
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Thanks Pete. I wasn't sure but didn't think so, based on 'internet research'. I have checked the air filters. I haven't changed them for months (but we had a mild winter in TX so the heater wasn't running all that much). It's hard to tell how much they are restricting the air flow since the ice is gone now. :- ) There aren't super caked with dust. I will definitely change them tonight or in the morning after I get new ones. It's been running on and off now for a couple hours, acting 'normal'. The high side is still warm to touch (not hot) and cool air coming out. No condensing on the return line like before, when it was froze up. Anyway, I did just check the evaporator and this is a very small amount of ice at one spot (very small). Is ANY ice at all normal? Even a tad bit? If I understand it correctly, it runs very cold to begin with, right on the edge of freezing. (?) My guess is it's a bit low on Freon and running on the edge of freezing up. I have a reputable service coming to check it tomorrow.
 

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Old 06-24-19, 02:03 PM
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Ice on the condenser ? That's the outside unit.
 
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Old 06-24-19, 02:24 PM
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Dang it! Sorry, evaporator. But I actually saw a diagram of an outside unit of a split system and someone labeled the condenser as the evaporator! It didn't help me very much. :-/ (not here, but on 'the internet') Question still stands about normalcy or not of minimal ice on the evaporator... I will correct the previous post...
 
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Old 06-24-19, 02:57 PM
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There should be no ice forming on the evaporator coil. Any ice would indicate a low charge.
 
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