With the proper care and maintenance, your air conditioner will give you years of service. Unfortunately, even the best maintained AC unit can go wrong at times.
Sometimes, it can be immediately obvious that there is a malfunction, like when you start to hear noises you’ve never heard before coming from your vents or outside unit, at other times, the malfunction can be less obvious. Your air conditioning icing up is one of these less obvious problems.
One of the first signs of an AC unit freezing up is a rise in temperature in your home without a corresponding rise in your thermostat settings. If this is because the air coming out of your vents (stand in front of one to check) is warm, or there is no air coming out at all, frozen coils could be the cause. Another sign is that there is water or even ice or frost collecting on or around the vents.
What Cause an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?
- Dirty Air Filters
Your air conditioner needs the right level of air flow through the system in order to function properly, which is why us AC professionals always seem to be talking about keeping them clean. If there isn’t enough warm air flowing over the coils, they get too cold and eventually, freeze over.
- Blocked Off Air Vents
Your AC is designed as a system. If you block off or close air vents because you think they aren’t necessary, you’ll adversely affect the overall airflow in the whole system, and end up with the same results as you get with dirty air vents.
- Broken Fan
Even if enough air is getting into the system, it still needs to be circulated. This is the job of the fan — a broken fan means no circulation, leading again to frozen coils.
- Blocked Condensate Lines.
As we are sure you’ve noticed, ACs produce water when they’re working. This is both through removing humidity from the air and the condensation caused when warm air hits the cooler surfaces of the unit. This moisture is collected and drained out of the unit through the condensate lines. If these get blocked, the water will back up inside the unit and freeze, leading to your coils icing over.
- Broken Thermostat
If your thermostat is broken and registering the ambient temperature as higher than it actually is, it will cause your AC to overwork in order to compensate, leading to a variety of possible malfunctions, including frozen coils.
- Refrigerant Leak
The refrigerant is the lifeblood of your AC, and blood shouldn’t leak. If you find that refrigerant is leaking from your system anywhere, call the professionals IMMEDIATELY, you have a serious problem on your hands that will result in extremely negative consequences for your system, your health, and the environment in general until it is properly fixed.
If your air conditioner is freezing up, you should immediately turn it off and disconnect the power supply. If you’re a DIY type, you can defrost it and try to identify and fix the problem yourself.
You can allow the ice to melt naturally or speed up the process with a hair dryer or hot air blower, but never try to chip it off with a knife or any other instrument because you could puncture the coils and cause even more serious problems.
If the problem is a refrigerant leak, or you’re not into the whole DIY ethos, contact us here, at Chills Air Conditioning, and we’ll be happy to help!