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Why Is My AC Freezing Up? A FL Tech Answers.

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing worse than a frozen AC.

Amidst sweltering heat, it seems a little counterintuitive that your AC system would be covered in ice. But this can happen quite often due to four common problems:

1. Clogged air filters

2. Blocked return vents

3. A dirty condenser unit

4. Refrigerant leaks

Note: To avoid any further damage to your AC, the first thing you should do is shut it off. From there, we’ll help you troubleshoot how to get it up and running smoothly again.

Need an AC repair ASAP? Contact Climate Design today. Our technicians work around your schedule, offering evening and weekend service times (even Sunday!).

Problem #1: Clogged air filter

If your AC is frozen, the first thing you’ll want to check is your air filter.

Is it clogged with dust? If so, air can’t properly circulate through your AC system.

Having good airflow is important because your AC takes warm indoor air and blows it over a cold evaporator coil, which is a critical part of the AC system that pulls heat from the air. The evaporator coil is cold because it’s filled with a chemical agent called refrigerant.

If the air filter is clogged, not enough warm air will enter your AC system to counterbalance the cold of the evaporator coil, causing the coil to ice over and your system to shut down.

To fix: Replace your air filters at least every 3 months. Depending on the conditions of your home (number of pets, for example) or your household’s sensitivity to allergies, you may need to replace your filters every month.

Problem #2: Blocked return vent

Like a clogged air filter, a blocked return vent can also limit the warm airflow entering your AC system, causing ice to form on the AC’s evaporator coil.

Return vents suction warm outdoor air into your AC system to be cooled. Depending on your square footage and layout, you should have several return vents located throughout your home.

Blocked return vent

Return vent with a dirty filter

If return air vents are blocked there won't be enough warm air blowing over your AC's evaporator coil and the AC will ice over.

To fix: Check and make sure that furniture, drapes and other items aren’t blocking your return vents. You can also take a moment to wipe them down, removing any dust or hair buildup.

Problem #3: Dirty evaporator coil

Your AC might be freezing up due to a dirty evaporator coil.

If dust and debris make their way into your AC system, they can settle on the evaporator coil, causing it to become “suffocated.” When this happens, warm air flowing through the system cannot properly touch the coil, which creates an ice buildup.

To fix: Call an HVAC professional to have the evaporator coil cleaned.

Problem #4: Refrigerant leak

If your AC is frozen, it’s possible that you may have a refrigerant leak.

When refrigerant levels are low, the pressure inside your AC can drop, causing the refrigerant to become even colder. This decrease in refrigerant temperature is not sufficiently canceled out by the warm air entering your AC so your system freezes up.

It’s important to note that refrigerant levels almost always drop because the system has developed a leak. Because refrigerant is contained in a closed-loop system, AC systems do not just “run out” of it.

To fix: Call an HVAC professional to refill your system’s refrigerant if you suspect you have a leak. It’s important to contact a professional to handle refrigerant because it’s a toxic substance.

Need an AC repair from a trusted Florida HVAC technician? Contact Climate Design today.

Since 1973, we’ve proudly served Florida homeowners with reliable, timely AC repairs and installations. When you hire Climate Design, you’ll get straightforward recommendations and fair, upfront prices. From the very first phone call, our mission is to earn your trust for life.

Schedule Service Today.

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