Even though an air conditioner works to cool your home, it can actually freeze up and do the opposite. A frozen air conditioner will not only fail to cool your home properly but can cause severe damage if it keeps freezing up. This damage comes from the nature of ice which expands. This expansion can cause breakage to the components of your HVAC system. Without repair, you’ll not only be uncomfortable in your home, but you could also be looking at an expensive repair. Below we’ve listed four common reasons why your air conditioner freezes up and what you can do to prevent this situation.
The number one culprit is poor airflow. The heat your evaporator coils absorb comes from the air inside of your home. If something blocks the airflow (i.e. a dirty air filter, closed air registers, or blower motor issues) then less air is available to warm up the coils, causing them to freeze. By cleaning or replacing air filters monthly and making sure air registers are open and not covered by rugs or furniture you can ensure proper airflow. As for the blower motor, your system’s fan must blow fast enough to keep air blowing over the evaporator coil. Regular maintenance can catch any blower motor issues, such as the need to increase the fan speed, to ensure proper airflow blowing over the evaporator coil.
Low refrigerant levels, whether from a leak or refrigerant that was charged incorrectly at installation, can make the evaporator coil too cool and cause your system to freeze up. The only way to fix this is to have an HVAC professional repair the leak or recharge the system.
Thermostat problems are another culprit that causes your air conditioner to freeze up. A malfunctioning thermostat can cause your air conditioner to work too long and too hard. If your system is running longer than what is necessary to cool your home, it’s easy for your air conditioning coils to freeze. The result is not only a frozen system but also wasted energy and money. You’ll want to have your thermostat checked by a professional HVAC technician.
The last cause of a frozen air conditioning system is caused by drainage problems. The evaporator coil in your system is designed to remove moisture and heat from the air. And in humid climates like Florida, there is a lot of water vapor in the air! This moisture gets turned into condensation within the air conditioning system. This condensation then drips into a pan and out the floor drain. However, if something blocks the drain, the backed-up water freezes back to the evaporator coil. This ice blocks the drain and further compounds the problem. During the hottest times of the summer, it’s a good idea to check and ensure the drain pipe is clear – look to see that water is dripping into the pan.
With our hot, humid Florida summers, being without air conditioning is not a comfortable option. If your air conditioning system becomes frozen, don’t ignore the problem. Without repair, further expensive repairs may be needed. The best way to avoid this situation is to schedule annual preventative maintenance. At Rainaldi Home Services, we can help with all of your air conditioning problems. Give us a call at (407) 413-9795.