Why Does My Air Conditioning Freeze Up?

You might be surprised to find your AC has turned into a block of ice! This may have happened in the middle of summer, and you may find yourself thinking, how is this possible? Your air conditioner may be freezing up if you notice warm air blowing out of your vents or if there is ice around your AC unit. There are a few potential causes and solutions for this problem. If your AC unit looks like it belongs in the arctic, we hope these tips help your stress melt away!

1. Restricted Airflow

One of the most common reasons why an AC unit is freezing up is because of restricted airflow. This is typically a result of dirty filters or blocked vents. When dirty filters block airflow with built up debris, humidity can settle on the coils, causing your unit to freeze. It is recommended that you check your filters every month, especially during months your unit works extra hard, and choose the right filters for your unit.

Changing your air filters regularly is a good way to avoid this issue and maintain healthy indoor air quality. Also, ensure all of the vent grills in your home are open and not obstructed by furniture. If an intake vent is blocked, air will not be able to circulate into your unit.

2. Low refrigerant levels

If your unit is running low or leaking refrigerant, your AC will not function properly. Consistent airflow, temperature and pressure are necessary to keep your AC in balance. If the pressure goes down, the temperature of the refrigerant will also go down, causing condensation to freeze and form ice. Unlike changing your air filter, replacing the refrigerant must be done by a professional. If you suspect your unit is low on refrigerant, call us today.

3. Blocked condensate drain line

Your HVAC system is meant to cool your home as well as remove humidity from the air. Humidity taken out of the air by your AC unit condenses into a drip tray. This tray can overflow if the drain line has blockages, causing increased humidity in the unit and eventual freezing. To prevent this problem, call a professional or remove debris yourself, if visible.

4. Malfunctioning blower motor

If the motor blower is spinning incorrectly or not at all, no warm air is sweeping across the evaporator coil. Warm air is necessary to turn the refrigerant in the coil back into a gas. If the refrigerant is not turned into gas, the coil will freeze, form ice and stop the air conditioner from working. A malfunctioning blower motor can result from a lack of electricity flow or a broken blower motor.

5. Dirty Evaporator Coils

Over time, dust and debris can settle on the evaporator coils. The dirt build-up blocks the transfer of heat to the coils, insulating the cold refrigerant inside. If warm air, which turns the refrigerant into a gas, is blocked by the dust and debris, then the refrigerant will freeze and form thick ice around the coils. However, this can easily be avoided with regular preventative maintenance to your air conditioning unit.

What’s next?

If you notice that your unit has ice forming, continuing to run the air conditioner will not yield much cooling to your home. It is best to shut off your air conditioner if you notice ice. Continuing to run the unit will form more ice, which can lead to ice build-up and potential permanent damage to your unit. If your AC is freezing up, call Comfort Temp today, even after hours with our 24/7 emergency maintenance service.

How can I prevent my AC from freezing up?

Maintaining the cleanliness and functionality of your AC unit will prolong its life and ensure your home is cool. Preparing your unit for seasonal shifts is an essential way to set your unit up for success.

At Comfort Temp Heating and Air, we recommend servicing your unit once in the spring and once in the fall. Taking preventative measures such as changing your air filters regularly and having routine AC maintenance will help you avoid drastic disruptions to your AC and keep you cool all summer long.

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