Your air conditioner can freeze up just when you need it most. And in Orlando in the summertime, no one wants to be without air conditioning. A frozen air conditioner can occur for a variety of reasons, but when it happens, you need to turn off the A/C and let it thaw, then address the cause.
Frozen A/C Symptoms
Here are some of the symptoms of a frozen A/C:
- Ice on the outdoor refrigerant line
- Condensation on the condensate drain (indoors)
- Condensate on the air handler (indoors)
- Ice building up on the evaporator coil (indoors)
- Large amount of draining condensate
Main Reasons for A/C Freezing
Here’s why you might have a frozen air conditioner.
- Blocked air flow — This is the No. 1 reason an air conditioner could freeze up, and the cause is usually a dirty air filter. A dirty air filter will impede airflow, so that not enough air is moving across the evaporator coils to cool properly. When this happens, the condensation that is being removed from the air may freeze on the coil and cause the A/C to stop cooling properly. Left unaddressed, freezing can damage the air conditioner.
- Low refrigerant — When A/C refrigerant is too low, the pressure in the system will also be too low. Refrigerant temperature will drop below freezing as it expands under low pressure, causing the moisture in the return air to freeze as it passes across the coil.
- Too cool outdoors — Running the A/C when it’s 62 degrees or below outside will result in a pressure drop, which can cause freezing.
- Mechanical failures — A number of mechanical problems can cause freezing, including a failed blower fan or a kink in refrigerant lines.
Fixing a Frozen A/C
Turn off the cooling and wait several hours for the ice on the evaporator coil to thaw. Turn only the fan on to help defrost. After thawing, check the air filter and change it if it’s dirty. For any other problem, call an HVAC service company.
To learn more about a frozen air conditioner, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions of Orlando.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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