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On a hot and humid day, you’re unwinding and cooling off when your air conditioner unit suddenly stops working, and then you discover your AC freezing up in the middle of the heat.
Air conditioners can freeze up during the hotter months too, though this is unusual.
In this article, we will look at what causes an air conditioner to freeze up and how to prevent it from happening.
Knowing the basic concepts of how an air conditioner works will help you understand the functions of its many different parts. Air conditioning works by transferring hot air from your home to the outdoors.
The evaporator coil, compressor, condenser coil, and refrigerant are the four major components of the system. There are three steps in action:
Air conditioners are cooling systems, but they’re not supposed to freeze. It is not in their design. If this happens, then the cooling system is not functioning correctly.
Once AC freezing happens, it will not be able to cool the house as effectively as it should. The air conditioner can also act in unexpected ways. This situation should not be allowed to continue.
You may be a little concerned when your air conditioner gets frozen. Problems with the airflow inside the AC unit or issues with the refrigerant flow can cause your AC unit to freeze. Here are some common causes of your air conditioner freezing up:
If your air conditioner freezes, your outdoor unit may be low on refrigerant. This material is a cooling liquid that cools the air entering your home. However, your AC system needs enough of it for this substance to work effectively. This refrigerant is used by the outdoor AC unit, known as the compressor, to pump cooled air inside your home.
When there isn’t enough refrigerant in an AC system, the pressure inside the unit drops and causes temperatures to fall below freezing in the evaporator coils. When this happens, nearby water vapor could stick to these coils and cause them to freeze.
However, you can’t add more refrigerant since professionals don’t recommend this option. An AC unit has a closed system, a refrigerant doesn’t evaporate, and low refrigerant levels frequently signal a leak. If you have an air conditioner freezing up, contact a certified HVAC technician to inspect for leaks.
In an air conditioning system, airflow is essential. If the air isn’t flowing correctly, the HVAC system isn’t going to perform adequately. Poor airflow could be the cause of frozen air conditioners.
The blower motor and fan help to blow warm air over the coils in the system, which helps to create cooler air. Cool air will not come out of your vents when the blower fan quits working. This can result in a frozen AC. Check the blower motor and fan when you’re unsure what to do when your AC unit freezes. If this is the problem, you will hear rattling sounds from your air conditioner.
In other cases, the issue may be with your home’s electrical system. Since an air conditioning unit consumes a lot of energy, a few system components may fall behind. For instance, your fan or blower motor may not get enough power output. If this is the case, the air conditioner may freeze.
Your AC air ducts are critical to the operation of your system. However, difficulties might arise at any time. These air duct issues can result in severely insufficient airflow, which ranges from leaks to clogs.
If you have an issue, such as damaged air ducts, the warm air inside your home may struggle to travel over the evaporator coils, resulting in condensation. Schedule a duct inspection appointment with an expert when your air conditioners freeze up for them to check whether there’s weak airflow coming from your vents.
A blocked and dirty air filter is another common cause of your AC freezing. You should clean and maintain your AC filters since they have a significant impact on airflow. The flow of warm indoor air is restricted when the filter gets blocked with particles.
Not only should you avoid ice in your cooling system, but you should also avoid dust in it. Dust can readily develop on your AC evaporator coils caused by dirty air filters. Dust can easily adhere to these coils because they are frequently damp from the surrounding wetness.
Since dust acts as an insulator, it is difficult for cold air to escape an evaporator coil, which can cause ice buildup in your AC unit. Thick sheets of ice can form as excess moisture continues to collect.
Air conditioners are tuned to function within a set of ideal temperature limits. It usually happens in other countries, but an AC can malfunction when summer nights have colder outdoor air than the optimal point can tolerate.
It is frustrating to be in that situation when your air conditioner freezes. Now that you know what is causing your AC unit to freeze, here are some basic troubleshooting procedures you can do for an AC unit freezing up:
The first step is to check that the air filter allows the system to operate correctly. It is a quick remedy for a frozen air conditioner. If you have dirty filters, this will block proper airflow, which generates ice formation and results in poor performance and inefficient operation. For best performance, you should replace the air filters every three months.
To resolve an AC freezing issue, look for refrigerant leaks. Detecting and repairing leaks will require the expertise and instruments of an HVAC technician. If you suspect refrigerant leaks, call a professional immediately.
Look for broken or damaged blower fan components, as well as strange noises when the machine is running. Problems in the components can cause an AC unit to freeze or function poorly. An HVAC professional is required for detailed checks, which include inspecting the motor’s condition, the fan’s rotation speed, and the power.
A properly running system requires unrestricted air circulation in the supply and return vents. Furniture, other barriers, and closing too many vents might cause the AC unit to freeze due to too much restriction.
When the air conditioner eliminates humidity, it must go somewhere. Examine the drain line and drip tray for any signs of clogging that could cause frozen evaporator coils. Some issues may be simple to resolve, while others would require the services of an HVAC professional.
There are ways to avoid an AC freezing up. Once you’ve prepared these preventive measures, you should be able to avoid this situation.
The simplest way to avoid having an AC unit frozen is to change your air filters regularly. Changing them depends on the size and type of filter you own, the number of people living in the same residence, and whether or not pets are present.
Create a preventative maintenance plan. Have an HVAC professional inspect your system before the warm weather comes in full force. Air conditioning service will help you avoid a frozen air conditioning unit and other AC repair issues while extending your HVAC system’s life.
Request that your technician inspect your air filters for filth, your AC coils for grime, your refrigerant level for leaks, your drain for blockages, and your blower fan for appropriate rotation and speed.
An HVAC expert can evaluate your air ducts for appropriate ventilation, which is crucial. It might be difficult sometimes due to the complexity and difficulty of accessing your air ductwork system. But it’s essential to have this checked to help you avoid massive and more expensive issues in the future.
As we know, air conditioners freezing up is a common and frustrating problem for homeowners. Regardless, you can avoid this with suitable supervision.
Don’t hesitate to contact a professional HVAC service for regular maintenance and check-up. They will keep your air conditioning system in excellent condition for years if done often.