3 Reasons Why Your HVAC is Freezing Up
Posted in HVAC on June 6, 2018
You need to be able to depend on your air conditioning any time of any day. Even winters have the occasional warm afternoon, especially in the southern states. What if you haven’t bothered to check your air conditioner and find yourself left in the heat because it’s frozen up? Professionals who specialize in heating and air conditioning in Lawrenceville, GA, can help you get to the bottom of the problem, but what is the problem, what caused it, and what can you do about it? Here’s what you need to know before you try to take an ice pick to the unit.
About Freezing Air Conditioners
What’s freezing up? It means more than you think it does. An AC unit has “frozen up” if the unit appears to be covered in a thin layer of ice. Specifically, frost may be built up on the refrigerant lines. The appearance can range from a tinge of freeze to Jack Frost-level disaster with large mounds of white, opaque ice all over the unit. There are many reasons why this may happen, and many ways an air conditioning repair service might tackle the problem.
On to the most common reasons your HVAC system—heating, ventilation, and air conditioning—might freeze up. First of all, you might be denying an AC unit good airflow. Warm air needs to circulate into the unit to keep the coils cold but not so cold that they’ll freeze. Without sufficient warm air, the coils will freeze over with water that has not had the chance to condense away.
There are many causes of poor airflow. These include dirty air filters, which act as a muzzle to the unit, or closed air registers. A faulty fan can also restrict proper air flow.
Without drainage, condensed water will stay inside an AC unit, where it will eventually freeze. During the cooling process, water vapor condenses into liquid, which then drains into a drain pan or outside. Frozen coils can block the drain hole further, which is how a minor freeze becomes a major one. In other words, the more ice appears on the coils, the worse the drainage gets, which causes even more ice, and so on. It’s also worth noting that the occasional plug of leaves, sticks, or pest activity can block AC drainage.
Improper refrigerant fluid levels can also cause an HVAC unit to freeze up. When the refrigerant is low, the coils will be too cold, causing them to freeze. You can hire air conditioning service and repair to check your refrigerant levels and replace them, if necessary. Be aware that if your refrigerant levels cause the unit to freeze up, your coils can become damaged, which can then damage the compressor. A damaged compressor can be so expensive to repair or replace that you might find yourself looking for a new air conditioner.
Heating and cooling systems are complex, and require a professional touch. Even if you’re savvy with certain appliances, only an air conditioner maintenance technician, one who is trained and educated in these appliances and their operations, can determine the cause of the freeze up. Then, they can decide how to fix it. Hire professionals in heating and air conditioning in Lawrenceville, GA, the instant your AC unit freezes up, and a technician will repair the unit promptly.