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  • 4 Common Reasons Why Your AC Freezes

    Energy Air

    How Do You Know If Your AC Is Frozen?

    If your AC freezes, you will notice a buildup of frost on the copper that comes out of the system. Sometimes the frost build up can be so bad that a full block of ice forms. Luckily, solving the problem is often very simple! Just because your air handler is frozen doesn’t mean there is a serious problem with it.

    How to Fix a Frozen Coils on Air Handler

    The first step to fixing your frozen AC is to turn the system off. If the AC system is still trying to cool, it will continue forming frost.

    You can switch your thermostat to “OFF,” or to the “FAN – ON” setting (notated as “circulate air” on some thermostats).

    In severe cases, you may even want to turn your thermostat to the “Heat” setting to speed up the thawing.

    While your air conditioner is thawing, be sure to observe the water levels in the unit. If the drain pan inside the evaporator coil overflows, you can experience water damage in your air conditioner.

    Why is My Air Handler Frozen?

    Coils Freezing Up Because of Low Refrigerant

    Sometimes AC freeze ups can be because of the refrigerant chlorodifluoromethane, also known as R22.

    The R22 refrigerant has different physical properties at various levels of pressure. In a properly functioning system, the way the refrigerant is passed through the lines it is at a temperature where condensation may form on the outside of the line.

    If something happens and the pressure in your system changes (more on that in a second), the pressure change can cause the R22 to act differently. As the moist, warm air from your house moves over the evaporator, the moisture will condense and freeze on the coils and ice will begin to form!

    You might not notice a change in the performance of your system with minor frost, but too much ice will affect the airflow.

    Eventually, the ice will act as an insulator and prevent the air conditioning system from functioning properly, and the R22 refrigerant will evaporate faster. When the refrigerant level gets too low, your air conditioner can’t freeze the line. The ice may melt, and then you’ll notice the air flow behavior has stopped — but you’re not getting any cooling at all from the system!

    If you catch this issue at the “restricted airflow” stage, keep reading! You may be able to remedy your problem by looking at some of the other common reasons your AC freezes.

    If you have already noticed that your system does not cool anymore, your AC potentially has water damage. We recommend having an HVAC professional inspect your home as soon as possible to repair it!

    Contact a Professional AC Company for Repair Services
    Schedule Service Online
    Orlando: (407) 708-9122 | Tampa: (813) 922-3375

    Coils Freezing Up Because of Clogged Air Filter

    Remember how we talked about the “pressure” inside of your air conditioning system affecting how your refrigerant acts?

    Well, that’s how a clogged air filter can cause your AC to freeze.

    When your AC can’t get enough air, there isn’t enough heat (from the warm air in your home) to prevent the condensation on the coil from turning into ice.

    What keeps your air conditioner working is a delicate dance between pressure, vacuums, and temperature changes!

    If your air filter is clear, poor airflow could still be the problem.

    Inspect all of the vents in your home, holding your hand in front of them to feel for air leaking from the sides of the grate.

    You’ll want to be on the lookout for blocked ducts, closed grates, blocked grates, and closed dampers.

    AC Freeze Because of Dirty Coil

    The third most common cause of AC freezes is your air conditioner’s coil. Again, ice obstructs the proper airflow of your system — so what starts off as a little bit of frost can spiral out of control sometimes into a solid block of ice!

    The reason why your evaporator coils can freeze is that in addition to cooling your home, air conditioners also dehumidify it. They pull the water out of the air, which makes condensation that builds up on the coils.

    Normally this isn’t a problem because the condensation droplets fall off the coils into the drip pan. But if the drip pan is overflowing, the coils can become waterlogged and freeze! Dirty coils can cause freezing is because an extra layer of dirt on top of the coils prevents them from absorbing the water fast enough.

    Fear not though, a simple bi-annual checkup from your local HVAC professional is all you need to keep you AC’s coils clean.

    AC Freeze Because of Damaged Blower Fan

    The blower fan helps get cold air where it needs to go and get the warm air outside.

    As the air cools inside of your air conditioner, it becomes more dense and doesn’t travel as well. The blower fan helps move cold air by “sucking” hot air out of your home, which the denser cold air moves to replace.

    How effectively your AC is able to create cool air and push it out to you is 100% dependent on your machine having the correct balance of airflow and air pressure.

    Sometimes your blower fan can break, or become damaged during normal operation. When your blower fan is on the fritz, that significantly changes the airflow inside of your air handler. Too much condensation will build up on the coils, and the water droplets will not be displaced properly.

    Without the hot air moving over the proper parts, a broken blower fan can also cause a refrigerant line to freeze too. If your refrigerant line is frozen, be careful! The freeze can easily back up all the way to your condenser unit outside, causing problems.

    Air Conditioning Services In Orlando

    If you catch it in the early enough stages, you may be able to handle an AC freezing issue yourself. But if the freeze up is the result of dirty coils, or your system has water damage you can call us or schedule an appointment online. Our team of experienced technicians provides quick, efficient repairs when your AC is frozen.

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