A frozen air conditioning unit is a fairly common problem although it quite stressful to many when it shows up mid-summer, especially considering our scorching Ft. Lauderdale temperatures. If you see ice forming on your unit as the months change from cold to warm, it is a cause for concern. There are three main reasons your air conditioner may be freezing up. Let's take a look at the potential causes and examine what you should do if you encounter this problem.
1. Insufficient Air Flow
If airflow in your unit is restricted by things such as dirty air filters, problematic ducts, damaged blower motors, or dirt-build upon coils, the temperature in the evaporator coil will drop significantly and turn humidity into ice. This build up will impede the air conditioner's cooling capacity.
2. Refrigeration Problems
If your system has a refrigerant leak or does not have adequate amounts of refrigerant running through the unit, moisture in the air will freeze and accumulate from a drop in pressure located in the evaporator coil.
Although most people do not use their air conditioning units when it is cold out, often the system is left on overnight when temperatures drop below 60 degrees. If the unit is running when outdoor temperatures are too low, freezing can occur.
Steps to Take If Your Air Conditioning Unit Freezes
If there is a significant decline in your unit's ability to cool, you should first visually inspect the system. Ice and frost on your air conditioner will immediately tell you that it is not functioning properly. This is something that needs to be addressed immediately to prevent further damage to your unit. After the discover is made, you should turn your air conditioner off and allow it to defrost. Once this has been accomplished, the airflow can be checked and any obstructions such as dirty filters or physical barriers should be removed.
If there is a more serious problem with your system, it is best to call a professional who has all the knowledge and tools necessary to correctly fix your unit. They are trained to detect air flow problems and repair leaks. If you suspect that your freezing air conditioning unit is due to a drop in temperature outside while in use, make sure that you set temperature controls to either shut the system off or allow it to run adequately when it's cold outside.
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