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Why Is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

Why Is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

One of the best ways to keep cool in the hot summer months is to have a properly running air conditioner. However, there are times when issues can occur, and it can get pricey to have them fixed. Our friends at All Services Air Conditioning, which does AC repair in Fort Lauderdale, has given us some excellent expert advice and information on why your air conditioner may be freezing up and some tips to troubleshoot and possibly prevent any major issues.

Change the Filter

Something as simple as a clogged air filter can be the reason why some air conditioner units may freeze up. By checking and replacing a clogged air filter, the unit may run properly again without freezing up. The reason the air conditioner freezes up is because it overworks itself by trying to pull air through a heavily soiled filter.

By changing the air filter regularly, the air conditioner is less likely to have any issues freezing up. It is important to confirm the proper size air filter before purchasing, as using the wrong size can cause issues.

Speaking of Air Flow…

While a heavily clogged filter can decrease air flow through the air conditioner, so can many other issues. Air flow is an important aspect of an air conditioner, and when that flow is prohibited, it can cause an air conditioner to freeze up and work less effectively. The air flow can be checked by doing the following:

  • Turn off any fans in the room.
  • Go over to any air vent and open it.
  • Place a hand over the air vent to feel for any air flow.
  • By checking each room individually, any air duct issues may be able to be narrowed down to a particular area.

An adequate amount of air should be felt coming through the vents. If there is little to no air coming through when the vents are open and the air conditioner is on, then there is either a leak in the duct that carries the cool air or another issue with the air conditioner.

Dirt and Dust Can Ruin an Air Conditioner

With any air conditioner unit, dirt and dust are going to be present. That is something that cannot be avoided. However, a large build up of dirt and dust can cause some issues with an air conditioner. Just like the air filter should be changed to prevent such air obstructions and provide fresh, clean air, the duct work should be inspected every so often.

Even with high quality filters, over time dust and dirt can still find its way in the duct work of an air conditioner unit. If the buildup becomes excessive, it can cause the air flow to become obstructed, which can cause the air conditioner to freeze up. Note that sometimes rodents can make their way into duct work and build nests, which can cause an obstruction.

For more information on how to inspect the duct work of an air conditioner, this YouTube video can be very helpful.

Inspect the Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil plays a very important part in creating cool air. Refrigerant runs through the evaporator coils and takes in heat which in turn cools the air, making it cold. Sometimes an evaporator coil can become very dirty. It is taking in a lot of air and with that comes dirt, dust and other debris.

Inspecting the evaporator coil safely and properly are a must if the air conditioner continues to freeze up. A clogged evaporator coil will not be able to cool the air properly. One way to tell if the evaporator coil is the issue is by noticing if the air is not cool and there is a foul odor coming from the air conditioner.

Too Cold?

On hot days, the best way to cool off is by getting into some nice cool air conditioning. Sometimes people will lower the thermostat drastically to try and get the home to cool off much quicker. This is a terrible mistake and it does not work either. The home will cool off in the same amount of time. Turning the air conditioner down  to a temperature that is not recommended can cause the air conditioner to freeze up.

The average temperature that an air conditioner can be set at varies. However, it is a good idea not to set the thermostat below 68 degrees. This can cause the air conditioner to overwork itself and freeze up. Plus, new parts will need to be purchased sooner than the average amount of time.

Try Some Refrigerant

Sometimes something as simple as adding some refrigerant can fix the issue. While it is something so small and simple, it can cause an air conditioner to freeze up. Always be safe and cut the power before attempting to do any inspections or work on an air conditioner.