A common problem many homeowners face is the freezing up of their air conditioning unit. This can be a significant inconvenience, and it’s important to know what to do when it happens. Freezing up could be a precursor to a bigger issue, such as broken refrigerant lines, so fixing whatever may have caused the unit to freeze up as soon as possible is essential.
There’s nothing worse than an AC unit that won’t work properly in sweltering summer heat. You can do a few things when your unit freezes up, and the effort might save you from a worse headache down the road.
Test the Blower’s Efficiency and Inspect the Motor
The blower is what circulates the cool air throughout your home. For the defrost process, the fan needs to work efficiently. An inefficient fan or blower will not blow enough air through the coils. A failing fan can also be why your system is freezing since there is not enough airflow over the evaporator coils.
The evaporator coils work by absorbing heat from the air, but if there isn’t enough heat to absorb, the cold refrigerant will cause condensation, moisture, and humidity on the coil to freeze. If your blower is not working correctly, it will need to be repaired or replaced.
Thaw It Out
You can let your system thaw out naturally. Do not use heat to melt the ice as this could damage the system. You could turn on the blower to help with this process. If the ice didn’t build up too much, it won’t take long for the unit to thaw.
Dry the Coils
After the ice has thawed out, the coils will be left wet. They need to be dried before turning the system on. Set the thermostat to run the blower only. This will help the coils to dry out more quickly. Once it’s done, your system should function as normal.
Clean or Replace the Air Filters
If your filters are clogged up, this can cause your system to freeze. If you think that might be the problem, clean or replace the filters. You need to at least clean them regularly, but if you still have problems, it’s time to replace them altogether.
Open All Dampers
If you have dampers, ensure they are open, as they will also help the unit defrost. When closed, dampers restrict airflow and cause the system to freeze. Open the dampers, and they’ll maintain sufficient airflow.
Clean the Vents
If your unit is freezing and you’ve checked all of the above, you may need to clean your vents. The vents should be cleaned regularly, or they can become clogged with dirt and debris. This will not only block airflow but also cause your system to freeze up. Keeping them clear and clean is always a good idea.
If there are obstructions near the vents, you will need to remove them. The airflow from your unit cannot get past these obstructions, so you will want to clear them away for optimal air circulation.
Check the Ductwork
The last thing to check is the ductwork that leads out of your unit. The ducts need to be sealed and insulated. Seal up any holes or gaps in the ductwork. This will prevent air loss, and it might stop the AC unit from freezing again.
Damaged ductwork can create a lot of issues. Whether the damage is caused by animals chewing on them or the ducts are blocked by becoming dirty and clogged with debris, it will restrict the crucial flow of air. This can cause many problems for your system, so keeping the ducts clean is essential.
Inspect and Clean the Condensate Drain Line
If the condensate drain line is clogged, water will be sitting at the bottom of your unit, which can cause freezing. You will most likely find a buildup of rust in this area. To clean it, you’ll need to run an acid cleaner through it and utilize a wet/dry vacuum. This will clean out all of the dirt and rust and get rid of the moisture that’s causing your cooling system to freeze up.
Check and Clean the Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil is what cools the air and distributes it in your home. If this area becomes clogged, then the unit will not cool properly. To fix this, you’ll need to use a brush to clean the dirt and debris clogging up the coil. Cleaning this section could help the unit to resume normal functioning without a hitch.
You will want to check the entire evaporator coil, particularly the fins that come off of it. If there is dirt, rust, or mold, this can cause condensation on the evaporator component, which might be why it is prone to freezing up. Abnormal rust buildup could indicate a refrigerant leak.
Call a Professional to Fix a Refrigerant Leak
If you have tried all of these steps and still have not been able to get your system to start up, then there may be leakage of refrigerant. This can certainly cause your AC unit to freeze up. You should call for a professional to come out and check the unit for leaks.
How to Tell Your System Has Frozen Up
There are a lot of different signs associated with an AC unit that has frozen up, but the first thing you’ll notice is that the system isn’t producing cold air as it usually would. The air will not cool down if the blower isn’t running. If your unit is noisy or not making any noise at all, the fan may be broken.
You may hear a refrigerant leak too. A hissing sound usually characterizes this. If you hear the air conditioner running but it’s not producing cold air, the coils may be frozen. The best thing to do is to call for a professional to come and check it out.
How to Prevent Your System From Freezing Up
You need to keep the vents clear to help prevent your system from freezing up. This will allow the system to run properly with adequate airflow. You should also make sure that your filters are changed regularly and that you have enough air circulating in the home throughout the day.
Dirty air filters reduce indoor air quality and cause respiratory diseases, so you need to change these on a routine basis. If your filters are clogged, there will be a buildup of dirt and dust preventing your system from working properly. Once it’s restricted in this way, the airflow will become limited and unable to provide adequate cooling throughout the home.
You should also ensure that your system receives regular maintenance. If the equipment isn’t getting cleaned and inspected consistently, it can develop issues you might miss. This can allow the system to freeze up or cause other issues. If you require this or any other HVAC service in Las Vegas, NV, turn to us at BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair. We install, repair, and conscientiously maintain heating, cooling, and indoor air quality equipment. Besides that, we provide a complete line of water filtration, water heater, plumbing, and sewer services.
In conclusion, you’ll want to ensure that your AC unit is checked regularly. You should also clean the vents and check the drains and coils to help prevent it from freezing. If your system has frozen up and you can’t quicky resolve the issue, you should reach out to a professional who can fix the problem. For that or any other HVAC or plumbing issue in your Las Vegas home, call us at BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair today.