image of an a window air conditioner mounted on a window

Why Window Air Conditioners Freeze Up

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When late Spring and Summer roll into your neighborhood, you’ll notice that the weather is not only warming up to hot, but also the humidity is increasing, making it feel like it is hotter and hotter.

In order to combat the heat and humidity, you may have a central air conditioner, fans, or a window air conditioner.

The nice thing about window air conditioners is that you can choose the size unit needed to cool the area of the room that you have. Also, it is a nice feature that you can actually move the unit from one room to another if need be.

Window Air Conditioners Save Energy

By installing a window air conditioner, you can save energy by not having to cool the whole house. Window air conditioners are a great way to cool different areas of your home without cooling the entire house. Sometimes, however, the old girl doesn’t cool like she’s supposed to. Is she on her last leg? Well, that may be the case, but likely it’s another cause. There are many reasons that the cooling may not be all it can be.

Air Cooling Coils Could Be Blocked

The first problem could be that the air cooling coils are blocked and need cleaning. A buildup of crud blocks the airflow that allows the heated coils to cool. Without the proper air flow through the coils, the unit heats up and the cooling capacity decreases.

Without good air flow, the moisture accumulated between the cooling coils isn’t blown out of the coils and freezes up.

Taking apart a window air conditioner can be a challenge. You have to remove the outer metal jacket to access the interior parts that need to be cleaned. The coils in the back and the fan area all need to be cleaned and using a sprayer on a garden hose to spray out the debris from the unit.

Be especially careful moving the coil, as not to break the coil connections and thus lose the Freon that cools the air. Once cleaned, let it dry out before putting it back together. We suggest blowing the unit out with air via an air compressor connected to a blow gun or wand.

Air Conditioner Could Be Low On Freon

The second problem could be that the air conditioner could be low on Freon. This causes low flow within the unit, and although the unit does cool, it is not effective cooling. again, when the Freon level drops too low, there will be no cooling at all, even though it continues to run.

You will likely hear the compressor run, but many times the compressor will cycle on and off. In order to check the system, you’ll need a Freon gauge, which unless you do this type of work, it’s highly unlikely you’ll have the equipment needed for his test and will have to hire a heating/cooling specialist.

Running Unit On Low Fan Can Cause Coils to Freeze Up

The next is a common problem, especially with smaller window air conditioners. By running the unit on low fan, the coils can freeze up. You should always run the air conditioner on medium or high fan to allow enough air flow through the coils.

Most people turn the cold control all the way to cold when maybe that cold of a setting isn’t needed.

After a time, the temperature seems too cold so they turn the fan speed down. As you may have figured out, this does nothing to lessen the cold, just the amount of air being thrown from the unit. Some newer models have digital displays that monitor the temperature.

Many air conditioners have an energy saver mode that turns the unit on and off to maintain the desired set temperature. Not only is it efficient, but it also gives you a lot of quiet time between running times, letting you get to sleep without the air conditioner continually running.

As an added thing to check, make sure the drain hole is clear of debris to allow it space to drain the moisture the air conditioner collects from the air. A plugged drain hole will cause the unit to spit at you and limit cooling.


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