air conditioning repair

Why does an air conditioning unit freeze up?

So, you walk into your home and notice it isn’t as cool as it usually is. Perhaps you adjust the thermostat to lower the temperature to a more comfortable level. Or maybe you inspect your air conditioner to see if there’s an issue. When you do, you might notice that the unit has iced over. Unfortunately, this is a common problem, but it can happen for several reasons, making it hard to diagnose why the unit has frozen up. Let’s explore why your air conditioning unit may freeze up and what you can do about it.

Little or No Airflow

Air Conditioning Repairs
by KOMUnews is licensed with CC By 2.0

Most large machineries require the right airflow to work properly, and an air conditioning unit is no different. If the airflow to your air conditioner is impeded or blocked completely, it’ll cause issues with how the unit functions. An air conditioner has an evaporator coil. This coil has refrigerant running through it, which makes it cold. The warm, moist air in your home gets pushed over this coil to create a cooler, drier air. Because warm air isn’t blowing over the evaporator coil, it continues to get colder and colder.

Therefore, if the airflow is blocked from going over the coil, it can cause ice to form in the air conditioner. Eventually, if not addressed, this can make the air conditioner stop working altogether.

Solution: To prevent airflow problems with your air conditioner, ensure all its vents are free of blockage. If your unit is outdoors, keep the area around it free of debris, such as leaves and tree limbs, and avoid doing things such as stacking patio furniture near the unit.

Dirty or Blocked Coil

We know the evaporator coil is necessary for an air conditioner to work correctly. So it makes sense that if it gets too dirty or blocked in some way, your air conditioner won’t cool the air in your home how you want it to. Like any equipment you own, your air conditioning unit needs to be cleaned regularly. This will prevent the coil from becoming too dirty. If the coil is covered in dirt and grime, the air blowing over it won’t cool down as it should.

Since the cold refrigerant moving through the coil mixes with the warm air in your home, it causes moisture to form on the coil. If the dirty coil doesn’t let that moisture dry up, it can cause it to freeze.

Solution: It’s essential to perform routine maintenance on the unit to prevent the coil in your air conditioner from getting too dirty. While you can certainly keep the unit clean, you may want to schedule maintenance with professionals, such as Dahme Mechanical Industries, Inc. The refrigerant inside the coil can be harmful when not handled safely. Our team has the skills to take care of your air conditioner and keep it running at its best.

Broken Blower Fan

Your air conditioner has a blower fan that’s powered by a motor. The fan pulls the warm air from your home and blows it across the cold evaporator coil to cool it down. Then, the fan blows the cooled air into your home. So, if the fan or the motor stops working, you’ll notice your home starts to warm. Because there’s no longer proper airflow within the unit, it can cause ice to form on the coil.

Typically, you can tell if this is the problem fairly easily, as you can feel whether air is being pushed through the vents in your home. If you don’t feel any air coming from the vent, the motor is likely bad. If turning the temperature up or down has an effect, the fan may need attention.

Solution: If you think that the blower fan or motor in your air conditioner isn’t working properly, call the team at Dahme Mechanical Industries, Inc. We can run tests and determine exactly what the problem is, and our trained professionals will help you get your unit working again in no time.

Refrigerant Issues

An air conditioner requires a particular refrigerant to create the cold air you crave on a hot day. This refrigerant runs through the evaporator coil inside the unit. If there isn’t enough coolant, it causes the pressure to drop inside the unit. This pressure drop also makes the coil colder, which can cause freezing when moisture forms on it. If not addressed, more and more ice will form inside the air conditioner, and it could stop working entirely.

Solution: Check for a refrigerant leak by looking around the unit. Call a professional to fix the leak if you notice moisture near the unit. If you’re unsure whether you leak, call Dahme Mechanical Industries, Inc. We can check the unit over and determine if the low refrigerant is causing your air conditioner to freeze.

Filters Need Replacing

All air conditioners have filters in them, and these filters need to be replaced regularly. The filters catch dust and particles and stop them from entering the inside of the unit. However, if the filters get too dirty, they can cause issues with the functioning of your unit. Dirty filters can prevent proper airflow, which, as we know, can result in ice on the unit.

Solution: Changing your air conditioner’s filters regularly can prevent a variety of issues from happening with the unit. Even if your air conditioner seems to be working well, you should change the filters on a schedule to prevent any unwanted trouble.

If you’ve noticed that your air conditioner isn’t working as it should or if you have ice forming on the unit, don’t hesitate to call Dahme Mechanical Industries, Inc. Our trained professionals can inspect your air conditioner, diagnose any issues, and repair or replace the unit, depending on the problem. When you need to keep cool, we’re here for you.