How To Deal With A Frozen Air Conditioner?
Have you ever noticed that the air from your air conditioner is not cold enough or the airflow is weak from your vents, only to find ice on your air conditioner? This is a problem that many homeowners are familiar with. Knowing what to do when your air conditioner freezes up can help you avoid damage to the unit and get your home back to a cool, comfortable temperature in no time.
Turn Your AC Off Immediately
To avoid damage to your air conditioner, the first thing to do when you see ice on it is turn it off. Running your air conditioner while ice is on the outdoor condenser or indoor evaporator coils can lead to problems. Ice buildup on these essential components places excessive strain on your system because it blocks airflow and propagates further freezing that can cause coil damage or condenser failure.
Another important reason to turn your air conditioner off when it is frozen is to conserve energy. A frozen air conditioner will not be able to cool your home effectively and may keep running continuously if the indoor temperature never reaches the temperature set on your thermostat. Your HVAC system is the biggest source of energy use in your home, so you do not need to increase your monthly bill without actually cooling your home.
Check Your Furnace Filter
Sometimes, the fix for a freezing air conditioner is as simple as changing your furnace filter. A dirty furnace filter creates a bottleneck in your HVAC system’s airflow that can cause freezing. This is because compression of the refrigerant in your air conditioner can cause the coils to reach below-freezing temperatures if not enough adequate airflow is available.
Another way that a dirty furnace filter can cause freezing is by allowing dust to build up directly on the evaporator coils. Enough dust on the coils can insulate them and prevent them from pulling heat from the surrounding air, which again will cause them to reach lower temperatures than they are designed for. If you see dust on your evaporator coils, use a commercial coil cleaner before running your AC again.
Try Raising the Thermostat Temperature
Like many homeowners, you may sometimes leave your air conditioner running overnight or simply forget to adjust the thermostat when the temperature in your home is comfortable enough. Setting your thermostat too low does not cause freezing directly, but it can lead to freezing if the ambient air temperature outdoors is too low.
After you have checked your furnace filter and allowed your air conditioner to thaw, you may be able to avoid freezing in the future by limiting the use of your air conditioner when the temperature is too low. Raising the set temperature on your thermostat will reduce your AC’s cycle time and may be enough to keep it from falling below the freezing point.
Call a Technician for Repairs
If you still have problems with freezing, contact an HVAC technician to check for problems with other parts of your system that could lead to freezing. Just as a dirty filter can block airflow, so can blockages or crimps in your ductwork or a failing blower motor. The problem may also be due to low refrigerant in your system. Recharging your refrigerant is a task that a licensed technician must perform.
An air conditioner that freezes up frequently is a problem that you should address quickly, but this does not necessarily mean that the AC needs replacing. Contact Baton Rouge Air Conditioning and Heating today for frozen AC repair and all your other HVAC needs. We look forward to hearing from you.