Air conditioner freezing up? While it might look like an unlikely scenario to witness an ice chunk on the outdoor air conditioning system in the summer, the problem is not as uncommon as you might imagine. Often, the ice won’t accumulate on the outdoor unit but the insides of the AC, like on the evaporator coils.
If you’re struggling with a frozen air conditioner, it will help if you first understand the reasons responsible for this problem. We’ll also provide an easy solution to help you fix the annoying issue. So, let’s begin.
Here are the three most common reasons:
If humidity settles on AC coils, it can lead to a freeze-up. And for the humidity to not settle in, the air conditioner must have flawless airflow.
If the air filters become clogged or dirty, it can prevent the airflow and lead to a freeze-up. Even if the AC is not frozen, it is still important to regularly clean and replace the air filters as it helps improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system.
Your AC unit is made up of several mechanical components that are prone to get broken, clogged, or stuck. The built-in fan might stop working, refrigerant pipes can kink, and refrigerant can leak.
These issues can reduce the pressure and result in refrigerant expansion, leading to a significant drop in temperature, which can cause freeze-up.
Every air conditioning unit is calibrated to work within a fixed set of optimal temperature thresholds.
If the night temperature in the summer months is colder than usual and beyond the optimal threshold, it could lead to a frozen air conditioner.
So, what can you do if your air conditioner is frozen? Follow these two steps:
If the evaporator coils have frozen up, simply turn off the air conditioner to let the ice thaw on its own. Remember that depending on the amount of ice in the unit, it can take up to an entire day, even in the summer months, for the ice to thaw away fully.
You should never use sharp or heavy objects to break the ice as you might damage other critical components.
Now that the ice is melted, it is time to dry up the coils. If direct sunlight falls on the unit, you can let the sun do its job. Alternatively, you can use paper towels for drying the coils.
Once the coils are dry, you can switch on the AC but only run the fan or blower to ensure the remaining water dries up. Then, after an hour or two, you can start using the AC normally.
Remember, there is likely still a reason your AC froze up in the first place, so you’ll need to call a professional. But until the AC is thawed, a professional cannot do appropriate diagnostics.
There you have it! We’ve highlighted the three most common reasons why air conditioners freeze and provided a simple solution to fix this common problem. But if the issue persists, it’d be better to consult a professional HVAC technician, like Beeson Mechanical Service at 317-535-9338, and avoid trying to fix it on your own.