What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?
Can an air conditioner freeze up? As strange as it may seem, the answer is yes. While one might imagine that a frozen air conditioner would create more cool, comfortable air, it actually can cause the system to stop working and even cause damage if the problem isn’t addressed. If you notice your air conditioner isn’t pumping out cool air like it should, it’s time to investigate.
How an Air Conditioner Works
An air conditioner operates after its coils are filled with refrigerant and then warm air filters through to ensure the coils do not freeze up. Cool air is the result. In a split air conditioning system, the indoor coils remove heat from inside the home and transfers it, using refrigerant, to the outdoor unit’s coils, which then release that heat into the atmosphere. This fine tuned system must be working in tandem or your air conditioning system will not function properly. If there is not enough warm air blowing over the coils, the coils will freeze.
Reasons for a Frozen Air Conditioner
The single most common reason for an air conditioner that freezes is lack of airflow. As mentioned, if the warm air blowing over the refrigerated coils slows or stops, the result is frozen coils. The warm air must continue to regulate the airflow and keep the air conditioner working correctly.
Less common reasons for an air conditioner that freezes are:
- A collapsed duct that therefore prevents air flow to and from the units
- A broken motor
- Low voltage to the fan
- A clogged air filter
- Low refrigerant
Any of these instances can cause your air conditioner to stop working properly. If you aren’t sure what might be causing your issues, it is best to call an HVAC professional to diagnose the problem.
What to do if you Discover Ice
If you notice an icy build up on any part of your air conditioner system, turn it off immediately. If possible, leave the fan running to attempt to melt the ice. Then, contact the team at DeZiel Plumbing for a proper air conditioner inspection.