Your AC unit is the one appliance in your home that is easily overlooked – until it stops working. With summers in the south often pushing triple-digit temperatures, your AC’s performance is in high demand for months at a time.
It may be hard to believe, but AC units can freeze up when the outside temperatures are roasting hot. What does a frozen AC really mean? Southern Air Heating and Cooling is here to help explain this common AC repair! Read on to learn more about what causes an AC unit to freeze and how you can avoid a midsummer AC repair.
What Do I Do If My AC Freezes?
First things first, if your AC is already frozen, there are two easy steps to take: thaw and dry. You want to make sure your AC repair is taken care of quickly so that normal function can return to the unit. If you feel comfortable, follow these steps to safely restore your frozen AC to working order.
Thaw AC Coils
- Shut off power at the breaker and let the evaporator coils thaw completely
- Do not attempt to break ice off frozen AC coils – let them thaw on their own
- If shutting off the power isn’t an option, turn the AC system off and run only the fan
- Do not run the AC while it is thawing
Dry AC Coils
- Once the ice thaws, restore power at the breaker
- Turn the blower on
- Set your thermostat to only run the fan
- Once the coils are dry, the system should run properly
If you don’t feel that you can complete these steps, a certified HVAC technician will be more than happy to help you out!
What Causes Frozen AC Coils?
In a nutshell, poor airflow is what causes a frozen AC unit. When your system can’t pull in the right amount of air, the heating or cooling process can’t happen correctly. Since your unit deals with temperature changes and the reduction of moisture, poor airflow often causes the water in the air to stick to the coils, then freeze. Four common causes of poor airflow are:
- Dirty evaporator coil
- Refrigerant leak
- Dirty air filter
- Airflow obstruction
Prevent a Frozen AC
Luckily, there are some things you can do to avoid this situation altogether! Let’s expand on the four main causes of poor airflow that can result in a frozen AC and find out how you can avoid them.
1. Dirty Evaporator Coils
With regular use, evaporator coils attract grime and other debris from the air. With the addition of Baton Rouge’s high humidity, the coils can collect moisture on the tiny particles of debris and freeze. This results in damage to your AC system.
The best way to prevent a frozen AC as a result of having dirty coils is to schedule an AC tune-up. The technicians at Southern Air Heating and Cooling check your evaporator coils as part of routine preventative maintenance, lowering the risk of frozen coils.
2. Refrigerant Leak
A refrigerant leak is one of the leading causes of a frozen AC unit. Without adequate pressure from the refrigerant, your AC system reverses on itself – blowing warm air into your space instead of cool air.
Sometimes, your AC unit can be repaired and the refrigerant can be “recharged.” If your AC is older, however, a refrigerant leak is often caused for a replacement.
It’s important to note that refrigerants should not be handled by uncertified people. It can be extremely dangerous when exposed to humans or pets, and should be taken care of by a professional!
3. Dirty Air Filter
An AC system can only function if the air is allowed to circulate through it. A dirty or clogged air filter prevents airflow and is the number one cause of a frozen AC system.
Check your air filter monthly and change it as needed. For most households, air filters should be changed quarterly.
4. Airflow Obstruction
Similar to having a dirty filter, blocked return vents can cause airflow restrictions. Without adequate airflow, heat transfer cannot take place and your unit might freeze.
Other possible airflow issues are caused by improper duct installation. Schedule air duct repair if you suspect your ductwork is damaged or is not the right size for your home.
Louisiana’s Trusted AC Repair Company
Know the signs of AC damage and follow this guide to prevent a frozen AC system. For reliable AC repair in Baton Rouge, put your trust in us at Southern Air.
From poor airflow to refrigerant leaks, we’ve seen it all. You can rest assured we will provide you with excellent service. Contact us today!