Air conditioners are built to cool homes, but they aren’t supposed to freeze. If it does, something is wrong with it. The air conditioner cannot function as intended if it happens, so your home won’t become as cool as you prefer it to be. Read on to know why ice accumulates on an air conditioner and what to do when your AC unit freezes up.
Why Air Conditioners Freeze Up
- 1 Why Air Conditioners Freeze Up
- 2 What To Do If Your Air Conditioner Freezes
- 3 How To Prevent Freezing In Your Air Conditioner
- 4 Call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning For Your Air Conditioning Requirements
Here are several reasons an air conditioner freezes:
Dirty HVAC Air Filters
Air conditioners need proper airflow for optimum functionality. It will freeze if air cannot pass through the evaporator coils properly. A steady flow of air helps regulate the coil temperature by transferring the heat it carries over the refrigerant. This is crucial as the coolant tends to be at a temperature of 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit at this point. Dirty air filters can be the reason behind poor airflow. A layer of dirt on the air filter can prevent air from circulating into the system.
HVAC Airflow Obstructions
You may have airflow problems in other areas in your system if you diligently change air filters but still have a frozen air conditioner. There could be blocked registers and vents around the house. Check to see if the furniture, plants, or other objects obstruct them so you can adjust as needed. If freezing frequently happens, there could be poor ductwork design or installation. It could also point to pest infestation. Hire an HVAC professional to diagnose and repair the air conditioner problem.
Air Conditioner Refrigerant Leaks
A low refrigerant level from a leak can also lead to a frozen air conditioner. Other signs are a hissing noise and hot air surge from your cooling system. Sealing all refrigerant leaks and topping up the refrigerant immediately is crucial. Homeowners should never try to do these tasks as a DIY job due to the toxic chemicals. Leave it in the expert hands of an HVAC contractor as they have the right tools and proper training to do these tasks safely.
Dirty Air Conditioner Evaporator Coils
Consider the chance that there could be problematic evaporator coils. These components may be dirty due to the dust and grime accumulation over time. This issue can reduce the heat transfer between the coils and the air. The dirt can also block the condensate lines, causing the trapped water to freeze. It can also happen to the coils. The system can overwork when these problems occur.
What To Do If Your Air Conditioner Freezes
Listed below are two steps you can take if your air conditioner freezes.
- Thaw The Air Conditioner: Turn off your air conditioner if you notice it has frozen. This will help keep the problem from escalating. This way, the ice will thaw, and all you have to do is wait for it to defrost thoroughly. This may take several hours so start the process before leaving for work. Open windows and switch on fans if you have pets at home. Never use a sharp tool to break the ice, as this can cause more problems.
- Dry The Air Conditioner Coils: The coils will be wet for some time after the ice has thawed. Bring the power back and turn the blowers on to help the component dry faster. Don’t switch on the air conditioner yet. The fans should be the only component running to allow faster water evaporation and better air circulation. Check it after a few hours. You can use the cooling system normally after everything has dried inside.
How To Prevent Freezing In Your Air Conditioner
Don’t let this problem happen in the future. Take good care of your air conditioner by doing these tasks regularly:
Change The Air Conditioner Filters
HVAC air filters stop unwanted airborne particles from circulating into the system. They are essential in keeping the system clean and enhancing the air quality for the homeowners. However, they do not indefinitely stay in this condition. Over time, the dust build-up on the surface will choke the system. Therefore, the air filters need to be replaced at some point to maintain the balance between airflow and purification. Conduct monthly filter checks and replace them when necessary.
Check Air Conditioner Coolant Levels
How much coolant the system has should remain at a certain level. If it dips, several problems can happen. Ensure that your air conditioner receives annual maintenance. Tune-ups include checking the coolant levels to make sure that your air conditioner operates within the correct parameters. They can recharge the system if the refrigerant level is too low. They can also fix the leaks for you.
Clear Air Conditioner Obstructions
Air conditioner tune-up technicians will also ensure that no obstructions affect air conditioner airflow. They will find blockages and tell you about the situation. Adjustments can be made to correct the situation and improve the air conditioner’s operations. It can be as simple as moving furniture or plants. However, it can be due to the ductwork in some cases. If so, the ducts need to be modified by trained HVAC technicians.
Clean The Air Conditioner Coils
Dirty coils must be thoroughly cleaned if they are the root cause of the issue. Pay close attention to the condensate lines as they may be clogged. HVAC technicians can open the system and get rid of the clog. This way, water can flow without obstructions. This is included in an HVAC technician’s preventive maintenance checklist.
Air conditioners provide great comfort and relief from the hot season. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. Schedule maintenance from your local trusted HVAC technician to prevent frozen coils and other common air conditioning issues.
Call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning For Your Air Conditioning Requirements
PFO Heating & Air Conditioning provides high-quality HVAC services in the Greater Princeton, NJ area. Our company hires only the best professionally certified technicians who can conduct superior heating and cooling replacements, maintenance, repairs, and installations. Rest assured, each of our techs has the knowledge and experience in servicing your HVAC system correctly and on time.
Our company offers highly affordable HVAC service rates in the locality. Our tune-up services can assist in the improvement of your home’s comfort and energy efficiency while reducing your cooling costs. If you need an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can recommend the most fitting one for your home while remaining within your budget. We back all of our work with a guarantee. To book a service appointment, call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning today. We offer free, in-home estimates.