There’s no question that the Texas summer heat is brutal, even to the most seasoned Texan. A true Texas summer is not for the faint of heart, and when temperatures hit triple digits, some of us may feel like booking it to the north pole. So this poses the question, “Why is my air conditioner covered in ice?” As strange as it is to see a block of ice sunbathing in 100° weather, it’s actually a pretty common occurrence, even in this heat.
Why Is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?
Here are a few questions you should answer for a (hopefully) quick solution to your frozen air conditioner.
Is my air filter dirty?
This is one of the main causes of a frozen air conditioner, because it inhibits airflow and causes the temperature of the evaporator coil to drop below freezing. Since your air conditioner is running frequently during the summer, be sure to check your air filter regularly to ensure that it’s clean.
Also be sure to keep your air registers clear inside of your home. Vents that are blocked or closed will block airflow to the evaporator coil. A simple thing to keep in mind: If your AC system has insufficient airflow, your air conditioner may freeze.
A simple thing to keep in mind: If your AC system has insufficient airflow, your air conditioner may freeze.
Do I have a faulty fan?
A faulty fan can cause your air conditioner to freeze up, because the air is not being well-circulated throughout the ductwork and your home. You may even notice that the air being supplied by your AC system is warm rather than cool. A faulty fan may also cause damage to the inside of the unit, if the blades are bent or misaligned.
Am I low on refrigerant?
Your air conditioner can freeze due to low levels of refrigerant, which may be caused by a leak located somewhere inside your AC unit. If you suspect that there is a leak, be sure to contact a licensed contractor to locate any leaks and to replenish your system's refrigerant.
Is my evaporator coil dirty?
Evaporator coils need regular cleaning to prevent freezing. When your evaporator coil is not frozen, you can rinse the coil with a hose to give it a quick cleaning job. For a more thorough cleaning, we suggest hiring a licensed HVAC contractor.
First, turn off your AC unit and allow it to defrost completely. Consider doing this at night, so that the system can be off without you having to suffer in the heat during the day! Once the unit is completely defrosted, turn it back on and check the airflow. At this point, go ahead and replace dirty air filters and make sure that the area is clean and without any obstructions that will interfere with your system's performance. In the best case, this may be all that you need to get your system back up and running. Again, if you need more than a simple cleaning, please call a professional for help to prevent further damage or possible injury.
How Do I Prevent This From Happening?
We’ve discussed some simple DIY solutions for your icy AC system, but how do you prevent it from freezing in the first place? The best way to keep your AC system ice-free, is to consult with a trustworthy contractor in your area and find a preventative maintenance plan that works best for your budget. Also consider having a tune-up every 6 months or so, to make sure your AC system is always working properly. A trained technician will take a thorough look at your entire system and conduct full diagnosis to identify any issues that your system may be having. If you have a frozen air conditioner, or need help with other AC issues, contact us now to set up an appointment.