Why is My Air Conditioner Frozen? - Heating Specialties

Why is My Air Conditioner Frozen?

Why A/C freezes up

A frozen air conditioner is a common problem during the warmer months. Most people don’t realize their A/C unit is frozen until they notice that their house isn’t staying cool. After checking the usual culprits– such as the thermostat setting and the breaker switches– they venture outside to discover an icy mass sitting on their A/C unit. Heating Specialties of South Jersey gets a lot of calls for frozen A/C units in the summer. Fortunately, many of these icy scenarios are quick fixes, and you can be back to cool air in no time. Read on to learn more about this frozen phenomenon.

A quick A/C tutorial

Your A/C unit works by pumping extremely cold refrigerant through the evaporator coils. As warm air blows across these coils, the refrigerant absorbs the heat and produces the blissfully cool air you take for granted until it’s not there. The hot air from outside is warm enough to keep the coils from freezing as they do their work, sending cold air into the house and banishing the warm air outside.

Sometimes something disrupts this flow. If not enough warm air is blowing over the coils, the refrigerant may cause freezing and icing instead. If there’s a pressure problem inside the unit, the refrigerant can expand too much and become too cold. Even a cool night can disrupt the balance of your system. When the A/C unit is frozen, you’ll notice your home isn’t cooling as it should. Heating Specialties can walk you through the various causes and help you find the right fix!

What’s causing a frozen A/C unit?

Most frozen A/C units are caused by one of several common causes:

Something is blocking the airflow: A clogged filter can keep warm air from entering the A/C unit, allowing the coils to freeze from the refrigerant inside. Without the right balance of airflow and pressure, your A/C unit may turn humidity and condensation into a frosty mess. Closed vents or furniture sitting in front of an air vent may impede airflow. A new air filter or furniture configuration may be an inexpensive but effective fix.

Dirty evaporator coils: A lot of dirt and grime in the air blows through the A/C unit. The filter doesn’t catch everything; over time, this mess can accumulate and interfere with your unit. You may feel comfortable opening the access door to your A/C system and brushing off the coils with a nylon brush. If not, reach out to Heating Specialties for a maintenance check, which includes complete cleaning and inspection.

Low refrigerant levels: When the pressure inside the tubes is too low, the refrigerant can become extraordinarily cold. While colder may sound better on a hot summer day, this extra cold refrigerant may cause water to freeze. This isn’t a DIY job – call a Heating Specialties professional to diagnose and fix this problem for you.

Fan problems: An improperly working A/C fan can throw your entire system off balance. This is usually a quick fix done by a professional HVAC technician.

An ounce of prevention

Frozen A/C units may be a common problem, but they’re a big hassle when they occur. A simple tune-up may prevent the problem by diagnosing airflow and other issues before it puts your unit on (or under) ice.

Summer isn’t over just yet. Keep your home and family cool with help from the Heating Specialties team. Heating Specialties wants to be the company you call for all your cooling and heating needs. Heating Specialties has more than 30 years of experience in the South Jersey community. Call us today at (866) 923-2653 or reach out online.

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