Why your air conditioner is frozen

One of the more common issues we encounter is the curious case of the frozen air conditioner. You may find your unit wrapped in a block of ice and wonder many things: can it be used again? Is it safe to turn on? Is this even a problem at all?

Well, we’re sad to report that yes – this is an issue; but also one that we encounter frequently and one that can be solved if you’re smart. Here are some of the reasons that frozen air conditioners happen and what you can do to avoid them. Let’s jump right in!

Low refrigerant levels

One of the most common causes of frozen a/c units is due to low refrigerant levels. If there isn’t enough refrigerant getting to the coils of you’re a/c – then the outside of those coil begin dealing with excess condensation. As you can imagine, that condensation freezes and creates ice. What happens is that the ice will cause the a/c unit to quickly run through it’s remaining refrigerant and eventually leaves your unit completely unable to function.

While simply replacing your refrigerant should solve your issue, there is a caveat – and that’s that if that the refrigerant loss was caused by a leak. Repairing the leak will then be the only way to insure you’re a/c doesn’t turn into a big block of ice again.

Damaged coils

Any properly functioning a/c unit will create condensation on its coils, which then drips down and evaporates in a pan below. However, when the drip pan gets dirty, the water will back up and eventually covers the coils. When the water freezes, the coils get damaged and/or dirty and that simply exacerbates the problem. The result? A frozen over air conditioner.

Make sure that if you’re having you’re a/c unit serviced, that you have your technician check to make sure the coils aren’t unnecessarily dirty.

Dirty or blocked air filters

Let’s put it this way – if you can’t remember when the last time was that you changed your air conditioner’s filter or don’t know where it’s located – then that’s probably the cause behind your frozen AC unit. Filters help regulate airflow so when the a/c isn’t getting enough air, it’s also not getting enough heat from the outside to keep the coil condensation from freezing – thus the big block of ice. Make sure your make changing your air filter a priority every year.

If you’re a/c is freezing, we suggest that you call a professional immediately. It’s an easy problem to fix, but if left to linger and come cost you a lot of money – either in repairs or outright replacement. Don’t hesitate!

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