Why Is My AC Freezing Up? A FL Tech Answers.
Summer in Florida feels like being eternally simmered in the hottest, mistiest, most uncomfortable soup in the most humid climate on the entire planet.
You sweat like you just ran a marathon wearing a tracksuit, you’re hotter than the black tar on the Clearwater Beach parking lot at noon, in the middle of July. You want a cold drink right now. Alas, you’re not responsible for your cranky behavior.
So when your AC freezes up (and thus, prevents it from cooling your place), you have two alternatives: 1) Figure out what’s causing it so that you can fix it, or 2) just throw caution to the wind and uproot your entire family to move to Alaska.
With the hopes of convincing you to stay in the Sunshine State, here are a couple of reasons why your AC is freezing up, and what you can do about it.
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3 Reasons Your AC is Freezing Up
1. Dirty Air Filters
An air conditioner works by absorbing the heat from your home. The moisture is then condensed into water and drips into a condensation pan. The pan then funnels the water outside of your home. If your filters are caked with dust, they will block the air flow. The condensation will then freeze on the coils. Instead of dripping into the pan, that layer of ice remains. The longer your AC is running, the thicker the layer of ice becomes. So now you have a frozen AC unit that’s not even cooing your place.
2. Debris in Condenser Unit
The same way dust blocks airflow when you have dirty air filters, dirt and debris can clog the condenser unit. This is that big box outside your home. You can clean the fins, as well as the inside portion of the condenser unit. For a video tutorial on how to do it, click here. Just make sure to turn off the fuse box first.
3. Refrigerant Leak
Refrigerant is another name for coolant. However, unlike the kind that you use in your car, an AC won’t need coolant unless there’s a refrigerant leak. If this is the issue you’re experiencing, you’ll need an HVAC professional to take care of it. This is because of the risk of refrigerant poisoning.
What to Do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up
Living in the sunshine state, having a working air conditioner is an absolute must. Unfortunately, like any other device, problems can occur with your AC unit that will require some fixing. In certain instances, your air conditioner can freeze up from either damage in your thermostat system, a filthy air filter, or a variety of other factors.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can repair your frozen AC unit. Here’s how:
Step 1. Shut Off Your AC Unit
Before you do any troubleshooting, always turn off your air conditioner. To be extra cautious, also turn off the power breakers or the fuse box that provide electricity to your AC. The last thing you need on top of the crazy heat is to be on the receiving end of an electric shock.
When you turn off your AC you’re preventing the ice buildup inside your air conditioning unit. Also, several units can quickly melt ice with a defrost procedure.
Step 2. Wash or Replace Your AC Filters
A clogged air filter is a factor that frequently leads to an AC system that freezes up.
Open the access panel on your AC unit, take out the air filter, and remove all of the dirt and debris. If your filter is washable or reusable, you can do this by either vacuuming them with a hand-held vacuum cleaner or by submerging them in warm water and vinegar. After a couple of minutes, lay flat to dry on top of a towel or rag.
Dirty air filters can keep cool air from dispersing throughout your home. Therefore, the cool air drastically lowers the temperature, creating freezing problems with your air conditioner. After eliminating these impurities, you can solve freezing issues that can happen in your AC units.
How often you’ll need to wash or replace your filters depends on how many people live in your house, whether there are any smokers, whether you have any pets, and whether a family member has allergies or asthma. The more these factors apply in your household, the more often you have to clean or replace the filters.
Step 3. Clean Your Outside AC Unit
If your air conditioner has a unit outside, check it. Open the access panel on the outside unit, and you should find a little bit of ice on the coil. Scrape the ice from the coil around your outside unit—don’t use something sharp because it can harm your air conditioner. Remove dirt and other debris from your unit and then use a shop vac to eliminate the watery dust from the outside unit.
Step 4. Adjust Your Thermostat Setting
If your thermostat system is not on the proper setting, your unit won’t work correctly, resulting in a freeze in your AC unit. Most thermostats operate with batteries, so check the batteries in your thermostat system. Make sure your thermostat is completely clean and operating correctly, because your thermostat manages and controls the temperature of your AC unit. If you don’t follow these steps, your thermostat setting will begin to form ice in your unit.
Step 5. Call an HVAC Professional
This is especially important if you suspect that the issue is a refrigerant leak. You’ll know if this is the case if you can faintly smell chemicals in your home, or if you find a few droplets of an oily substance on the floor. This can be very dangerous to your health and the wellbeing of your family, so call for emergency HVAC services immediately.
Contact Climate Design for AC Service
We provide services all over Tampa Bay: Clearwater, Largo, Palm Harbor, South Tampa, St. Pete Beach, Eastlake, Tarpon Springs, Safety Harbor, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto, New Port Richey.