Maybe someone told it to chill out? (sound of laugh track playing…) Yeah, this heat is getting to us, too. Anyway, air conditioners can and do freeze over on a fairly regular basis, even when it’s hot out. This is not a sign that your air conditioner is working effectively. In fact, it’s a symptom of a larger problem that can cause your air conditioner to break down if you’re not careful. Read on to find out why your air conditioner is frozen over, and what you can do about it.
No Air Flow
If the air conditioner is frozen over, it likely means that there is little or no air flowing to the evaporator coil. This could be because of a clogged air filter, which will block most of the air in the ducts from making it into the system. It could also be a problem with the air handler, which might prevent the system from circulating much air at all. No warm air flowing over the evaporator coil will cause the temperature in its immediate vicinity to drop very low. Eventually, the temperature might drop low enough that the condensate on the coil will freeze and form ice.
What Happens When a Coil Freezes
The more ice builds up on the evaporator coil, the less access it will have to the heat in the air around it. This will cause the output capacity of your air conditioner to fall over time, eventually preventing it from cooling your home at all. The ice can also spread to other parts of your air conditioner down the refrigerant line, causing them to malfunction and breakdown. If you leave it alone for long enough, the entire air conditioner could break down.
What to Do About It
If your air conditioner is already frozen over, the best thing you can do is call a technician and have them repair your system for you. Now that you know what causes frozen air conditioners, though, there are a couple things you can do yourself that will prevent the problem from occurring in the future. The first thing you should do is replace your air filter at least once every three months or so while you’re using your air conditioner regularly. If the air filter is replaced that often, it will be unlikely to clog and lead to the coil freezing.
The second thing you can do is make sure that you schedule preventive maintenance for your system at least once every year. Preventive maintenance allows your technician to resolve any developing issues in the system before they have the opportunity to get any worse. This not only prevents your air conditioner from freezing over, but also increases its energy efficiency by up to 40%. Make sure you schedule preventive air conditioner maintenance at least once every spring to get the maximum benefit from it.