Top Reasons Why Your AC Coils Freeze Up

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Top Reasons Why Your AC Coils Freeze Up

When it comes to your air conditioning system, don’t wait for a small problem to worsen. As soon as something comes up with your AC unit, find out its cause and or call an HVAC professional to diagnose the problem and fix it. Even a small air conditioner problem can cause the whole air conditioning system to eventually go into overdrive.

AC coil freezing is one such problem. It’s a common problem that usually starts with a small issue that was not fixed right away until you end up with a frozen AC. Understanding how air conditioners work helps. So when you ask “Why is my air conditioner frozen?” be ready to find out more.

Your air conditioner did not just freeze. There’s a lot more involved that caused your AC coils to freeze.

The Joule-Thomson Effect

The Joule-Thomson effect is present in the air conditioning system in your home. It is a thermodynamic process that moves warm air inside your home to the outside compressor. This process uses continuous airflow, refrigerant, and the evaporator coil.

In essence, the air conditioner does not create a cold temperature or cool air. Instead, the Joule-Thomson effect moves heat from inside the house and sends the exhaust outside.

When there is insufficient airflow in the heating and air conditioning system, the process goes out of whack. Humidity turns to ice and causes the air conditioner coils and refrigerant lines to freeze or ” ice over” as the pros say. Ice on your system is very bad because it blocks airflow. To prevent that from happening to your air conditioner, it’s important to keep every part of the AC in tip-top condition so air can flow without a hitch. Every part of the HVAC system is important no matter how small or big it is.

Top Reasons Why AC Coils Freeze

Clogged Air Filters

What do you know about the air filter? From the name itself, an air filter filters dirty air that goes into your air conditioner unit. Air filters prevent dust, animal dander, pollens, and other particulates from entering the HVAC system so that the air that comes out from the supply vents is clean and safe.

Air filters have to be regularly cleaned and replaced every 3 months or so. Otherwise, dust and other particulates will cause a buildup and clog the filters. Clogged air filters make it difficult for warm air to move through the ducts. Without sufficient airflow over the coil, the refrigerant in the coil turns too cold and water vapor from the condensation process settles on the evaporator coils and freezes. 

Air filters are easy to clean and replace, but they are the number one reason why AC coils freeze up. Clogged air filters also affect other components of the HVAC system, not just the evaporator coils. Clogged air filters put a strain on other components and increase the energy consumption in your home.

Broken Blower Fan

Broken Blower Fan

The blower fan is important for proper airflow in the heating and cooling system. The blower fan provides the pressure that pushes dense cold air so it can circulate throughout the house and pushes warm air outside.

When the blower fan is not working properly, it affects the airflow in the air handler. Eventually, moisture will settle on the coils and cause freeze-ups.  This causes ice to form and damages the system.

Make sure to keep air properly circulating in the HVAC system. Any blockage will start a domino effect that will put more pressure than necessary on other air conditioner’s components. An HVAC technician at Air Care Cooling & Heating LLC can fix a broken blower fan for you. As much as possible do not attempt a DIY if you’re not an HVAC professional.

Obstructed Supply Vents

Just like the air filter and the blower fan, blocked or obstructed supply vents also cause the air conditioner coil to freeze. Sufficient airflow is necessary to keep the AC unit in top condition. When air is blocked, it causes moisture to settle on the AC coils and freeze.

It’s a good idea to check where your big pieces of furniture are. Make sure they are far from the air vents in your home. Check your air by putting your hand directly in front of the vents. You should feel the airflow. If heat comes out from your vents instead of cool air, it’s time to call the pro.

Low Refrigerant Levels

A leak in the refrigerant causes low refrigerant levels, which leads to a frozen evaporator and AC coils freeze. This is not a heating and air conditioning problem for a homeowner to DIY. A professional HVAC technician must be called in to find the leak and fix it.

The refrigerant inside the copper coils in your AC unit is responsible for absorbing heat from indoor air, leaving cool air. Without the refrigerant, there is no air conditioning. The air conditioner does not consume the refrigerant, so a low refrigerant level means there is a leak in the coil or a refrigerant line that must be sealed immediately.

Refrigerant levels must be maintained to effectively remove heat from inside the house and keep the refrigerant pressure. Low pressure results in a frozen AC.  A leaking refrigerant does not only cause you money, but it may also cause poisoning and other serious conditions.

If you suspect a leaky refrigerant, call Air Care Cooling & Heating LLC for an immediate heating and air conditioning repair service.

Blocked Condensate Drain Lines

Condensation drain lines drain away water from the AC evaporator coil. When moisture condenses into water, the waterfalls to a drain pan before it travels through pipes to a drain hole.

A blocked drain line prevents water from draining effectively. Stuck water forms into a frost or into ice, especially if the water is stuck near the evaporator coil.

Drainage problems are common and they lead to more serious water damage in air conditioners.  The good thing is, this is something that can be prevented by regular maintenance services.

Our routine maintenance services at Air Care include checking and cleaning the drain pan and the pipes. You can get these services by calling our live operator and booking a home visit.

Blocked Condensate Drain Lines

Tips to Remember

Frozen coils are common AC problems. Keep the following tips in mind if you don’t want your air conditioner to freeze.

Tip 1

Give your air conditioner regular preventive maintenance. It will keep your air conditioner in top condition and prevent different AC problems. Even a new AC needs to be checked for problems in the coils and in other parts of the unit.  For instance, the blower motor must be in top running condition and the evaporator coil must be in good shape.

Tip 2

Call an HVAC professional if you suspect a frozen evaporator coil. This air conditioner issue is not suitable for DIY. At Air Care Cooling & Heating LLC, our professional technicians will give your unit a thorough inspection and fix the problem once and for all.

Tip 3

Just because you don’t see the ice doesn’t mean it’s not there. No matter how you clean the filter and the temperature in your home doesn’t improve, don’t wait for the situation to worsen. Book an appointment with a pro right away.

Tip 4

Ensure the thermostat settings are correct and that switches didn’t trip. Incorrect thermostat settings affect the whole unit and fail to bring the temperature in the house to where it should be. 

Tip 5

Don’t feel free to tinker with the components of your HVAC system. The DIY initiative is admirable, but if you don’t know much about fixing air conditioners, bring in the experts, like the professional technicians at Air Care. It’s the safest way to solve HVAC problems.

What is said about prevention is true to air conditioning systems as well. Prevention is better than cure. Preventive maintenance is important to keep your air conditioner running in optimal condition.

Air Care Cooling & Heating LLC offers a comprehensive preventive maintenance plan that will help ensure your air conditioner gets much-needed cleaning, tuning up and maintenance services. Frozen AC coils or no frozen AC coils, call us to book a maintenance service.

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