An air conditioner can freeze in all seasons due to how an AC provides cold air, and this problem can become more prominent in frigid conditions with high humidity. In Louisiana, one of the most humid U.S. states, many HVAC technicians get called for a frozen AC unit.
At Airsmiths Cooling & Heating, we provide air conditioning services in Covington, LA, and the surrounding areas. Our team has dealt with more than its fair share of frozen air conditioners and knows how to fix the problem.
Three Frozen AC Problems and How to Fix Them
While the most common association with an AC is cool air, some also have heating functions. Regardless, all air conditioners function under what’s called the Joule-Thomson effect. This theory states if gas expands, then pressure and temperature will decrease.
Air conditioners use an evaporator coil to expand refrigerant and decrease its temperature. However, if something interrupts this process or causes it to malfunction, it can become too cold inside the unit. An AC also collects condensation as the air blows over the super cold coils, causing a freeze.
You can end up with a frozen air conditioner even in the summer, though they often appear during winter months. As you turn off your AC to let it dethaw, consider these reasons your AC might freeze.
#1. Poor Air Flow in Your System
An air conditioner pulls in air from your home and runs it over the evaporator coils. The coils, filled with refrigerant that is in a low-energy state, will absorb heat energy from the indoor air. With the heat now absorbed, the system pushes the cooled air back into the home.
The system cannot absorb heat from the indoor air if there is poor airflow. The refrigerant becomes colder without any heat to absorb, so any condensation the air manages to bring in freezes on the coils. Common culprits for poor airflow include blocked vents, clogged air filters, and a dirty condenser coil.
You can check your vents to see if any furniture or cloth blocks them. If you know how to change your air filters, try replacing them and see if that helps. Cleaning the outside of a condenser coil usually only requires compressed air or a soft brush to remove debris.
#2. Low Refrigerant Amounts in Your AC
As discussed with the Joule-Thomson effect, low-pressure amounts contribute to low temperatures and high gas amounts. This phenomenon occurs at the tops of mountains, where lower air pressure and low temperatures dwell, hence the snow.
Without enough refrigerant, your system creates a low-pressure environment in the coils. The low pressure decreases the temperature and freezes incoming condensation, leading to a frozen evaporator coil and other issues.
You cannot legally DIY a frozen AC unit with refrigerant problems. Refrigerants have many toxic properties that can harm your health and the environment. A licensed HVAC technician can work on this issue for you.
#3. Mechanical Issues Inside the AC Unit
Air conditioners have many mechanical parts that interact with each other to provide cool air. However, components like the fans or the compressor can malfunction, which can alter the pressure in the unit. Of course, low pressure equals low temperature, which may lead to freezing.
If you or a loved one has technical experience, you may be able to replace some components. You can legally do DIY repairs on fans, drain pans, and contactors. However, any parts that come in direct contact with refrigerants require a licensed professional.
Call Us for Your Frozen AC Repair
A frozen AC unit poses no challenge for us. Airsmiths Cooling & Heating has provided Covington, LA, with top-quality HVAC repairs, replacements, and maintenance since 1986. Our team constantly improves our knowledge to complete quick and efficient jobs while providing maintenance advice.