Is Your Central Air Conditioner Freezing Up?
Steps to Take if Your AC Keeps Freezing Up
These are some of the most common reasons for your AC unit to freeze up.
The most common cause for a central air conditioner to freeze up is lack of airflow to the AC unit. The first thing you should do when your air conditioning unit freezes up is to turn off the “cool” and “auto” settings on your thermostat so the fan will help your AC evaporator coil thaw out.
Here are several possible causes why your central air conditioning unit is freezing up:
When Was the Last Time You Checked or Changed Your Air Conditioner Filter?
A dirty air conditioner filter or an air filter that is too thick and dense severely restricts air flow to your AC unit. This is especially true with the newer more energy efficient air conditioners with higher SEER ratings. Remember to turn your air conditioning system off and set it to fan to allow it to thaw. Check the condition of your AC unit air filter. If the filter is is dirty, most likely that is causing your AC unit to freeze. Something as simple as a dirty filter can cause bigger problems that can require major AC repairs. Remember to check your air conditioning system air filter and replace with a clean one whenever you see it getting dirty. You should change you air conditioner air filter at regular intervals. Most air conditioning manufacturers suggest every four weeks or sooner if it gets dirty or clogged before then.
If you have been using an ill fitting air filter or a hogs hair type air filter that allows too much dirt and dust to get through to your air conditioner evaporator coil it will get dirty, become clogged and restrict air flow. If you attempt to do an “in place” coil cleaning yourself you must be extremely careful to not bend any of the fins on your coil. They bend VERY easy!!!! Replacing an evaporator coil is VERY COSTLY. It is generally best to call a professional air conditioning repair technician to clean your coils properly.
Restricted Air Flow
Check the registers, the duct connectors and the ductwork. Is your ductwork leaking air? Is your ductwork extremely dirty, blocking airflow to your air conditioning system? Clean any blockages that are restricting airflow to the AC unit. If necessary, have a Fix Your AC Fast inspect your ductwork for damage and leaks. You may need to have your ductwork professionally cleaned to clear the blockage from the ducts.
After your air conditioning system has thawed, airflow is cleared and the filter is changed, turn on and monitor the AC unit. If your AC unit continues to freeze up, you need to have the issue diagnosed by a professional HVAC technician.
Another reason for air conditioner freeze up is the lack of coolant. However, if your air conditioner is low on freon that is not a normal condition that occurs over time. If the air conditioning unit has leaked coolant and the levels are low, the air conditioning system works harder than normal and can form ice on the coils and pipes.
It is extremely important that the coolant or Freon level of an air conditioning system be checked often. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America or ACCA recommend checking once a year to maintain the proper Freon levels. If your Freon levels are low either the proper charge was never added to your system or there is a leak which should be repaired. A 10% loss of Freon or coolant will cost the home or business owner 20 percent more in electrical costs and can cause undue wear and tear on your unit.
Low levels of Freon can cause compressor failure, reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner. Freon leaks will not get smaller and will usually increase in severity over time so a repair can save money on service as well.
Freon Leaks can be caused by many problems including unit vibration, physical damage (from lawn movers, pets, etc.), stress, worn service valves, etc. Methods for locating leaks include visual inspection, high viscosity liquid leak detector, electronic detection equipment, ultraviolet leak detection and a nitrogen isolation test. Of all of the methods the nitrogen isolation test is one of the most effective methods for locating all the leaks in the a system.
Your professional Fix Your AC Fast HVAC technician will perform a dye test to find out where your air conditioning system is leaking, fix the leak, recharge the system with coolant and prime the air conditioning unit.