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What to Do if Your Air Conditioner Freezes

“What do you mean my air conditioner can freeze over? It’s over 100 degrees outside!” This is a fairly common reaction we get from customers who are shocked to learn that the inside of their air conditioner has turned into an icy winter wonderland that better resembles Antarctica in the middle of winter. This unfortunately brings your system to a screeching halt, stopping your system from producing cold air and mandating that you keep it off until the problem is resolved.

So what can you do to fix a frozen air conditioner and what about preventing it from coming back all together? Our Palm Beach County air conditioning experts have a few tips on this blog.

What Causes Freezing?

Your air conditioner can freeze over for a lot of different reasons, but there are two primary factors in what cause this issue: low airflow over your evaporator coil, and an increased concentration in dust or debris that cause water to condense and freeze, forming ice.

Low air flow is usually caused by a dirty air filter. When your filter becomes too clogged up with dust, dirt, pet hair, dander, pollen, and other contaminants, the airflow over your coil is heavily restricted, resulting in less air moving over the coil, and that means less heat over your cooling coil. Less heat equals a higher likelihood of condensed water freezing over, and eventually the issue literally “snowballs” until the whole coil is frozen. Extra dust or debris moving over your coil also gives the water vapor in this cool area something to condense on, further exacerbating the issue and leading to even more ice buildup.

Fixing a Freeze

So when your coil freezes over, what can you do to fix it? The easiest way to do this is simply shut off your air conditioner for a few hours and let the existing ice melt away. This may take time, but eventually your system will restore back to normal. However, that also doesn’t mean that your air conditioner won’t freeze over again.

Likewise, you may also want to consider switching your thermostat’s fan setting to “on” which will continue to pull air from your home over your frosted coil, which could help keep the temperature up and make the ice melt quicker. However, be careful: keep an eye on your drain pan to make sure that there are no clogs, because a frozen system will show you right away if you’ve got this problem.

Keeping Freezing Away

If you want to get rid of the freezing problem for good, the single most important thing you can do is change your air filter. We find that dirty air filters are by far the most common cause of frozen air conditioner coils, and often it’s because the homeowner hasn’t changed their air filter in months or even years. A quick, simple, and inexpensive filter change could help eradicate the problem completely.

Another thing you can do is have your ducts cleaned by a Palm Beach County HVAC professional. A duct cleaning can remove the dust and debris that has built up in your air intake vent, preventing it from falling into your coil itself and encouraging frost and freezing. Finally, regular system maintenance and coil cleaning will also encourage both efficient operation and prevent freezing by ensuring that your coils stay clean and clear as long as possible.

Schedule a service for your home by calling Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC at (888) 660-4337 today!
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