Why Does My AC Freeze Up?

March 1, 2013

One of the downsides of any cooling device is that it has some propensity to become overly cold and freeze up. Even the best home air conditioners may run into this issue if they are maintained improperly or used under certain conditions. Fortunately, issues that cause air conditioners to freeze up are usually easy to fix. If you are wondering why your AC freezes up, look for these common issues to identify and address the problem.

Restricted Air Flow

During a normal cooling cycle, an air conditioner expels cool air into the home and hot air outside. The air filter collects dust and debris from the air that enters the home to promote good indoor air quality. Over time, air filters can become clogged with that debris and restrict the flow of air into the home. Forced to build up inside the machine, that cool air lowers the air conditioner’s internal temperature and causes freezing. A dirty air filter is perhaps the most common reason why AC freezes up.

If air flow issues cause your air conditioner to freeze, replacing or cleaning the air filter is in order. Reusable air filters should be cleaned on a monthly basis; don’t forget to let the filter air dry thoroughly before putting it back in your air conditioner. Likewise, disposable air filters need to be replaced every month. Instead of getting replacements from your local hardware store, ask a factory authorized dealer for filters that are designed specifically for your air conditioner.

Cool Outdoor Air

Sometimes, the reason why AC freezes up has little to do with the air conditioner itself. Falling outdoor temperatures can cause the internal temperature of the machine to likewise fall and create conditions in which ice can form. Even in the hot climate of Longview, TX, this can happen during overnight usage.

Try shutting your air conditioner off when the temperature starts to drop in the evening and turning it on in the morning; if ice generally appears early in the day, this simple step may resolve the problem. Consider getting a programmable thermostat to do this automatically, saving energy and preventing your air conditioner from freezing up.

Low Refrigerant

Your air conditioner uses R-22 to transfer heat out of your home, but it does not actually consume the chemical while it operates. Refrigerant leaks are a common reason why A/C freezes up because air conditioners are designed to operate at a fixed R-22 level. If the level drops below that threshold, the internal mechanics of the air conditioner are disrupted, leading to ice formation.

Unlike the causes discussed above, refrigerant leaks absolutely require professional repair. We service all makes and models of air conditioners at JD’s AC LLC, and our technicians are fullt capable of repairing these and other issues quickly, safely and effectively. If your air conditioner is freezing up, don’t hesitate to give us a call and set up a repair appointment.

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