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How Can I Stop My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

AC Freezing up

If you’ve never seen an air conditioner freezing up before, it can be quite a sight. The condenser coil looks like it has been brushed with a nice fresh layer of frost and the evaporator coils are a ball of ice.

The problem is, though, that your beautifully frozen air conditioner won’t be able to do its job. In fact, an air conditioner freezing up could permanently damage the system, unless you get in there and stop it.

Here’s what to do:

1. Start by defrosting

Switch off the AC “Cool” setting. Either set it on “Fan” or leave the system off entirely. Then give it some time to thaw out; if you want to help speed the process along, warm it with a blow dryer. Once the condenser coil is defrosted, you’ll be ready for the next step.

2. Take care of that air filter

Clogged filters are often behind common AC-related issues, including an air conditioner freezing up. So clean or change the filter right away. (TIP: If your system uses disposable filters, always be sure to keep a few spares on hand.)

3. Check your thermostat

Your AC thermostat should never be set below a certain minimum temperature — 20° for most central air conditioner models. Turning it down lower will bring the refrigerant under the 0° point, which causes the coil to freeze. Adjust the thermostat to a more appropriate A/C temperature of 25-27 degrees.

4. Look at the drainage

Condensation is a byproduct of the air conditioning process. Normally your condensate line safely drains off this moisture. However, a line that becomes loose or blocked with dirt can result in your air conditioner freezing up. Schedule regular maintenance to keep your AC clean and well-tuned.

5. Inspect the fan

Here are some warning signs of a fan in trouble: rattling, giving off a burnt smell, rotating more slowly than usual, or not turning at all. When your fan stops circulating air around the evaporator coil, the coil will tend to freeze. Call us for professional AC fan repair or replacement.

6. Find out if there’s a refrigerant leak

Your air conditioner freezing up might be due to a lowered level of refrigerant. (Although refrigerant never gets “used up,” it does sometimes leak out through tiny cracks or holes in the system.) If your AC is leaking outside, this is a sign of a potential refrigerant leak.  Once again, you’ll need an HVAC pro, to locate and fix the leak.

Get The Best Care For Your AC

Air conditioning should be a convenience, not a worry. If your AC keeps freezing, breaking down, or otherwise functioning less than its best, contact us. We’ll provide the service you need — expert tuneup, repair or replacement.

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