What exactly causes an air conditioner to ice up is a mystery. In this piece, we’ll discuss a variety of reasons why an air conditioner may become unplugged.
The cold coils in an air conditioner must be maintained warm, which necessitates adequate ventilation. There’s no way to stay warm in this place. The water may drain out of the unit before the coil does.
However, there are a number of other variables that might lead to freezing, and we’ll cover them in greater detail below.
There’s a lot more to learn about this, so keep reading!
7 Reasons Why AC Units Freeze Up
The part of your air conditioner that freezes up is the evaporator coil. Heated air is disbursed outside of your home via this device.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of seven reasons why your air conditioner’s evaporator coil can freeze.
1. Dirty Air Filter
Dirty filters might also cause your air conditioner to freeze up.
Pollutants are caught before they enter your home’s air ducts by the air filter in your air conditioner. Pollutants and allergens build up over time in your air filter, reducing the amount of air that can flow through it.
The heated air in your home is absorbed, the moisture is removed, and the warm air is turned into cold air and blown out through your air vents. It becomes increasingly difficult for air to enter your home and, more crucially, your AC system when the filters become clogged.
As a result, instead of pouring into the drip pan, condensation from the humid air will begin to freeze over the AC coils.
The more time the filters are dirty, the thicker the ice coating grows. Changing your air filters can assist keep your home’s air moving freely.
2. Refrigerant Leak
It’s possible that a refrigerant leak is to blame if the condenser unit’s side panels freeze up.
Your evaporator coils will get too cold if the refrigerant is too low. If you have an evaporator coil, any air that comes into touch with it will become frozen.
Although the condenser unit may be covered in frost, this is simply one of many indicators. If your air conditioner is creating a hissing sound and the inside of your home feels humid, you should contact an HVAC expert immediately since prolonged exposure to refrigerant can cause refrigerant poisoning.
3. Faulty Fan
Mechanical problems, such as a faulty fan, can cause your air conditioner to freeze up and restrict airflow.
To move chilly air and bring warm air in from the outside, a fan serves these dual purposes. Airflow will be disturbed and excessive condensation will build up on the coils if the fan isn’t working properly. Dirty coils become clogged with ice as water droplets pile up quickly, just like with dirty air filters.
4. It’s Too Cold Outside
Did you know that if it’s below 62 degrees outside, you shouldn’t use your air conditioner? A decrease in system pressure may result as a result.
Open the windows if your house is too hot and it’s freezing outside.
To prevent the AC condensate from freezing, set the thermostat to a temperature that is as low as the weather outside. That’s because an AC unit has to drop its temperature setting an additional eighteen to twenty degrees in order to keep your home at the temperature you want it to be at.
5. Dirty Air Ducts
Do you detect a pattern in the preceding items? Air ducts, like anything else that restricts airflow, can cause a part of your air conditioner to freeze up.
Your air conditioner removes heat from your home to keep it at a comfortable temperature. It is impossible for this heat exchange to take place if there is not enough ventilation. If you do this, your evaporator coils may freeze.
If you haven’t had your air ducts professionally cleaned in a while, you may want to give it a try.
6. Blocked Condensate Line
A condensate line is the conduit through which all of this dripping water is ejected from your property.
It doesn’t matter if everything else is running smoothly; if this moist pipe isn’t flushed on a regular basis, it will accumulate sludge and begin to grow mold.
The condensate pipe may become clogged if you wait too long. Water will freeze on your coils since it has nowhere else to go.
Preventative AC maintenance and a wet/dry shop vac can keep this from happening.
7. Bent or Clogged Condenser Fins
Metal fins adorn the condenser unit’s exterior walls, which must be cleaned on a regular basis in order to maintain optimum airflow.
You can use a garden hose to remove dust and grime from the surface.
If any of the fins are bent, use a condenser fin comb to return them to their original position.
Freezing typically occurs on the evaporator coils
On and around the evaporator coils of air conditioners, ice is virtually always seen when they freeze up. The evaporator coils of an air conditioner contain refrigerant that is very cold. Evaporator coils warm up when they absorb heat from your home’s air, which is blown over the coils by your air conditioner. Condensation is formed on the coils as a result of this process, which removes moisture from the air.
It is possible for the condensation on your evaporator coils to freeze over if your air conditioner is not able to absorb enough heat from the air. This occurs when the refrigerant inside the coils remains cold. evaporator coils seem like they’ve been blanketed in snow as a result of this.
How Do You Know if Your AC is Frozen?
A lack of cool air in your home is the first indicator that your air conditioner is frozen. If your air conditioner doesn’t seem to be cooling the way you’re used to, it may be frozen. The outer unit should be inspected. If your ac unit is frozen, you’ll notice ice on the piping or any other portion of your exterior ac unit that’s frozen over.
What to Do When Your AC Freezes Up
The first step you should take if you realize your air conditioner is frozen is to turn it off. If you leave a frozen air conditioner running, you put the compressor under excessive strain and risk harm. Believe me, it’s something that you don’t want to happen. In an air conditioner, the ac compressor is the most expensive component, and you don’t want to have to repair it frequently.
Related: How to identify if your ac compressor is defective
Make a call to a nearby ac repair company as soon as you turn off the air conditioner. Because of this, you should have your air conditioner fixed as soon as possible. When your air conditioner freezes over, an ac repair specialist may come to your home and diagnose the problem, find the root cause, and fix it so that it doesn’t happen again.
How to Thaw or Unfreeze a Frozen Air Conditioner
Simply turn the ac unit off and call for an ac repair technician once you’ve switched the unit off and phoned for the technician. The thawing process can take up to a day depending on the weather outside, so be prepared for that. I understand that this can be a real pain if the weather is hot, but it’s essential. Attempting to run a froze air conditioner is a bad idea.
You can speed up the thawing process by turning the blower on and letting the fan run for a few minutes. The blower’s job is to move the thawing process along by blowing air across the frozen ac coils. Once the power has been restored to your AC unit, check sure you are solely running the fan. Only the thermostat may be used to turn on the fan. This should be done by the AC repair specialist when they arrive if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself.
How to Keep Your AC from Freezing Up
We all dread the prospect of having to deal with a frozen air conditioner. We don’t want to have to call aircon repair service, do we? So, what can we do to avoid this?
1) Replace the Air Filter Every 3 Months at a Minimum
One of the most common reasons of air conditioner problems is a blocked or dirty air filter. One of them is a frozen air conditioning unit. Certain components can’t get the airflow they require if an air filter is dusty and clogged. As we’ve already discussed, a lack of airflow is the primary cause of a frozen air conditioning unit.
2) Clean the Evaporator Coil or Have It Cleaned by a Professional
In order to function correctly, the evaporator coil needs to be free of extra dirt and other material. Regular (at least twice a year) evaporator coil cleaning is essential for optimal performance.
3) Have Regular Preventive Maintenance Performed on Your AC Unit – at Least Twice a Year
Finally, the easiest way to avoid your air conditioner from freezing is to have regular preventive maintenance performed on it. The evaporator coil is cleaned, the refrigerant levels are checked, and your air filter is inspected by an HVAC service firm during a regular maintenance visit.
How can you prevent your air conditioner from freezing up?
Keep your air conditioner from freezing up by getting it checked out once a year. We’ll check your system’s refrigerant levels, test the blower motor, and clean your coils during your tune-up so that the heat transfer process can run smoothly. To avoid any problems with airflow, keep all of your air registers open and free of blockages and replace your air filter on a regular basis.
St. Louis air conditioning professional Jerry Kelly will help you with any queries you have regarding how to fix or install a new air-conditioning system. Clayton, Cottleville, and Creve Coeur, MO, are just a few of the cities in the St. Louis metropolitan area where we offer our services.
Wrapping It Up
During the spring and summer months, frozen air conditioners are the most prevalent problem we see with air conditioners. Keep in mind that this could be a sign of something more serious. You may avoid further damage by turning off your air conditioner and calling an HVAC specialist to come out and look at the problem. You should change your air filter at least twice a year and have professional preventive maintenance performed on your HVAC system to help keep it from freezing up.