That’s Not a Glacier or an Iceberg…It’s Your Air Conditioner!
It’s a bizarre, yet common sight. There you are in the middle of summer. The sun is beating down. Everyone is wearing shorts. And your outside air conditioner unit or heat pump is caked in solid ice.
What Causes Air Conditioners to Freeze Up?
How is it possible for an air conditioner to look like an igloo, even in the warmest summer months? Needless to say, it is abnormal for ice to form on an air conditioner, and it is certainly cause for concern. Several common problems can cause air conditioner freeze-ups:
- Insufficient Air Flow: Anything that restricts airflow will cause the temperature of the system’s evaporator coil to drop below freezing. Humidity in the air will collect on the coil causing ice to build up and diminish the system’s cooling capacity. Dirty air filters; collapsed, obstructed and undersized ducts; damaged blower motors; dirt build-up on the evaporator coil – all can seriously impede airflow.
- Problems With The System’s Refrigeration. Refrigerant leaks or low levels of refrigerant can cause pressure drops in the air conditioner’s evaporator coil, which will allow moisture in the air to make your ac coil freeze up.
- Outdoor Temperature: Most outdoor air conditioning units do not function well in temperatures below 60 degrees F. If night-time temperatures are too low, the system will not operate properly and freeze-ups can occur.
What To Do When Your Air Conditioner Freezes Up
The buildup of ice and frost is a sure sign that your air conditioner is not operating properly. If you notice a decline in your system’s cooling capacity, ice build-up should be the first thing you suspect. Air conditioner freeze-ups should be addressed immediately; continued ice accumulation can cause permanent damage to your a/c unit.
The first thing you should do once you notice your air conditioner is frozen is to turn it off and let it defrost completely. Once it has defrosted, check the airflow. Clean or replace dirty filters or remove any visible dirt or obstructions; in some cases, this could be all that is needed.
More serious airflow and refrigeration problems require professional intervention. Schedule a Service Call with Horizon Services; your Horizon service technician has all the tools necessary to troubleshoot serious airflow problems and repair refrigerant leaks.
If your icing problem is due to drops in the outdoor air temperature, be sure to turn your air conditioner off when the mercury takes a drop. You should also consider installing a special ambient temperature control that will allow the unit to run properly in cooler temperatures.
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While all HVAC equipment should be checked by a professional once a year and an HVAC professional should always be called in to deal with major issues or repairs, you can extend the life of your HVAC system by performing an annual precision air conditioner tune-up.
And, if you are ready to install or replace your air conditioner our friendly and experienced team of Comfort Specialists know air conditioning systems inside and out. They’ll take the time to study your home, understand your cooling and heating requirements, show you all of your options and assist you with finding the quality home comfort system that best meets your family’s needs and budget.
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For More Information…
- Ways to Help Prevent Frozen Air Conditioners
- Learn About Our Air Conditioning Services!
- Prevent Freeze Ups With an Air Conditioning Precision Tune-Up!