Many of us have been there – a quick glance at over at the AC unit reveals that it has frozen up, with frost and ice completing encasing the outside of the unit. Finding your air conditioner frozen can be alarming at first, and you might be worried about the need for costly repairs. Even worse, you might be thinking that you’ll have to replace the unit entirely. Fortunately, there is usually a simple explanation and fix for an air conditioner freezing up. Further, there are steps you can take yourself or with the help of a professional to prevent the air conditioner icing up in the future.
What to Do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up
If you find your air conditioner icing up, there are a few immediate steps that you should take. The first step for what to do when your AC unit freezes up is to turn the entire system off. If you continue to let your air conditioning system try to cool your space, ice and frost will keep building up and possibly worsening the problem.
Be sure to monitor the air conditioning unit’s water levels, making sure the drain pan does not overflow. In the event the drain pan does overflow, you could experience water damage.
Why Is Your Air Conditioner Icing Up?
Now that you know the actions to take upon discovering your air conditioner freezing up, it’s important to know the cause so that the issue can be fixed. Some of the most common reasons for an air conditioner icing up include:
One of the most common explanations for an air conditioner freezing up is poor airflow to the AC unit. Without adequate airflow, your air conditioning unit will not have access to the warm air it needs to prevent a buildup of condensation on the coil. This condensation will then eventually turn into the ice or frost you see.
What to do when your AC unit freezes up due to poor airflow: Begin by inspecting the air filters in your space. If you find any dirty filters, replace them with clean filters. If you’ve properly inspected your air filters and do not come across any that need replacing, proceed to inspect the air vents in your home. You can test the air vents by holding your hand in front of the vents and feeling for any air leaking out the sides of the grates.
Another common cause of an air conditioner icing up is low refrigerant in the unit. Simply put, the refrigerant in an AC unit is responsible for collecting the heat in your home and pushing it outside. As your unit ages, you are more prone to experiencing refrigerant leaks that can then lead to the air conditioner freezing up.
What to do when your AC unit freezes up due to low refrigerant: If you suspect that low refrigerant is the cause of your air conditioner icing up, it’s best to enlist the help of an HVAC professional. The technician will begin by inspecting your AC unit, and will then check the refrigerant level. From there, they will be able to identify the source of the leak and make the necessary repair.
A third cause of your air conditioner freezing up could be because of a damaged blower fan. The blower fan in your AC unit is critical to its functioning, as this component is responsible for moving cold air into your home by drawing the warm air outside. If your fan breaks or suffers any damage, condensation can begin to build upon the AC unit’s coils. This will then lead to the air conditioner icing up.
What to do when your AC unit freezes due to a damaged fan: If your air conditioner is freezing up because the fan is broken, simply call an HVAC professional to perform the repair.
Next Steps for What to do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up
In most cases, an air conditioner freezing up will not require a total replacement of the unit. Instead, some quick adjustments or repairs will solve the issue and prevent the air conditioner icing up in the future.
If you’ve shut off the unit after discovering your air conditioner icing up, but can’t figure out the cause on your own, you will likely need the help of a knowledgeable HVAC company that can efficiently find the root of the issue. Figlia & Sons, Inc. has served countless New York area businesses and homes, with a great deal of experience AC repair, particularly what to do when your AC unit freezes up. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and be on your way to a properly functioning AC unit in no time.