Frozen Pipe

Why is There Ice on My Air Conditioner?

Did you know that an air conditioner can freeze up – even on a hot and sunny day? Even if it sounds impossible, the coil and refrigerant lines on your air conditioner can freeze, causing your system to fail if you continue running it while it's frozen. Many homeowners don't realize that a frozen air conditioner is a serious problem requiring immediate service by an AC repair specialist. You can end up spending significantly more money if you continue to use your frozen system. A frozen evaporator coil can lead to damages to that part of your system and other connected parts if not repaired promptly. Depending on the severity of the situation, a frozen air conditioner can lead to total compressor failure. So, now that you know that a frozen evaporator coil can lead to overhauling several components of your HVAC system.

Keep Your Air Conditioner from Freezing Up With These 4 Tips

It's best to avoid a frozen air conditioner, if possible, which is easier than you'd think. We've provided a few of the most common causes of frozen air conditioner components and how to avoid them.

  • Refrigerant Levels: You should secure seasonal maintenance for your HVAC system, and during your inspection, your HVAC specialist should check your system for leaks. Refrigerant issues are a common reason for icing on your AC unit. When refrigerant levels are too low, a corresponding drop in pressure leads to the water vapor in your system freezing to the evaporator coils. If the ice isn't handled promptly, it can continue to layer until there's a thick sheet of ice on your system. An air conditioner is a closed system, so the refrigerant should never be outside the system. Refrigerant outside the system is symptomatic of a leak, and a leak can originate in any of the systems that interact with coolant, like the transport lines, compressor, or coils.
  • Dirty Air Filters: Your air conditioner needs good airflow to prevent it from freezing. A dirty air filter is another common factor that can lead to your air conditioner freezing because the amount of air in the return air duct was limited. When there's insufficient airflow through the evaporator coil, a layer of ice will form, and if these conditions persist, the ice will thicken. Creating a regular schedule to check and replace your air filter as needed is an important step towards greater efficiency, preventing freeze-ups, and improving your indoor air quality. HVAC specialists suggest replacing your air filter at least every three months, and some suggest changing it every month. At the very least, you should monitor it and choose depending on how the condition of the filter.
  • Faulty Blower Fan: Airflow is an important factor impacting your HVAC system's output quality and operation. The blower fan in your unit may become worn, or it can malfunction. A malfunctioning blower fan will keep your air conditioner from getting the airflow needed to function properly, and without enough airflow, your coils will freeze. If you suspect your blower isn't working well, you will need to call your HVAC specialist to inspect the blower fan's settings.
  • Closed and Blocked Vents: Check your home for blocked supply and return vents. Make sure they're open and not closed. First, you should check your supply registers. If they are warm, it's a good indicator that your system is freezing, or the conditions exist where it could freeze soon. While you can close a couple of vents if you have rooms you'd prefer not to cool, you should refrain from closing more than three supply vents. Closing too many vents could lead to your system not getting enough airflow to prevent a freeze.

24/7 Emergency Services Available at Blazer Heating and Air

If you are experiencing signs of pending air conditioning problems, the team at Blazer Heating and Air is always available to inspect your system to root out the cause. We provide reliable solutions when you need help the most! Air conditioners freeze during summer, and it's a problem that shocks most homeowners. Don't wait to be shocked when your system freezes. Being proactive is the best thing you can do to protect the longevity of your HVAC unit. The signs we've provided can help you avoid the most common issues that cause an air conditioner to freeze. We've served the community since 1989, and it would be a pleasure to provide you with maintenance and care for your HVAC system. Contact our office at (804) 277-2458 today to schedule an appointment!