While usually reliable, air conditioners can be fickle at times. Even if you’re diligent about changing the air filters and having routine air conditioner maintenance, there is still the possibility that your air conditioner will freeze up at some point over the summer.
Fortunately, fixing a frozen air conditioner is (usually) pretty easy. Before we talk about how you can fix a frozen air conditioner, however, it might help to look at what causes air conditioners to freeze up in the first place.
A frozen air conditioner can be the beginning of more serious problems. When it comes to AC repairs, waiting one day can mean the difference between minor repairs and a major replacement. Play it safe—call All Seasons at 443-692-7723 to come check out your air conditioner ASAP!
What makes an air conditioner freeze up?
There are three main conditioner under which your air conditioner can freeze up:
Improper air flow – the most common reason behind air conditioners freezing up is improper air flow. Any time you limit the airflow – with dirty air filters, undersized ducts or anything else – you run the risk of not allowing the warm air from outside to flow over the cooling coil, causing the temperature of the coil to drop to below freezing and potentially resulting in leaks.
Sometimes all you need to do to fix this problem is change the air filters, but it could also be a problem with the motor or the fan. If undersized ducts are causing your air conditioner to freeze up, call an HVAC contractor and have them take a look at your problem and offer their suggestions.
Refrigerant leaks – the amount of refrigerant in your air conditioner has to be set carefully if you want to keep your air conditioner running smoothly. Too much, or too little, refrigerant in your AC could cause the air conditioner to freeze (or not provide enough cooling).
If a leak is causing your refrigerant levels to become unbalanced, you could face problems with leakage. If you hear hissing or notice puddles of liquid, chances are it’s a refrigerant leak.
Outdoor temperature – summer is supposed to be hot, but sometimes it still gets cold at night! Air conditioners typically don’t fare well in temperatures below 60F. If temperatures drop this low, turn off the AC and throw open the windows. You’ll save your air conditioner from freezing, and save some money at the same time!
How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner
If your air conditioner has already frozen, the first thing to do before you start trying to fix it is figure out what caused it to freeze up in the first place.
Before you do anything, turn off your frozen air conditioner and let it defrost – you don’t want it to get damaged any further! Once it’s been turned off, check all the air filters in your home to see if they are dirty or blocked. If they are dirty, clean or replace them. Check the compressor again in 24 hours – if there is no more ice on it, changing the filters solved the problem.
If it’s frozen when you check it again, it’s most likely a lack of refrigerant that has caused your air conditioner to freeze. If this is the case, talk to an HVAC contractor about recharging your coolant lines. They will know exactly how much refrigerant to use in your system to ensure optimal air conditioner operation. Better yet, if your air conditioner is freezing due to a refrigerant leak, they will be able to fix the leak too. There’s also the chance that your defrost timer is on the fritz, which they will be able to figure out too.
If your air conditioner is freezing up and you don’t know why, call the air conditioner experts at All Seasons Heating & Cooling. We can provide air conditioner repair in Baltimore, Maryland to make sure your air conditioner stays healthy and efficient all summer long.