In the summer months, it is not an unusual occurrence to witness a chunk of ice sitting on your AC system. Although air conditioning units freezing up is a common problem but it can be a frustrating and uncomfortable situation for homeowners, particularly during hot weather.
Ignoring the problem can cause significant damage to your air conditioning unit and lead to expensive repairs. So, if you are wondering what to do when your ac unit freezes up, so there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue and get your AC unit running smoothly again.
What Causes an AC Unit to Freeze up?
Air conditioners freeze when there’s a defect that disrupts the functioning of the evaporator coil. This cause the refrigerant to cool too much and resultantly it falls below freezing point. For this reason, frozen ac coils definitely indicate a problem with your AC’s health. Understanding what causes a commercial HVAC air conditioning unit to freeze up can help you diagnose and fix the underlying problem. There are two main causes that can lead to an AC freeze-up:
Air conditioners require a constant flow of air to prevent humidity from settling on the coils and freezing up. Clogged or dirty air filters could disrupt the airflow, causing your systems to freeze up. That’s why it’s important to change your system’s filters every one to three months.
Mechanical problems or refrigerant leaks
An air conditioner is a machine that comprises parts that can shut down or get stuck with continuous use. Fans can stop moving, filters can become clogged, and leaks can happen. If any of these disruptions occur, they cause a drop in pressure. The refrigerant would then expand too much and become extremely cold. Similarly, a leak can also occur which can result in low refrigerant levels.
Steps to take when your AC unit Freezes Up
If you find that your AC unit has frozen up, here are some steps you can follow to troubleshoot the issue and get it running smoothly again.
Turn off the AC unit
The first step is to turn off your AC unit immediately. Continuing to operate a frozen AC unit can cause severe damage to the compressor. As a result, it can lead to expensive repairs.
Check the Air Filter
A dirty or clogged air filter can restrict airflow. This can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. Replace or clean the air filter immediately if it’s dirty or clogged. You should clean or replace your air filter regularly to ensure proper airflow.
Inspect the Air Ducts
Check the air ducts for any blockages that may be causing the AC unit to freeze. Obstructions such as furniture, curtains, or other items can restrict airflow and cause the evaporator coil to freeze. Ensure that all air vents are open and unobstructed.
Related: When to Clean Your Air Ducts?
Check the Refrigerant Level
The refrigerant is a liquid that cools the air in your AC unit. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that it’s at the correct level. If the refrigerant level is low, it can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. In this case, you’ll need to call a licensed and professional HVAC technician to recharge the refrigerant and fix any leaks.
Inspect the Thermostat
Ensure that your thermostat is set to the correct temperature and is functioning properly. A malfunctioning thermostat can cause the AC unit to freeze up. If the thermostat isn’t working correctly, you may need to replace it.
Inspect the Blower Fan
The blower fan circulates the air in your AC unit, so it’s essential to ensure that it’s working correctly. A malfunctioning blower fan can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. Inspect the blower fan for any damage or malfunction. Repair or replace or repair it if necessary.
Wait for the ice to thaw
Once you’ve taken steps to address the problem, turn off the AC unit and let the accumulated ice to thaw. This can take several hours, but it’s important to wait until all the ice has melted before turning the AC unit back on. Running a frozen AC unit can cause significant damage to the compressor and other components.
Steps to Take to Keep Your AC from Freezing
Seeing your air conditioner enveloped in ice can be an alarming sight. Fortunately, one can prevent this from ever happening. Preventing an AC unit from freezing up in the first place involves regular maintenance. Here are some maintenance tips to keep your AC unit running smoothly and prevent it from freezing up:
Change the air filter regularly
A dirty or clogged air filter can restrict airflow and cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. Check your air filter every month and replace it if it’s dirty or clogged.
Check the refrigerant level
The refrigerant cools the air in your AC unit. If the refrigerant level is low, it can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. Schedule regular maintenance with a licensed HVAC technician to check the refrigerant level and recharge it if necessary.
Keep the outdoor unit clean
The outdoor unit of your AC unit can become dirty and clogged with debris, which can reduce airflow. It can also cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. Keep the outdoor unit clean by removing any debris and trimming back any vegetation.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
If you wish your AC unit to serve you without any interruption throughout the year, Schedule professional maintenance for your commercial HVAC air conditioning unit at least once a year. A licensed HVAC repair service provider can inspect your AC unit, clean its components, and identify any potential problems before they become more serious.
Regular servicing ensures your system is functioning at optimal capacity. This provides faster and more efficient cooling. It also reduces the burden on your AC and optimizes your electricity consumption. Moreover, small problems can be identified and rectified early. A qualified and licensed HVAC contractor is also trained to check for refrigerant leaks. Low levels of refrigerant are a surprisingly common culprit of frozen ac coils.
Trust Alturas Air Conditioning Repair Service Los Angeles
Some air conditioning problems are relatively simple to sort out and troubleshoot on your own. However, the more complicated glitches require an inspection from a qualified HVAC professional.
In need of emergency HVAC repair services? We’re the right HVAC technicians for you. Our expert technicians at Alturas are well-equipped and experienced in providing HVAC installation services as well as repair and maintenance services for all types of HVAC equipment. We’re here to take the guesswork and stress out of home HVAC maintenance. Schedule an appointment with Alturas commercial HVAC contractors today.