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Reasons Your AC Will Freeze Up

May 14, 2014 | Blog

“So what’s the most common air conditioning problem you get calls for?”

You asked and we answered. Quite simply, we get the most calls to service frozen HVAC units. We know what you’re thinking – if it’s unbearably hot both outside AND inside, how could anything have frozen over? There are several factors that can cause your air conditioner to freeze up (and a magical sister/Snow Queen isn’t one of them). Here are the top causes for an air conditioner to freeze up.

Restricted Air Flow

When your AC freezes up, it’s actually the evaporator coil that gets the ice treatment. One of the main reasons for this is restricted airflow to the coil. This causes condensation to form and freeze when the temperature of the coil drops low enough. Dirty air filters, poorly sealed or blocked ducts and dirt buildup on the evaporator coil itself. In addition to bi-annual tune-ups to keep everything clean and secure, you can prevent poor airflow by changing your air filters once a month!

Low Refrigerant

Another common reason for an air conditioner to freeze is your HVAC unit being low on refrigerant. Commonly referred to by the old brand name “Freon,” refrigerant is generally low when there is a leak somewhere in your system. You wouldn’t pay to pump gas into a car’s tank if it was full of holes, would you? No! That’s precisely why simply topping up your refrigerant supplies won’t do. You need to have an HVAC technician locate and correct the leak before properly charging your system with the needed refrigerant. This is the safest and most cost-effective way to tackle a refrigerant leak.

If your air conditioner does freeze up, take the proper steps to correct the situation. First, let the system defrost by switching it to OFF (In between heat and cool) at your thermostat. Then, switch the fan setting to ON. Let this run for about an hour. Before switching your AC back on, check for airflow obstructions like clogged air filters and replace them if necessary. Once defrosted, your evaporator coils may need to be vacuumed or brushed off. Switch your AC back to cool and you should be in business! If your AC isn’t blowing cold air or freezes again, call us today at Lee’s Air to check your refrigerant levels and inspect for leaks.

Have a great week and stay cool, Fresno!

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Michael McGowan was a knowledgeable and competent technician in fixing our furnace. We would definitely request him again if service is needed. Lee’s has provided maintenance for our AC and furnace the last few years and we are always more than satisfied.

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