With a brand new air conditioner installed, you might not know this, but you ought to know what to do if AC is frozen. How can an Air conditioner freeze up in this hot summer? Before you deem us crazy, it happens more often than you think.
We’ll discuss why your AC freezes even in this scorching summer and how to fix frozen ac (what you need to do when your AC unit freezes over). We’ll also throw in tips to prevent frozen AC coils. With our help, you could avoid costly Air Conditioner repairs, but reach out to Anderson Air for help if you need any assistance.
How To Fix Frozen AC
Step One: Let it thaw
Switch your AC unit off from the electrical breaker and let the ice melt. Be aware that it could take close to 24hrs for the ice to thaw completely. We advise you choose a day when you’ll be away from home but if a whole day isn’t possible, switch the AC off but leave the fan blowing.
Take every step to avoid using the AC when your evaporator coils are frozen. Using the AC with rigid coils strains your AC compressor, and that AC compressor is the most expensive part of your AC unit. Therefore any strain can damage this valuable component completely and set you up for unexpected costs.
Your attempts to remove the ice by breaking it up with any heavy object or a sharp tool shouldn’t be one of them. This physical force isn’t how to fix frozen AC and will quickly harm other parts and leads to more problems.
Step Two: Dry your Coils
Step two of what to do if ac is frozen is to dry your coils. When the ice is gone, dry your evaporator coils. If your ac unit is still off, turn on the power to your system and switch on the fan. Turn the thermostat only to run the fan. The fan will circulate air around and through the coils to quickly dry them.
The moment your coils are dry, your system should operate normally. However, it’s vital to prevent it from reoccurring, even if you now know what to do when your AC unit freezes. With the above steps are how to fix frozen AC.
Why an AC Freezes Up
- Dirty Air Filter
- Refrigerant Leak
- Airflow Obstruction
- Dirty Evaporator Coil
An evaporator coil is a part that chills the air, and without proper airflow, it freezes over. In simple terms, when your air conditioner ails from poor airflow, your evaporator coil gets rigid. Need to know why? Your evaporator coil freezes because your AC unit’s evaporator coil is just a bunch of refrigerant coils. The chemical will drop to temperatures as low as 10◦F – 20◦F as the coolant goes through.
The warmth in your home’s air stops ice or formation. During normal function, warm, unconditioned air blows over the coils. However, if there isn’t any warm air blowing across the evaporator coils, they freeze over. The ice will travels along the coolant lines.
How to Prevent a Frozen AC Unit
Now that you know what to do when your AC unit freezes and why that happens, let’s share tips on how to stop this from happening. Below are some preventive steps to keep your HVAC system ice-free.
Replace Your Air Filter
A clogged air filter is the ultimate cause of most frozen HVAC systems. The air filter is responsible for cleaning the air circulating in your home. Eventually, it clogs with mold, dirt, dust, and pet pander. A clogged air filter blocks the airflow, and the coils freeze.
Ideally, we recommend you check your filter every month.
Replace it as needed. For most people, this varies from one to every three months. Filter replacements depend on factors, such as:
- The type of filter in your AC unit
- children or pets in the house
- The current season
- Whether there’s a household smoker
- If you run your system frequently
During your regular HVAC maintenance checks, ensure that the professionals inspect your air filter and change it for you if a new one is necessary.
Schedule Regular Maintenance to Check Refrigerant Levels
A professional HVAC contractor ought to perform an extensive inspection during a maintenance check. The assessment should include checking refrigerant levels.
Are you worried you might have a refrigerant leak? These are some signs. For example, does your AC dissipate hot air? Do you hear a bubbling sound? Do your HVAC team has instruments to check levels as well? Do not handle coolant chemicals because they are toxic. We ask that you leave it to the professionals.
Have an Airflow check
Blocked airflow is another reason HVAC systems malfunction. Like a clogged filter, obstructed vents and ducts hinder sufficient airflow.
Blocked airflow pushes your HVAC system to strain without a way to dissipate the cooled or heated air. The problem could be poorly installed ductwork. The ductwork gets installed well in a few cases but is the wrong size for your home or its capacity.
Contact your HVAC service for maintenance. These trained technicians check your ductwork and offer you solutions where necessary. If there is a blockage, like a bird’s nest or other pests, they will clear obstructions blocking adequate airflow.
Clean your AC Evaporator Coils
The condensate pipes lead to excess water from your HVAC system. Therefore if there’s a blockage in the lines, this water becomes stuck and will eventually freeze over. With ice in your pipes, you could also end up with frozen HVAC coils.
Frozen coils hinder airflow. Eventually, evaporator coils trap dust, pollen, and grime, causing a blockage. If any moisture gets trapped inside the jam, the water will freeze, and the coils get frozen as well. This freeze affects your system as it will struggle or not work.
The best prevention method for frozen HVAC coils is to schedule preventive maintenance checks with an HVAC service that will check the evaporator coils and the rest of your AC system’s lines during this AC inspection.
Regular inspections will help you save money by avoiding costly AC repairs or replacements, malfunctions, and a frozen air conditioner in the future.