Why Is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up

During a sweltering North Carolina summer, the last thing you need is for your air conditioner to freeze up. When this happens, air can’t move through, and you have to wait for it to thaw out in order for cool air to start flowing back through your home. So, what causes this problem, and how can you fix it and prevent it from happening again? Our company provides AC repair in Garner and is sharing the main factors of why your air conditioner is freezing up and what to do about it.

Excess Humidity Increases Ice Forming

It’s no secret that it’s horribly muggy in the summer in North Carolina, and if the area where the interior unit of your air conditioner is located is also humid, ice will form more quickly on the coils. The more humid the air is, the more ice builds up within your air conditioner and crawls up the pipes.

If you feel that moisture may be speeding up the formation of ice on the coils of your air conditioning unit, consider putting a dehumidifier near the unit.

Lack of Airflow Causes AC Freezing

The most common cause of why your air conditioner freezes up is a lack of fresh airflow. The compressor coils stay at a cool temperature that is prone to freezing, so if warm air is blocked from entering the air conditioner, there’s nothing to warm the coils and keep them thawed and at the proper temperature.

Lack of air flow could be caused by:

  • Dirty air filter
  • Blocked air duct
  • Blower motor has gone out (listen for a rattling sound)

Dirty Evaporator Coils

If you haven’t changed your air filter or you aren’t using the right kind, not only is a lack of airflow causing a frozen air conditioner, but dust may have built up around the coils. Because these coils are damp, any dust and dirt blowing around sticks to them and as the particles build up, it holds in the cold air. Any warm air flowing in doesn’t reach the coils to keep them thawed, so while moisture and dust continue to build up, the coils basically turn into a block of solid ice.

Low Levels of Refrigerant Leads to Freezing Up

If the problem isn’t dust, airflow, or moisture, the problem may be related to your refrigerant. First, let’s look at what refrigerant actually does. The outside compressor moves refrigerant from the outside unit’s condenser to the inside unit’s evaporator. The refrigerant is liquid and absorbing heat from your home, but as it collects the heat, it vaporizes. In vapor form, it brings the heat back to the compressor where it heats the refrigerant even more until it’s a hot gas. While in the compressor, the heat releases, causing the refrigerant to become a liquid, and cycling back into your home to absorb more heat.

When the refrigerant is low, it turns into a gas too early and creates a cold reaction that condenses moisture on the coils which causes ice to form. If this continues to happen, the ice builds up and freezes the coils completely.

Air Conditioner Keeps Freezing Up? Call Us Today

If you’ve tried troubleshooting your air conditioner and it’s still freezing up, it’s time to call in the pros. At Bowman Mechanical, we can find out exactly what the problem is and make sure it’s taken care of so your air conditioner is running efficiently and keeping your home cool and comfortable. We also offer HVAC maintenance plans that will extend the life of your unit, improve its efficiency, and minimize the need for repairs. To schedule service, call us at  919-822-8512 or fill out the form below to get started.