Why Does My Air Conditioner Freeze?

During summer, the only place you expect to see ice is in your refreshing glass of lemonade. However, your air conditioner can freeze even when it’s 90 degrees outside, and it almost always suggests a problem with the unit. Don’t whip out your hair dryer and attempt to fix the problem on your own — that could damage the sensitive components of your AC. Instead, follow these steps to understand the reason behind a frozen air conditioner in your Katy, Texas, home.

Turn Off Your Air Conditioner

It’s a terrifying thought when Katy temperatures soar into the triple digits, but turning off your air conditioner becomes essential if you see ice on the unit. Continuing to run your AC will only exacerbate the problem. Don’t turn up the thermostat’s temperature because your air conditioner will still continue to run. Turn it off completely until you can find the problem and solve it.

Remove Potential Restrictions

Your air conditioner can freeze if the unit doesn’t have access to adequate air flow. For an outdoor unit, plants or other landscaping elements might sit too close to the unit and block air flow. Remove those elements if they exist so your AC can “breathe” properly. Keep plants at least three or four feet away from the unit, and avoid putting yard art or ornaments right next to it.

Inside, the primary culprit lies in furniture and artwork. If you have a small home, for instance, you might lack many options for sofa and chair placement. However, putting your furniture too close to vents and returns can starve your AC of oxygen and result in a frozen unit. The same goes for artwork, such as paintings, photographs, and sculptures. 

Change Your AC Filter

AC filters feature a mesh-like material that blocks small particles, such as dust and pet dander, from entering the ductwork or clogging your AC. However, when the filter captures too many particles and gets clogged, your HVAC system can’t pull air through the mesh as easily. It works harder and longer with less production, and eventually it will freeze.

Change the filter now to see if it fixes the problem. A fresh filter will increase air flow and allow your AC to work more efficiently. If you find that a new filter solves the problem, consider upgrading to a Wi-Fi thermostat that reminds you when you need to change the filter every couple of months.

Call a Professional

If improved air flow doesn’t cause the ice on your AC to melt, you need expert guidance. Our trained HVAC techs know how to test air conditioners and other HVAC units and repair problems. You never want to take apart your AC or attempt to fix the problem on your own because you could injure yourself or damage the unit.

The first thing we’ll look for is a refrigerant leak. Sometimes, small leaks develop in the refrigerant lines and cause ice to form on the AC evaporator coils. You can’t detect leaks by sight alone, especially if the line isn’t visible, so you’ll need one of our techs to find it for you. We’ll repair the leak and recharge your AC if necessary.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

If we visit your home annually to check and tune up your air conditioner and furnace, you’re far less likely to experience a frozen AC and other problems. You can schedule maintenance when you like, but if you want to save money on maintenance, consider joining the Davis Discount Club. It’s the most efficient way to keep your HVAC system in top running order.

We inspect many HVAC components during our service visits. In addition to the major air conditioning and heating units, we also evaluate your thermostat, ductwork, filters, and other connected parts. This way, you can feel confident running your air conditioner all summer. Plus, early detection can shave hundreds of dollars off a repair bill.

When your air conditioner freezes, you might feel tempted to panic. Resist the urge. Instead, call Davis AC at 888-710-5530 to schedule an HVAC inspection and repair visit. 

Image provided by Shutterstock

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