When you run your AC more often during the warm weather, you might begin to notice some ice buildup around your unit. Some people may think that AC freezing is a good thing since your system will produce cooler air. Unfortunately, the freezing can be so extreme that a whole block of ice forms, restricting conditioned air circulation into your home. An AC will only work well when there is a balance of pressure, airflow, and refined temperature control. Here are some possible reasons why your AC freezes up.
1. Your Unit Has Low Refrigerant Levels
A refrigerant is an essential part of the air conditioner. It absorbs heat from the indoor air and moves it outdoors to allow the circulation of cool air into the house. A leak in the conditioner coils results in a low refrigerant level within the unit. A leak can occur because of problems in the joints, valves, and fittings.
It takes less temperature to compress the refrigerant and transition it from liquid to gas at lower levels. Hence, the operating temperature within the condensing coils drops below normal. Any moisture collected from the indoor air quickly turns into ice. Ideally, the vapor contained should only cool to a certain level to remain in a liquid state and flow into the drain pan.
When the refrigerant level is low, this water becomes ice and sticks on the evaporator coils and fans. It will eventually form a block of ice. If you notice ice forming on the evaporator, call a technician to fix the leaks. A professional will also refill the refrigerant to stop the freezing. You can avoid this issue by scheduling regular maintenance services for your AC.
2. Lack of Airflow
The most common reason why ACs freeze is restricted airflow. If warm air stops blowing over the coils while the compressor is still running, the AC will freeze. Check your filters and clean or change them often. When the filters are neglected, dust may accumulate, clog the filter, and restrict airflow. Also, if something blocks the ductwork, air will stop flowing naturally. Remove any appliances positioned near the vents. Have your ductwork checked and cleaned by a professional.
Additionally, if the ductwork is too small for the AC, it won’t allow enough air to flow over the coils, which can cause freezing. Oversized ductwork can also reduce the air pressure, which can make your AC freeze up quickly. Contact your technician to change the ductwork and replace it with a size compatible with your AC unit.
The refrigerant coils are usually damp because of the moist air condensing on the surface. If you have a clogged filter or a low-quality filter, dust particles might blow past the coil and form a thick buildup. The dust will thus act as an insulator, trapping cold air within the coil, which results in freezing. You shouldn’t attempt DIY projects to clean dirty coils. Instead, have a professional do it.
When air cools inside the AC, it becomes quite dense, making it flow less easily into the house. The blower fan’s primary role is to draw warm air from the home, which creates a void so that the cold air can flow out to fill the spaces. When the blower fan malfunctions, it disrupts the balance between airflow and pressure, which causes the evaporator coil to freeze. This might restrict airflow even further, resulting in ice formation. As a result, your AC will circulate little or no air into the house. Call a professional to perform the necessary repairs.
3. Wrong Thermostat Settings
Setting the thermostat too low can prevent the AC from effectively transferring heat from the indoors to the outdoors. A faulty thermostat can tell the AC to run continuously even after the house attains the desired temperature. If this continues for an extended period, the house temperature will drop to the point that the AC can no longer extract heat from the home, so the coils begin to ice over.
Try raising your thermostat by a few degrees. If it still doesn’t respond, check the batteries or call your technician to assess it. Alternatively, you can invest in a programmable thermostat that automatically shuts the AC off once the house temperature gets below 60 degrees.
4. Outdoor Temperatures Are Too Low
ACs operate within specific temperature thresholds. Extremely low temperatures during the summer months can cause the refrigerant to become too cold. The moisture from the indoor air will then freeze before even circulating over the coils, which causes ice buildup. It’s, therefore, a good idea that you avoid running the AC when the outdoor temperatures are too low. Instead, open the windows to ventilate your rooms with the outside air.
5. An Inefficient Compressor
A faulty compressor can’t pump the refrigerant properly. As a result, the coils will become cool, and moisture will begin to condense. With time, it freezes and forms ice within the AC. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to repair a damaged compressor. In some cases, you might need to replace the entire unit. Talk to our technicians, and we can advise you on the best course of action.
6. The Air Conditioner Is Oversized
If the AC is too large for the house it serves, the unit will keep cycling on and off. The short cycles restrict airflow, which causes moisture buildup in the coil. If this continues, the moisture will freeze up within the unit. The best way to avoid this issue is by having a professional install the AC in your house. They will assess your cooling needs to ensure that you have the proper AC size for optimum performance.
7. The Drain System Fails to Work Correctly
When an AC is working properly, it draws moisture from your indoor air and turns it to water through condensation. The water then drips into a drain pan. When the drainage system clogs, it leads to moisture accumulation in the coils. If the evaporator coils continually absorb heat from the moisture, it will freeze up.
Find the condensate drain line that is usually located near the outdoor unit and clear any obstacles. Next, clean the drain pan, flush the drain line with vinegar, and let it sit for around 30 minutes to remove the blockage. Run clean water to remove any remaining debris. You can also seek professional assistance from your HVAC technician.
Contact the Mesa AC Experts
It’s frustrating when your AC freezes as the summers in Arizona are extremely hot. Ignoring the small signs of potential AC problems can lead to expensive repairs or a total replacement of your unit. While there are simple tasks that you can do to correct problems associated with AC freezing, others require a professional approach. Regular AC maintenance can also help prevent such issues. During tune-ups, one of our technicians will assess the root cause of the freezing and fix it to avoid the problem from reoccurring.
Whenever you need professional assistance with your AC, you can always reach out to Honest Air Conditioning. We deal with AC and heating system repairs, installations, and maintenance services. Our company also offers duct sizing, sealing, and indoor air quality services to customers in Mesa, AZ, and the surrounding areas. Call us today to schedule an appointment.