As reliable as they usually are, air conditioners can be fickle. Even if you change the filters and schedule seasonal AC maintenance like you’re supposed to, there is still a chance your air conditioner will freeze up at some point over the summer and require professional AC repair service. Before we talk about how you can fix your air conditioner when it freezes, let’s take a look at what might cause your air conditioner to freeze in the first place.
To learn how to troubleshoot a frozen air conditioner, call us at 480-460-7417 or keep reading to learn more.
What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze?
There are three main conditions under which your air conditioner can freeze up:
Lack of airflow – lack of airflow is one of the most common reasons that many air conditioners freeze up. Any time you have limited airflow—for instance, if you have dirty air filters or undersized ducts— you run the risk of causing the temperature of your AC’s cooling coil to drop to below freezing. What’s happening is simple—basically, as warm air moves through your return ducts, it passes over extremely cold refrigerant coil to drop off its heat. While it comes into contact with the coil, moisture in the air condenses. Normally it will roll right off into the drain line. However, if your AC’s airflow is compromised, the water will not move and will end up freezing to the coil! Normally, changing the filters is enough to fix this problem. If your air conditioner is freezing up due to undersized ducts, you should call an HVAC contractor and have them take a look at your problem and offer their suggestions.
Refrigerant leaks – the amount of refrigerant in your air conditioner has to be carefully balanced if you want to keep your air conditioner running smoothly. If there is too little refrigerant in your coil, it will not be able to absorb enough heat and will end up freezing.
Outdoor temperature – summer is supposed to be hot, but when it gets cool at night, there is a chance that your air conditioner could freeze up. Air conditioners don’t do well when temperatures are below 60 F. Fortunately, at these temperatures, you don’t really even need to use your AC at all! If temperatures drop this low, turn off the AC and throw open the windows. You’ll save your air conditioner and save some money at the same time!
How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner
To fix a frozen air conditioner, first you have to figure out what caused it to freeze up in the first place.
No matter what, the first thing you should do if your air conditioner is frozen is turn it off and let it defrost—this will prevent any serious damage to the system. Next, check all the air filters in your home to see if they are dirty or blocked. If they are dirty, clean or replace them. Check back in 24 hours—if there is no more ice on your compressor, changing the filters solved the problem.
If a lack of refrigerant has caused your air conditioner to freeze, talk to an HVAC contractor about correcting the levels. Professionals will know exactly how much refrigerant you’ll need in your system to ensure optimal performance. In addition, if your air conditioner is freezing due to a refrigerant leak, they will be able to fix it. There’s also the chance that your defrost timer is on the fritz, which they will be able to figure out too. Note: your air conditioner comes with all of the refrigerant it will ever need. If refrigerant levels are getting low, this indicates that you have a leak in your system.
If your air conditioner is freezing up and you don’t know why, contact Cooper Climate Control, your heating & cooling specialists. We can provide air conditioner repair service in Phoenix, Mesa, Sun Lakes, San Tan Valley, Scottsdale and other nearby areas in the Valley to make sure your air conditioner stays healthy and efficient all summer long.
Consider AC Replacement as an Option
It may be more expensive to repair a frozen AC—which may break down at some point during the cooling season—than it is to replace the unit. This can only be determined after a thorough unit inspection and evaluation by an expert AC technician.
Now is an excellent time to consider AC replacement if your unit freezes or has some other serious problem. There are excellent air conditioner rebates currently available for the purchase and installation of an efficient unit. Call us today to learn more.