As the summer season approaches, homeowners can’t help but worry about the prospect of their air conditioning system failing during the hottest time of the year. Your home’s AC system or heat pump system may start to fail under extreme conditions or may start to fail due to age, neglected maintenance, or parts that have stopped working correctly.
For example, both types of cooling systems, heat pumps and central air conditioners, are subject to freezing when the equipment is not functioning correctly. The accumulation of ice in the outdoor unit or indoor unit is an issue you must address right away. These are signs of more severe problems. The following guide will help you identify and diagnose these issues.
Dirty air filter
When your air filter is dirty, there is a blockage of airflow. The reduction of airflow makes the air conditioning unit work harder. As a result, your cooling system will be more susceptible to freezing. Replacing a dirty air filter will save you thousands in the long run.
In most cooling systems, the refrigerant is about 38 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re running low on refrigerant, the pressure and temperature in the evaporator coil will drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When this happens, the water in the evaporation coil will freeze and turn to ice. As a result, ice will begin to accumulate in the compressor in your AC unit.
Plugged or dirty evaporator coil
Any dust that gets through the air filter will make its way into the evaporator coil. If dust or other small particles settle in the evaporator coil, there will be a blockage of airflow, similar to a dirty air filter. This restriction of airflow will lead to freezing or other damages to your air conditioning unit.
Air is not blowing hard
If there is low airflow in only 1 of your vents in your home, then it may be caused by a leaky air duct or crushed duct flex. However, if there is low airflow in 2 or more vents in your house, then it may be caused by a dirty air filter, a frozen evaporator coil, or a blocked vent. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, call us. We will dispatch an HVAC technician to your home immediately.
Here are some other HVAC problems that may lead to a freeze-up.
- There is a broken, loose, or worn out fan belt
- The blower wheel is covered in dirt and debris
- There is a bad indoor fan motor that no longer runs
- The indoor fan relay is either broken or malfunctioning
- The expansion valve is broken or faulty
- There is a stuck compressor contactor
- There is a problem with your thermostat
- The indoor coil needs replacement due to damage
What to do if your air conditioner freezes
When your AC unit freezes, there are some things you can do as a homeowner to combat the situation. First, you should turn off your cooling system. By doing so, you do not waste money using your air conditioning that isn’t working and you prevent more damage from hurting the compressor.
Dealing with a Freezing AC
A frozen air conditioning unit should not be left ignored. A frozen AC unit will not cool your home and it will most likely damage your entire HVAC system over time. As ice spreads and enters the different components of your equipment, it will expand and damage those same components. The longer you wait, your house becomes hot and uncomfortable, and the price for a repair will become more expensive. The best way to prevent an extensive repair job or replacement unit is by contacting us so we can send an HVAC contractor to your home or office.