Why Is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

Imagine the hottest day of the summer. The temperatures climb – 95, 96, 97. This is the worst possible time for an air conditioner to freeze up. And yet it happens quite frequently. 

A freeze up occurs when ice forms on the outside of the unit. With central air conditioners, the system can also freeze up when ice forms on the condenser coils within the air handling system. In this case, you might not have evidence to reflect a freeze up, but a reduction in internal cold air distribution is a good indicator you’re facing a freeze up within the air handler. 

What causes your air conditioner to freeze up? 

Blocked air flow

Why Is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

One of the most common is blocked air flow. This can happen in many ways:

  • A dirty air filter
  • Closed or blocked air vents
  • Dirty evaporator coils
  • Dirty air handler coils
  • Damaged ductwork

Fixing the system may be as easy as replacing the air filter, or providing maintenance and repair to specific parts of your system. 

Outdoor temperatures

The hotter the temperatures rise outside, the more cool air you request from your air conditioner. That puts your air conditioner equipment into overdrive. When it works harder, it has a greater possibility of freezing up, especially if it’s not well maintained. When outside temperatures climb into the 90s and above, and stay there regularly, it’s a good idea to clean or replace your filter more often, and raise your thermostat up a few degrees, ensuring it never drops lower than 74 or so to keep it working at its best. 

Loss of refrigerant

If your air conditioner is in good working condition and is properly sealed, the air conditioner shouldn’t lose refrigerant. But if there’s a leak, low coolant levels can cause a drop in the evaporator coil pressure. As moisture builds, it impacts your air conditioning unit until the system freezes up. 

If you’re experiencing any problems with your air conditioner, or just want an inspection to ensure it’s working at its best, give us a call today. 

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