Ice in summers seems to be a godsend. But ice on your AC or the freezing of AC is a sign of trouble. Don’t ever assume a frozen AC will cool your home better. It will only dig deeper holes in your pocket in the form of high energy bills and expensive repairs. However, it happens only if you ignore the problem while it is still in its infancy. Always keep in mind freezing AC can escalate into a dire condition quickly. Consequently, whenever you notice the first signs, switch off the AC and call the technician immediately.
Calling the technician will only help solve the problem. But what causes it? Knowing the answer to this question will come in handy in identifying the underlying cause of your AC icing.
5 Top Reasons For AC Freezing Up
Some top reasons for your AC freezing up are as follows –
1. Restricted Airflow – The top reason for freezing up of AC is inadequate airflow. Typically, the root of this occurrence lies in –
1. dirty air filters,
2. damaged air ducts,
3. closed or obstructed vents and registers
In all of these cases, there are impediments to the free flow of air. As such, adequate air does not pass over the evaporator coils. So the condensation that forms on the coils, instead of dripping into the drain pan, freezes. It happens because of the extremely low temperature of the evaporator coils. The AC condenser continues to run because indoor air has still not reached the desired temperature and the ice build-up keeps increasing.
To remedy the problem, the first step is to check the condition of the air filters. If they appear to be blocked or downright filthy, replace them immediately with new ones. If that is not the issue, check that all vents and registers are open with nothing placed directly in front of them. If that too is okay, call an HVAC technician because chances are there are one or more leaks in your ducts. Sadly, checking the ductwork is not an easy process. Only a professional can do it, and that too with specialized equipment.
2. Dirty Evaporator Coils – Often, dust accumulates on the evaporator coils. It can happen due to –
1. Skipped routine maintenance.
2. Living in an area prone to dust storms.
Irrespective of the precise reason, the thick layer of dust on the evaporator coils does not allow the warm indoor air to come fully in contact with the cold coils. As a result, the air does not become sufficiently cool, and whatever little moisture the coils draw out freezes. In essence, the same pattern is repeated that occurs when there is restricted airflow. So the condenser continues to run, and the ice build-up keeps growing.
As a homeowner, your best attempt to control the problem is to limit the dust entering your home. So keep your doors and windows closed and the inside space clean. Apart from that, schedule the annual maintenance of the AC timely, and if frequent dust storms visit your area, get the AC cleaned more often.
3. Snag in Blower Fan – The blower fan is one of the key components of the cooling system. It is entrusted with the task of keeping the air moving. The blower pulls the warm indoor air and redistributes the cool treated air into the home. When this vital part develops a fault or breaks down, it leads to insufficient airflow. The heat transfer stops, and from here begins the same cycle of moisture freezing over the coils as happens whenever the air is not allowed to move freely to and from the air conditioner.
4. Low Level Of Refrigerant – Corrosion, age-related deterioration and accidents can damage the refrigerant line. It may result in holes, cracks, or gaps from which the coolant seeps out. The low refrigerant level causes the freezing of the AC. What typically happens in this scenario is that the efficiency of the cooling system is compromised, due to which the pressure difference in the refrigerant line becomes high. The reduced pressure forces the moisture to freeze on the surface of the coils.
A leak forces the refrigerant or the coolant to expand more. In turn, this makes the coils cooler than what they ideally should be. The freezing temperature of the coils forces the water droplets around and over it to become ice. Continuing to run the system will further increase the menace.
Only a professional HVAC technician can help when dealing with a refrigerant leak. They are adept at identifying all the leaks and plugging them. Only once they are satisfied will they top up the refrigerant.
5. Low-Temperature Outdoors – The weather front is not always constant. Sometimes it may be hot and sweltering in the morning, only to find out that the temperatures have dipped by nightfall. These freak conditions do happen, and most of us have also experienced them.
Usually, when it is hot, we lower the temperature to make it cool indoors. When the outdoor temperature falls, we should ideally crank up the thermostat. Failing to do so will cause the coils of the condenser unit to freeze up. The only way to avoid this scenario is by being vigilant of the outdoor temperature at all times. If your indoor temperature is within the recommended limits, you will not have to face this music.
In case your AC is freezing up, it does not spell doom for the cooling unit. So stop fretting unnecessarily. Check the vents and registers and the status of the air filters. If everything is in order, as discussed above, call your HVAC technician. They are the best people to identify the real issue and rectify it accurately. Aztil Air Conditioning can help residential and commercial building owners take care of their heating and cooling systems. Our technicians are a capable fleet of trained, certified, and experienced professionals who can troubleshoot any kind of HVAC issue, including an AC freezing up. To book an appointment, give us a call anytime at +1-888-729-8452