Imagine you are in the middle of a scorching summer, and you turn on your air conditioner, expecting a refreshing blast of cool air. Instead, you find your air conditioner unit covered in ice, leading to decreased efficiency or even complete shutdown. When you first look at it, it might seem odd that something designed to cool the air, is freezing over. However, this is a common problem that many air conditioner owners face. Absolute P&M Services will share what causes an air conditioner to ice up and what needs to be done to restore your air conditioning system.
Why is Ice Forming on My AC Unit?
Reduced Airflow – When there is reduced airflow in the cooling system, the coil gets too cold and starts to freeze. The decreased airflow can be due to dirty air filters or blocked return air ducts, which prevent the circulation of air inside the unit. As a result, the temperature of the coil drops below freezing, causing the humidity in the air to freeze onto the coil.
Low Refrigerant Levels – Another common reason is low refrigerant levels. When refrigerant levels drop, the pressure within the system also decreases. This can lower the coil’s temperature enough to freeze the condensation on the coil, leading to ice formation. Low refrigerant levels are often due to leaks somewhere in the system.
Mechanical Failures – Mechanical issues, such as a malfunctioning blower fan or a problem with the thermostat, can lead to icing. For example, if the fan is not working properly, the air doesn’t circulate as it should, leading to a drop in temperature and resulting in freezing.
Can a Frozen AC Be Fixed?
Change or Clean Your Air Filters – The easiest step to take is to ensure your air filters are clean. Dust and debris in your air filter can limit airflow, causing your air conditioner unit to freeze. Make a habit of checking and replacing your air filters regularly, at least once a month during high-use or summer seasons.
Check Your Air Ducts – If the filters are clean but the air conditioner still has ice on it, the issue may be with your ductwork. Blockages, such as dust or debris, can impede the airflow. Ensure your air ducts are clean and unobstructed to allow for ideal airflow. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, consider hiring a professional to do a duct cleaning.
Refill Your Refrigerant – If the issue is the result of low refrigerant levels, you will need to refill it. However, because refrigerant is a material that requires special licensing, this task needs to be done by HVAC professionals. They will also check for leaks in the system and fix them, ensuring the problem doesn’t happen again.
Regular Maintenance – Ensure your air conditioner undergoes regular maintenance, as this can help prevent a wide range of issues, including icing. Professionals will check and fix any mechanical issues, such as problems with the fan or thermostat, they will clean the system, and ensure everything is in working order.