Why Is My AC Frozen Over?

It’s a funny thought: having a frozen air conditioner in the summer. Unfortunately, this is a relatively common problem. Your AC unit may freeze over even on the hottest day, making your home uncomfortably hot and putting you at risk of facing expensive repairs.

In this blog, we’re going to discuss what causes AC units to freeze, how to prevent it, and what you should do if your air conditioner has frozen over. As your Durham HVAC experts, we at JD Service Now are here to make your life easier!

Common Causes of Frozen AC Units

If your air conditioner has suddenly stopped working, you might be dealing with a frozen unit. If the AC is running but warm air is coming out of the vents, it could be a freezing problem. A surefire way to tell if it’s frozen is to open the panel and check the evaporator coils for ice. You can also call in a professional at any time to have your system checked out.

For an AC unit to work properly, air needs to be able to move freely through the system. If the airflow is interrupted, it can cause moisture to settle on the coils and freeze. A broken or bent refrigerant line, broken fan, or coolant leak can also cause a frozen unit. If the refrigerant level in the unit is too low, this can also cause the coils to freeze up. But what causes these problems in the first place?

In cases involving clogged or blocked airflow, dirty filters are most frequently the culprit. Changing your AC filters regularly can prevent them from becoming so dirty that they block air from flowing through your AC unit, causing it to freeze over. You can also boost the energy efficiency of your system by keeping the filters clean. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, changing your AC filters could improve the system’s energy efficiency by as much as 15%. Check your filters every month and change them as needed.

Problems like damaged refrigerant lines, broken fans, or coolant leaks can be traced to a lack of routine maintenance, shoddy repairs, or an old/outdated system. AC freezes caused by these factors are often trickier and more expensive to repair, making it important to talk to a local HVAC professional about your options.

What to Do if Your AC Unit Freezes Up

Try not to use your AC while the coils are frozen, as this can put an unnecessary strain on the compressor. This is the most expensive part of your air conditioner, and too much strain could cause permanent damage that’s costly to fix.

If your AC unit freezes up, you can thaw it in a few easy steps:

  • Turn off the unit at the electrical breaker.
  • Let the ice thaw. This may take an entire day, depending on how much ice there is.
  • Do not try to break the ice with a screwdriver or any other sharp/heavy object!
  • While you’re waiting, check the filters. If they’re dirty, change them.
  • After the ice has thawed, dry the coils by running the fan only.
  • Once the coils are dry, try turning on the cooling part of the unit again.

If you take these steps and your air conditioner is still not working, or if it freezes over again, it is time to talk to a professional.

Did Your AC Freeze? Call Our Durham Air Conditioning Pros!

At JD Service Now, we’re committed to helping customers throughout Apex, Cary, Chapel Hill, and the surrounding communities with all of their heating, cooling, and plumbing needs. From emergency calls to routine maintenance and everything in between, our Durham AC technicians are committed to your complete satisfaction. We have the tools and experience to handle anything from a small AC repair to installing a new system, and we will be honest and forthcoming in offering our insight and guidance. If your AC has frozen over, call (919) 626-3626! We can get it up and running again.