Why Do Air Conditioners Freeze? Consider These Possibilities
There are several possible answers for the question of why the air conditioner might freeze. Ice anywhere in your air conditioning system indicates a problem that you need to deal with before the system is damaged and requires expensive repairs.
The first step you should take with a frozen air conditioner is to turn the system off and let the ice melt. Depending on how much ice has built up, completely melting it could take several hours. Be sure that all of the drains are unclogged so the melt water can flow freely away from your air conditioner to keep it from damaging any equipment around or below it.
The most common explanations of why an air conditioner may freeze are low refrigerant levels and inadequate airflow across the coils. While you are waiting for your system to thaw, check your air conditioning or furnace filter to be sure it is not clogged. A dirty filter can reduce airflow enough to allow ice to build up on your indoor coil, so solving your freezing problem could be as simple as changing the filter.
Once you’ve changed the filter and let the system thaw completely, it shouldn’t ice up again. If it does, call a professional air conditioning technician for help diagnosing and fixing the problem. The technician will check for:
- Low refrigerant levels. If your refrigerant is low, it can cause ice buildup. Your technician will check for leaks and then restore the refrigerant to its proper level.
- Inadequate airflow. Your technician will check your fan and motors for proper operation and will look for dirty coils or any obstructions in your system that may be reducing airflow. Dirty ducts or supply or return registers blocked by furniture or carpets might prevent air from flowing freely.
- Proper thermostat operation. If your system runs longer than necessary, it can cause freezing problems.
Contact us at Gulf Coast Air Systems, Inc. for more on why air conditioners freeze, if you’re considering an AC Repair, or if you have any other questions about your system. We help homeowners like you keep their families comfortable and their cooling bills low in our humid Southwest Florida climate.