Updated at: 13-04-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

When your air conditioner freezes up, what does it mean? If not, don’t worry, because this post is here to help you understand it better.. Some individuals believe that allowing an air conditioner to reach near-freezing temperatures is beneficial since it will produce cold air. In reality, the reverse is true.

It is possible to use an air conditioner by adjusting the airflow and pressure while also adjusting the temperature of the output. The device may malfunction if there is an imbalance in any of these components.

The Freon system that cools the air may overclock, causing it to freeze, which will not make the room any colder. If the AC is frozen, it will really dispense hot air. The worst-case scenario is that no air will be blown out at all.

How Does An Air Conditioner Make The Air Colder?

Refrigerant is the most critical component of an air conditioner’s coil. Warm air is required to start the refrigerant when you turn the device on. This will prevent the coils from freezing by cooling the air while also keeping them heated.

Using refrigerant, the indoor coils will extract it from your home and then transfer it to the outdoor coil. The heat is emitted into the atmosphere as a result of this procedure.

So the outdoor unit blows hot air that is hotter than the ambient temperature. This is the cause for this. This is because the air conditioning system removes heat from the house and sends it outdoors.

To do so, the refrigerant circuit is controlled to change pressure. But it will freeze if warm air is not forced into the coils or if there is a problem with the coil pressure.

As a result, when the air conditioner freezes, it’s usually because of problems with pressure or airflow.

What to Do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up in the Summer in Two Steps!

Step One: Thaw it Out

Let the ice melt by turning off your air conditioner at the breaker. Please be aware that it may take up to a day for the ice to entirely melt. Pick a day when you’ll be out of the house, but keep in mind the weather and any pets you have. If taking a day off isn’t an option, at least leave the AC on with the blower going.

Make every effort to avoid using the AC while the evaporator coils are frozen. Running the AC with frozen coils puts undue stress on the compressor.

Your air conditioner’s compressor is the most expensive part. You may end up with an unexpected expense because of the strain on this vital part.

Finally, don’t be swayed by the advise to use a heavy object or a sharp tool to break up the ice. Damage to components and new issues can be readily caused by this.

Step Two: Dry the Coils

Dry the evaporator coils once the ice has been removed. Turn on the blower if it’s off and make sure the electricity is back on. The thermostat should be set to just run the blower or fan. This dries the coils quickly by circulating air around and through them.

Your system should work normally once the coils have dried. If your AC unit freezes up again, it’s crucial to learn how to avoid it from happening again, even if you’ve already learned what to do.

Why an AC Freezes Up

  1. Dirty Air Filters
  2. Leak in the Refrigeration System
  3. Obstruction to Airflow
  4. Evaporator Coil In Need of Cleaning

Because of insufficient ventilation, your air conditioner’s evaporator coil gets too chilly. This is where the air is “cooled,” and it freezes if there isn’t enough airflow.

Why? A collection of refrigerant coils is all that the evaporator coil in your air conditioner truly is. It reaches temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit as the refrigerant goes through.

During normal operation, the coils receive heated, unconditioned air. It is impossible for ice or frost to form in your home because of the current temperature. The evaporator coils, on the other hand, frost over if there isn’t enough warm air circulating over them. Even the refrigerant lines are affected by the ice.

It freezes much faster when humid air, which we have a lot of here in Birmingham, comes into contact with the coils and condenses.

How can you tell if you might be facing a freezing problem?

Checking the supply registers is a sure sign. Is it hot out there? If this is the case, a frozen evaporator coil is likely to be the cause. Check for ice by opening the panel. Be aware that a lack of ice does not imply an absence of freezing issues. The only way to know for sure that your AC is frozen is if you see ice.

Understanding the Joule-Thomson effect:

Let’s take a look at how your air conditioner works before we get into the reasons why it freezing up. As a basic matter of fact, temperature measures a molecule’s energy content. As a result, the molecules in the air are moving quickly, making the air feel hot. Cold air, on the other hand, is made up of molecules with little energy. When the air in our air conditioners isn’t compressed, as the Joule-Thomson Effect shows, its temperature drops as it expands and the molecules slow down. Excited molecules heat up as a result of the compression.

Using an air conditioner, the refrigerant in the evaporator coil expands to reduce the temperature, which in turn cools the air inside your home and allows you to effectively remove the warm air. However, if something goes wrong with the air conditioner, the entire system is affected. When this happens, the evaporator coils allow the refrigerant to cool down too much, which causes it to freeze over.

So, what can you do to ensure that something goes horribly wrong in the cooling equation? An AC freeze up can be caused by any one of three things. It is possible to avoid an AC freeze if you are aware of the following factors. To top it all off, we’ve included step-by-step instructions on how to fix each of the common causes of AC failure. You’ll save money on your utility bill and keep your air conditioner from becoming an eyesore by keeping it in good working order.

Blocked air flow causes freezing up:

Humidity can build up on the coils of air conditioners if there isn’t a continual flow of air. You need to make sure your air filters aren’t blocked and dusty so that your air conditioner doesn’t have to work overtime to keep your home cool. This impedes the passage of air through your home. Air filters are inexpensive, and they should be replaced on a regular basis. Preventing air flow issues and other difficulties can be accomplished by keeping your air conditioner clean and properly adjusted. Additionally, according to the US Department of Energy, changing your HVAC filter can increase your HVAC system’s efficiency by 5% to 15%.

How to fix it:

Air filters were found to have been clogged as well as the AC. It’s most likely an airflow issue. Turn off the air conditioner and allow it to thaw first. Turn on the fan for an hour once it has thawed sufficiently (1-3 hours). Switch out your air filter now while you have a spare moment. You can learn more about when and how to change your air conditioner’s filters in this post. After that, your air conditioner should function normally once again.

Mechanical problems or refrigerant leaks?

It is possible for air conditioners to malfunction due to blocked or jammed parts. Things can leak when refrigerant lines kink, fans stop operating, filters are blocked, and so on. The refrigerant expands too much and becomes too cold as a result of any of these factors. Refrigeration is an important aspect of keeping your machine at a consistent temperature. It is also possible to freeze up if the refrigerant level is too low. It is possible to address some of these issues for less money and time than others. Any repair for a coolant leak is only going to last for a short time. It’s possible that a new machine is in order.

How to fix it:

Repairing leaks and mechanical issues is beyond the scope of this article. It’s best to get the assistance of a qualified professional who is familiar with refrigerant handling. It is safe to use in the home, but it is best handled by an expert who knows how to confine it. Contact an HVAC company if you fear mechanical failure or leaks are to blame for a malfunctioning air conditioner. Get your AC checked out by a professional on a regular basis to avoid major breakdowns.

Cool summer nights can cause your AC to freeze:

Cooling systems must work within a set of predetermined temperature limits in order to be properly calibrated. When the nighttime temperature in the summer is lower than the AC’s set point, problems can arise.

Learn more about how to replace the AC’s air filter by reading on.

How to fix it:

When the temperature drops below 60 degrees, a programmable thermostat will turn off the air conditioner. Make sure to keep an eye on the weather each night and see whether it’s going to be colder than 60 degrees before you go to bed. If this is the case, shut off your air conditioning and let the summer breeze cool you off instead.

How to Prevent a Frozen AC Unit

What to do when your air conditioner freezes up and why it does so are now clear to you. Is there a way to prevent that from ever happening? In order to protect your HVAC system from freezing over, there are a few things you can do to prevent it.

1. Change Your Air Filter

A frozen HVAC system might be caused by a clogged air filter. The air filter removes pollutants from the air that enters your home. An allergen-clogged air filter becomes more difficult to clean as time goes on. This reduces airflow and freezes the HVAC coils.

Checking your filter on a regular basis is something we advise you to do. It’s up to you. This happens every one to three months for the majority of people. According to several parameters, the filter can be changed.

  • Filter type you’re using
  • In a household where children or pets are present,
  • If you reside in an area with a high pollen level.
  • Whether or not a member of the family smokes.
  • Asthma, allergies, COPD, and congestive heart disease are all ailments that a family member suffers from.
  • If you use your computer regularly, then

If a new filter is available, KS Services technicians will install it for you as part of routine HVAC maintenance.

2. Schedule Regular Maintenance to Check Coolant Levels

A thorough inspection is performed by a trained HVAC specialist as part of a seasonal tune-up. Checking the coolant level and recharging it if necessary is part of this process.

Do you suspect a leak in your cooling system? Signs can be found in a few places. How hot is the air coming out of your AC, for example? The sound of hissing can be heard. Measurement devices are used by KS HVAC technicians as well. Toxic coolant chemicals should be avoided at all costs. If at all possible, leave it to the experts.

3. Get an Airflow Inspection

It is common for heating and cooling systems to malfunction or operate inefficiently when airflow is obstructed by debris or other obstructions. Vent returns and registers, like a clogged filter, prevent appropriate airflow when they are blocked.

As a result, your system has to work harder to cool or heat the air. Is there nothing blocking the vents and registers? Your ductwork may be the source of your problem. Sometimes, the ductwork is properly installed, but it’s either too small or too large for your home’s needs.

Call KS Services if you need help with your HVAC. If your ducting needs to be redesigned, we can help you with that. We remove impediments that are preventing appropriate ventilation, such as nesting material or other evidence of pests.

4. Clean Evaporator Coils

Using the condensate lines, your HVAC system is able to remove excess moisture. A blockage in the line causes water to become trapped, resulting in a buildup of ice. If your water pipes freeze, it’s possible that your HVAC coils will as well.

Evaporator coils become clogged with dust, hair, and other debris over time. The coils will also freeze if there is any moisture trapped inside the blockage. Frozen coils impede air flow. When this happens, your machine is unable to function properly or at all.

Preventative maintenance is the greatest way to avoid frozen coils in your heating and air conditioning system. In an AC tune-up, the evaporator coils are checked as well as all of your AC’s lines.

Maintaining your air conditioner on a regular basis will help you avoid costly repairs, breakdowns, and a frozen HVAC system in the future.

Need More Assistance with What to Do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up; Call KS!

Preventative thinking saves you money on your energy bill all year long and keeps your air conditioner functioning at its peak efficiency. Good airflow and frequent maintenance will keep ice from forming on your HVAC system’s evaporator coils, saving you the hassle.

Sign up for one of our service plans to make it even easier to use. Our plans are available in three different price ranges. You may set up HVAC maintenance for your heating and cooling system by calling KS Services right now.

Bessemer, Calera, Chelsea, and Helena are all cities in Birmingham, Alabama, where our staff services homeowners. Vestavia Hills, Pelham, Mountain Brook, Homewood, and Hoover are all places where you can locate members of our staff.

Summing it up:

A frozen air conditioner is a common and frustrating issue for homeowners. However, regular maintenance and tune-ups can help avoid the issues that lead to a frozen air conditioner. Preventing mechanical breakdowns, blockages, and leaks is easy with frequent tune-ups and air filter changes. In order to keep your air conditioner in peak condition, it’s a good idea to hire a professional HVAC provider, such as Petro Home Services. This includes obtaining an annual AC tune-up and taking advantage of Maintenance Service Plans.