What Causes My AC to Freeze Up?
Originally published June 2013, updated September 2016
Your air conditioner is a great comfort during a typical summer in the Jacksonville, Florida, region. So it will be more than just a major inconvenience if your AC malfunctions. One problem that can occur even when it’s hot outside is freezing in the outdoor unit. When this happens, it can mean big trouble for your air conditioning system if it’s not remedied quickly. If you notice ice on your equipment, your first step should be to turn it off so that it can defrost. Before you turn it back on, you may want to become familiar with reasons parts of your AC might freeze.
Possible Causes of a Frozen AC
When the heat exchange is impeded, condensate liquids can freeze on the evaporator coil. Too much ice can cause damage to your system. Restricted airflow can be a problem because the refrigerant isn’t able to gain enough heat to keep condensate fluids from freezing. This can result from a dirty filter, dirty coils, damaged blower parts or any other system features related to air circulation. You can check for a dirty air filter and make a replacement. While this isn’t a guaranteed solution, it’s a helpful check before you call a contractor.
A low refrigerant charge can also lead to an AC freeze up. Without enough refrigerant, sufficient heat won’t be absorbed. Similarly, condensate liquids can freeze before they are able to drip away.
When Should I Call a Contractor?
If you’ve defrosted your system, checked your air filter, and turned the AC back on without improvements, then you need to check with a professional. It may take some time for ice to form again, making it important to continue to monitor your coil for a few days. If you detect ice, you should make that call for professional service. Be sure to turn your system off again to avoid damage.
Reducing Your Chances of an AC Freeze
One way to prevent frozen coils is to schedule preventive maintenance. If your equipment has worn or broken parts, they can be identified and replaced. You can avoid many repair issues with this regular service.
At Merritt Heating & Air Conditioning, we provide the right services to keep your HVAC system functioning all year long. If your system isn’t operating properly or if you are dealing with ice on your coils, contact us today at 904-240-4038 to schedule service.