Air Conditioning Maintenance | 3 Probable Causes Of An Air Conditioner Freeze Up

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While air conditioning is a necessity in summers, there may be certain instances when you notice your cooling system freezing up after hours of operation. When this transpires, cool air from the air conditioning system will not discharge and a huge ice block may build on the evaporator coil. This ice will restrict the airflow from the ventilation unit, which will affect the cooling process for the room.

Here are some probable causes of an air conditioner freeze up.

1. Restricted Airflow

Air filters exist in front of evaporator coils in the air conditioner and collect dust and dirt on their surface to prevent them from reaching the evaporator coils and fins. Over prolonged use, airflow gets restricted because of dirty of clogged air filters, which are not cleaned regularly.

When airflow from the air conditioning unit is restricted, most of the cool air may stay around the evaporator coil and fins, which causes the temperature around them to drop and form ice − this causes the air conditioning unit to freeze up.

Air filters can be cleaned with lukewarm water and detergent after using a vacuum cleaner to eliminate surface dirt. By cleaning the air filters regularly, you will ensure that airflow doesn't get restricted − enabling the air conditioning system to operate functionally. 

Low Refrigerant

Most homeowners aren't experts when it comes to understanding air conditioning, so they may not realise or notice a refrigerant leak over time.

Leaks lower the levels of refrigerant in the system, which leads to a drop in the temperature of the compressed refrigerant liquid in the evaporator. This essentially means that the cooling coil operating temperature has fallen below the manufacturer specifications. This lower temperature will cause collected moisture from the air to turn into ice on the evaporator − this iced moisture does not drip down the condensate drain and gets stuck on the evaporator coils in the form of ice.

When this continues over a period, a block of ice forms on it. This causes the air conditioning system to freeze up and stop working properly. If you notice ice forming on the evaporator, switch off your air conditioning and let the ice melt. While you have removed the ice, keep in mind that low refrigerant can only be solved by a professional because you'll need to add new refrigerant to your air conditioning. If you notice ice forming on your evaporator coils, low refrigerant could be the culprit.

Low Outdoor Temperatures

If you operate your air conditioning unit when the outside temperature is low, it could potentially freeze up with ice around the evaporator coil. If this happens, simply turn on you fan mode or use the outside air to ventilate your room and shut off your air conditioning. This is perhaps the simplest problem you could hope for.

While certain causes are easier to handle than others, you may want to call a technician if you notice your air conditioning freezing up too often. For more help, contact a company like Coolrite Air Conditioning Pty Ltd.