What Causes An Air Conditioner To Freeze Up

what causes an air conditioner to freeze up

With summer just around the corner, soon you will be turning your air conditioner on to stay cool and comfortable in your home. Unfortunately, this also means your air conditioner can face the threat of several issues including freezing over. If you try to run a frozen ac it can lead to damage to components and extra strain on the system. Most modern systems will automatically shut off if it becomes frozen over.  What causes an air conditioner to freeze up? There are several reasons why your AC unit may be frozen over. Find out why below and what you can do to get your ac back up and running when you need it the most.

Inadequate Airflow

Its important to maintain adequate air flow through your system at all times, so humidity cannot settle on the coils and cause them to freeze. Air conditioners need proper airflow to keep the cold coil warm. The warm air is needed so the coil stays above freezing temperature. Shutting the supply vents in your home could also cause inadequate airflow and lead to a frozen ac. These vents draw air into your system, where it is cooled and then redistributed back to your home. Regular maintenance of your ac is also highly recommended to prevent not only air flow issues but other issues as well.  

Dirty Air Filter

Dirty air filters can also lead to inadequate airflow. Be sure to check and replace your filters frequently before they become dirty and clogged. The US Department of Energy estimates that changing your HVAC air filter can improve the efficiency of your system between 5% and 15%.  It’s a simple DIY step you can take that can have a big impact on your system’s functionality to keep it properly operating.A dirty air filter can lead to refrigerant in your coil not absorbing enough heat to keep the cycle running smoothly and freezing over. If you discover your frozen ac is caused a blocked air flow due to dirty air filter you will want to turn your ac off to allow it to defrost. An air conditioner will need about 1-3 hours to thaw out. After it has thawed, turn the fan on only for about an hour.During this time replace your air filter and your AC should be back to working properly.

Low Refrigerant Levels

A frozen air conditioner can also be caused by low refrigerant levels leading to coils that are too cold. Low refrigerant levels can be caused by a leak or if it was improperly charged. This should be left fora professional to diagnose and repair. Give us a call as soon as possible to have your system inspected and repaired. You can learn more about refrigerant here.

Drainage Issues

Condensate drain line drainage issues can lead to a frozen air conditioner. Your air conditioner removes humidity from the air and then the condensed humidity in water form is removed through condensate drain line. If the drain line is clogged then the water can re-evaporate, build up and freeze on the coil. Also keep in mind, if the coils are frozen, they will cause a blockage for the drain home. The air conditioner will still run, but will not properly cool the home and run inefficiently. Furthermore, running an air conditioner with frozen coils can also lead to extensive damage of the compressor which is the

Damaged Blower Fan

The function of the blower fan is to help get the cooled air into your home and get the warm air out. How effectively and efficiently your AC can cool the air and distribute it within your home is dependent on your HVAC system having proper airflow and air pressure. However, there are times when your blower may break or become damaged during normal operation. A malfunctioning blower fan can change the air flow in your system and cause too much condensation to build up on the coils.Furthermore, without warm air moving over the parts a damaged blower fan can also lead to the refrigerant line freezing. A frozen refrigerant line can backup to the condenser outside causing further damage.

What To Do If You Find Your AC Frozen

If you see any ice on any part of your HVAC system the first step is turn it off and let it thaw out to avoid any potential damage. This will turn the compressor off and stop the refrigerant from getting colder. Its important to wait for the ice to melt. Do not try to chip the ice away as it may cause damage to components. After a few hours turn the fan on only and replace the filter. Then call us to service your air conditioner immediately. A frozen unit can lead to permanent damage and costly repairs or ac replacement if not addressed promptly. Let them know if filter has been replaced so they can better diagnose the issue. A frozen air conditioner can be fixed, especially when you call for service right away.

Give Us A Call

If you find your air conditioner has frozen over give us a call today at 818-341-3406. We service and install virtually all makes and models for businesses and residents. We know that summers in Los Angeles can be hot and a frozen ac should not keep you from indoor comfort. We are always a quick call away.

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