Why Do Air Conditioners Freeze Up?

If you are not familiar with AC systems, you may not have heard of AC systems freezing up. It can sound counterintuitive that a machine working hard during hot summer days can freeze up, but it is actually a common problem in Charlotte, NC. 

Unfortunately, if your AC freezes up, it can mean that your home goes from cool to hot very quickly. If your AC freezes up, the best thing to do is find a nearby professional to repair your system and get it back to normal operation.

Signs Your AC Is Frozen

The most obvious sign of a frozen AC is visible ice on any part of the unit. Sometimes ice is visible from the outside, but you can also open the panel to see if there is visible ice inside the unit. If you don’t see any ice, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your AC is not frozen, as this is only one obvious sign.

Another common sign is a lack of cool air. If you put your hand in front of the vents and feel warm air, it is likely that your system is frozen.

Finally, if you hear hissing sounds coming from your unit, that is a sign your system could be frozen. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to call a professional HVAC service right away. Putting off calling for repairs can lead to further damage to your system.

Top Reasons Air Conditioners Freeze Up

No one wants to come home to a hot house only to realize they have a frozen AC. There are several reasons your AC can freeze up. While some are preventable, others are not. Here are the top three reasons air conditioners freeze up. 

1. Blocked Air Flow

AC systems rely on constant airflow, primarily so water can’t settle on the coils and freeze. If excess water or even humidity makes its way into the system and isn’t filtered out by steady airflow, it will settle and lead to a frozen AC. Luckily, this is something that you can work to prevent. 

The number one thing you can do to maintain constant airflow in your system is to clean and change your filters. When your filters aren’t changed regularly, they can become dirty and clogged which ultimately restricts airflow. 

Changing your filter regularly also has the added benefit of improving the energy efficiency of your system. If your AC system has frozen due to a clogged filter, find a nearby professional right away. They will be able to unfreeze the system and also change the filter for you.

2. Mechanical Problems

Air conditioners are complicated machines with many moving parts that can get stuck, misaligned, clogged, or even break. 

Sometimes, when something goes wrong with a component, it can cause a drop in pressure in your system which can lead to the refrigerant becoming too cold. When refrigerant becomes too cold, it can freeze your whole system. 

If your system has a mechanical problem, it can also lead to the refrigerant level being too low, which commonly causes the system to freeze. 

When it comes to mechanical problems with your AC system, some of them are easy to fix, while others are a sign that it may be time to invest in a new system. For example, a refrigerant leak is a problem that is likely to reoccur and is a good sign that you need a new AC system. 

When you hire a professional HVAC service to fix your frozen AC, the technician will be able to find the source of the problem and make a recommendation about whether you need a new system.

3. Cold Weather

While AC systems are built to withstand extreme temperatures, they are also calibrated to operate within certain temperature thresholds. This becomes a problem when the temperature drops at night, which is not uncommon in Charlotte, NC. When the temperature drops, it can throw the system off and cause it to freeze.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the future nighttime temperatures to stay ahead of the problem.

Preventing AC Freeze Up

The best way to prevent AC freeze-up is AC maintenance. Scheduling a regular HVAC service for maintenance can go a long way toward addressing the most common causes of AC freeze-up. 

During a maintenance visit, the technician will check the airflow, refrigerant levels, mechanical parts, and more. In addition to preventing freeze-ups, HVAC maintenance will save you from big repair bills down the road and improve the energy efficiency of your system.

Trust Air Care Heating and Cooling for Your Frozen AC

Air Care Heating and Cooling is here to help when you experience a frozen AC. We are your trusted nearby professionals and we are skilled in AC troubleshooting. We’ll be able to uncover the underlying issue that is causing the freeze and fix it right away.

We hire only the most skilled contractors in the Charlotte, NC area, so when you choose to work with us, you’ll have total peace of mind that your system is being serviced correctly. Don’t put off calling for repairs when your AC freezes up. Give us a call today.