What Causes Your Air Conditioner To Freeze?

A freezing air conditioner is an altogether too common problem in the heat of the summer. When air conditioners are needed most, some units turn to ice and stop working. Knowing what causes this problem and what you can do to fix it can help you keep your air conditioner functional throughout the summer.

What causes your air conditioner to freeze?

There are two likely scenarios that can cause your air conditioner to freeze:

  1. The air filter is clogged. Your home's air conditioner relies on the presence of hot air in the home to warm up the freon in the coils as it moves from one side of the air conditioning unit to the other. If the air flow is restricted, the coils remain cold and eventually start to freeze. Usually this restricted air flow is caused by a clogged air filter.
  2. The freon is leaking from the coils. The freon in the air conditioning coils passes through an expansion valve, which expands the gas and drops the temperature. The less gas there is in the coils, the lower the temperature will be. If the gas is expanding too much and the temperature is dropping too low, this is likely because there's less gas in the freon, which is probably due to a leak.

What can you do if your air conditioner freezes?

If your air conditioner freezes, you'll have to let your air conditioner thaw for approximately 1 day. In that time, you can try to discover the cause of the problem yourself by replacing the unit's air filter.

The air filter is found in a little slot between the blower and the return air duct. Pull the filter out of its slot and check it for dirt. If the filter is dirty, take it to the hardware store and look for a replacement filter that matches the original. Back at your house, put the new filter in the slot. Once the air conditioner has fully thawed, turn back on the air conditioner unit and see if this fixes your problem. If the air conditioner still won't work, this is likely because of a freon leak. Contact an HVAC professional, like one at Krewson-Sweeney Oil Inc, for residential air conditioning repair.

How can you prevent your air conditioner from freezing in the future?

You can prevent your air conditioner from freezing in the future by doing the following:

  1. Replace your air filter every 3 months.
  2. Have your air conditioner tuned up once every year.

For more information about how you can prevent your air conditioner from freezing, contact your residential air conditioning repair person. He or she can give you pointers and suggestions.