On the hottest days of the year, your cooling system keeps you and your family safe and comfortable. It regulates humidity, filters the air, and maintains a healthy indoor temperature. If it freezes up, it’s essential to find out why. Following are four issues that cause air conditioners to freeze up, along with tips for resolving them.
1. Dirty Air Filters
Dirty HVAC air filters lie at the heart of many common AC problems. These simple, low-cost components tremendously impact how air conditioners perform. Although air filters have a hand in protecting indoor air quality, their primary function is to protect the HVAC equipment. Filters keep dirt and debris from entering cooling systems and settling on their coils and other components.
Your air conditioner may freeze up when the airflow over the evaporator coils in the interior part of your cooling system is insufficient. Very cold refrigerant in the coils absorbs the heat energy in your home and transfers it to your outdoor unit, where it is dissipated into the outdoors. However, if there is not enough warm air from your house blowing over the coils because of a clogged filter, the refrigerant can get too cold and cause the coils to freeze.
If your air conditioner has frozen up because of a dirty air filter, turn the system off and replace this component. After you’ve put a new filter in, you will have to wait for the coils to thaw. This may take several hours to a day. Though it may be tempting, never try to break off the ice because you may damage your air conditioner. Once the ice has melted, run your cooling system in fan-only mode to dry off the coils. After they are dry, your system should run normally.
2. Refrigerant Leaks
Leaks in your air conditioner’s refrigerant line can also cause your air conditioner to freeze up. To understand why, knowing a little more about how cooling systems function is helpful. All air conditioners work because the refrigerant cools down as it expands into a gas and grows hotter as it is condensed into a liquid.
The refrigerant is first expanded to cool down so it can absorb the heat energy in your home. It is then pumped outside and compressed to disperse the heat. This cycle is continuous while your cooling system is operating.
When the refrigerant level becomes too low because of a leak, air conditioners usually continue to cool, but not very well. Because the system has less refrigerant, the coolant must expand more as it transitions from liquid to gas. More expansion means the refrigerant gets colder than it should and may freeze any moisture on the cooling system’s coils.
Air conditioner refrigerant leaks aren’t always easy to spot. Fortunately, freezing is only one of several signs that you may have a refrigerant leak. You might have a leak if your air conditioner’s cooling cycles are longer than usual, but your home never gets cool. Increased humidity, higher utility bills, and faint bubbling or hissing sounds during AC operation also indicate refrigerant leaks. If you think you have a leak on your hands, schedule an air conditioner service right away.
3. The Blower Fan Is Malfunctioning
A malfunctioning blower causes the same kind of problems a dirty filter does. During the cooling process, your HVAC system’s blower fan pushes warm air from your house across the air conditioner’s coils. The lack of airflow resulting from a malfunctioning blower fan causes the refrigerant to get too cold, resulting in frozen coils.
You will probably know if the blower fan is the problem because you will notice less or no cool air coming from your vents. In addition, you may hear banging or rattling sounds while the cooling system is on. This may mean that something is caught in the blower fan, stopping it from operating normally. If you suspect a blower fan issue, it is most likely time to call a professional to address it.
4. Dirty Coils
Along with changing out air filters, it is important to have your air conditioner serviced by a licensed technician at least once yearly. During the service visit, a professional will clean the unit’s condenser and evaporator coils. Significant dirt and other debris build-ups on either of these components can hinder the heat transfer process and lead to your unit freezing up.
Contact the Professionals
At Affordable Service Solutions Heating & Air Conditioning, we are a family-owned business that has been proudly serving the residents of Richmond, KY since 2012. We install, maintain, and repair cooling and heating systems. We also provide indoor air quality and commercial HVAC services.
If you are experiencing air conditioner issues, contact Affordable Service Solutions Heating & Air Conditioning today so we can get started fixing the problem!