As a homeowner, the last thing you need is your air conditioner to stop working properly in the middle of the summer when it’s blazing hot outside. Unfortunately, this happens all too often for many residents here in Ohio.
Not all air conditioning issues are easy to pinpoint, but one obvious malfunction we encounter is ice buildupon the outside unit.
Ice buildup on your outdoor air conditioning unit indicates something is wrong with your air conditioning system. Significant ice buildup isn’t something you see every day, but it is something that the Logan Services team can readily handle.
Why Does Ice Build Up On The Outside Unit?
Ice buildup on an AC unit can be caused by several factors. It’s important to remember that the refrigerant temperature in the outdoor coil is lower than the outdoor temperature, so any moisture in the air that touches the coil starts to freeze. Some freezing on the outdoor unit is actually a normal condition, and that’s why there is a defrost cycle to remove the frost.
What Can Cause Ice Buildup On An AC Unit?
While some frost on the unit can be normal, an excessive amount of ice is a sign of a problem. Multiple things can cause ice buildup on the outdoor unit. A dirty furnace filter will cause the cooling system to work harder than necessary, and with less airflow, this can cause the HVAC system to freeze up. Low refrigerant can also cause ice buildup along with a blower motor that is not running in the cooling system.
How Does a Frozen Air Conditioner Affect Your Air Conditioning System?
A frozen air conditioner unit can cause several issues within your air conditioning system. The first is reduced air flow. When the evaporator coil is blocked by ice, the system can’t pull in warm air to cool, and you won’t feel cool air blowing from the vents.
A frozen air conditioner can also cause your system to work harder, leading to increased energy bills. When the unit is blocked by ice, it has to work longer to cool your home, which uses more energy and drives up costs. Another issue with a frozen air conditioner is the potential for water damage. When the ice melts, it can sometimes overflow the condensate drain pan, leading to water damage in your home. This can cause not only property damage but also mold growth.
What Can Prevent An AC From Freezing Up?
There are many ways you can work to prevent your AC unit from freezing up. First and foremost, it’s important to have regular maintenance performed on your unit. Proper AC maintenance helps prevent a frozen AC unit by ensuring that refrigerant levels are proper and the coils are clean and not blocked by debris. Over time, the evaporator coils in an AC unit can become caked with dirt and dust, which can restrict airflow and cause the unit to work harder than necessary. This extra strain on the system can cause the evaporator coils to freeze, which is a major issue.
In addition, the team at Logan Services always recommends changing your standard furnace filter once every 30 days or once every three months if you have the Perfect Air Plus (PAP) filter system. We also recommend having your HVAC system serviced once a year on the A/C and again on the furnace. While this may not 100% prevent an A/C from freezing up, it can significantly help reduce the chances of this happening.
The Importance of Regular AC Maintenance
In addition to preventing a frozen AC unit, regular maintenance also helps prevent other issues that lead to poor performance and higher energy bills. As mentioned, regularly replacing the filter helps ensure the system runs smoothly and efficiently so you can get the most out of your system.
Regular maintenance also helps identify potential issues before they become major problems. During a maintenance check, an HVAC technician can identify issues such as a dirty evaporator coil or low refrigerant levels. These issues can be corrected before they lead to a system breakdown or major repair, saving you time and money in the long run.
What To Do For A Frozen AC Before Calling the Experts
If you find that your air conditioner is frozen, you should first turn off the system to start the thawing process. Then, switch your thermostat from the heating/cooling setting to off. In most cases, you can also switch the fan mode on the thermostat from auto to on. Keeping the fan on allows air to continue being pumped into your home and keeps it more comfortable in the heat. Plus, it helps thaw out ice and frost.
After the system has been off for 24 hours and the ice has thawed from the outdoor unit, it’s time to consult the experts. The Logan Services team will come out and start our diagnosis. Our service technicians will begin with the basics, like checking the furnace filter if the blower motor is running and checking the refrigerant charge. Our service technicians can always take a closer look at the system if concerns are noted during basic checks.
When Should You Consult Logan AC & Heat Services?
As a homeowner, you may wonder when it’s the best time to contact Logan AC & Heat Services for HVAC system maintenance or repair. Here’s a list of the most common situations where you’ll benefit from consulting with a professional:
- Noises: Your HVAC system makes strange noises such as clicks, hums, or rattles. These sounds are often a sign that something is wrong with your unit, and a specialist can investigate the cause of the noises and fix the issue before it develops into something more serious.
- Improper Heating or Cooling: Your unit doesn’t heat or cool your home properly. If you feel that your HVAC system is not doing its job correctly, it’s time to call our specialists. We can diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of action.
- Increased Energy Bills: Your energy bills are way too high. If you’ve noticed a significant increase in your energy bills, it may be the result of inefficient equipment or ductwork. An HVAC expert can evaluate your system and make recommendations to help reduce your energy usage.
Whatever the problem may be, getting a professional diagnosis and swift repair from Logan AC & Heat Services helps ensure your system is back to working at peak performance and saves you time and money in the long run. Contact our friendly team today to get the help you need to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long.
FAQs About Air Conditioner Freezing
What causes an air conditioner to freeze?
There are several reasons why an air conditioner may freeze up. One of the most common reasons is a lack of proper airflow. When the evaporator coil connected to your AC system doesn’t receive enough warm air to keep it above freezing temperatures, it can lead to ice buildup on the coil. Another common cause of freezing is low refrigerant levels. If your AC unit is low on refrigerant, it won’t be able to absorb enough heat from your home and will run for longer periods, causing the coil to freeze up.
How can I prevent my air conditioner from freezing?
There are several steps you can take to prevent your air conditioner from freezing. One of the most effective ways is to change your AC filters regularly. Dirty filters can restrict airflow, leading to a buildup of ice on the coil. You should also ensure that your AC unit is properly sized for your home. An oversized unit can cool your home too quickly, resulting in short cycles that prevent the evaporator coil from getting warm enough to prevent ice from forming.
In addition, you should keep your AC unit clean and free of debris to ensure proper airflow and ensure that your home’s ductwork is properly sealed to prevent air leaks. Finally, it’s important to have your AC unit serviced regularly by a professional HVAC technician. Regular maintenance can catch issues early before they turn into major problems that can cause your AC unit to freeze.
How can I thaw my air conditioner?
If you discover that your air conditioner has frozen, the first thing you should do is turn it off completely to allow it to thaw. You can speed up the thawing process by running your furnace fan to help circulate warm air through your home.
Is air conditioner freezing covered by warranty?
Whether or not air conditioner freezing is covered by your warranty will depend on the specific terms of your warranty. Most warranties will cover defects in the materials or workmanship of the AC unit, but they may not cover issues caused by lack of maintenance or other factors. If you’re unsure about whether your warranty covers air conditioner freezing, you should reach out to your manufacturer or dealer for clarification.