The central air conditioner in your home works hard to keep you and your family comfortable during the hottest months of the year. Sadly, it’s all too common that an air conditioner can be overworked, this can restrict the flow of air and sometimes cause an equipment failure. As hot as it may be outside, it is entirely possible that your air conditioner could actually become frozen. If this has happened to you, it can be disconcerting, but don’t panic it can be fixed. Let’s take a closer look at why this occurs and how to rectify the problem.
Why is the AC Frozen Over?
If your air conditioner has iced over, the evaporator coil in the condenser unit has been affected. There are two reasons why the coil would become frozen, they are:
The Airflow is Restricted; For some reason, the airflow through the evaporator coil has been restricted. As a consequence, the air conditioner is trying to compensate by pushing more cold air through the condenser than it can handle. This causes frost to accumulate on the AC system, and the whole process slows down. If this situation is not dealt with, the ice will eventually cause damage to vital components in the AC system.
A Lack of Refrigerant; If there is no obstruction present, it may be the case that there is a lack of refrigerant in the AC system. A lack of refrigerant means that the air cannot be transported through the coil causing the associated parts to freeze. The air conditioner will develop a layer of ice that will prevent the delivery of cool air into your home.
What Can Be Done to Fix the Problem?
Once you’ve noticed that the air conditioner has stopped working, check for visible signs of ice or frost. If there is any freezing present, follow these steps carefully:
Locate your thermostat and turn the air conditioning off completely.
Check the entire AC system for any restrictions that could be preventing the flow of air.
Check that the air filter is clean and free from any debris that could inhibit airflow.
If any blockages to the flow of air have been removed, restart the system and check to see if the problem has been corrected.
If these steps have not fixed the problem, it’s likely that a refrigerant leak or a reduction in the amount of charge is the problem. Refrigerant issues should be addressed by a trained AC specialist and a full AC service might also be a good idea.
It may be the case that an air restriction is not immediately apparent because the blockage is inside your air conditioner. Under no circumstances, should you attempt to remove a blockage or fix an air conditioner without the requisite level of expertise. An air conditioner is a very complex piece of equipment with mechanical, electronic and electrical components and connections. In the best case scenario, you may cause damage that would be expensive to fix, and in the worst case, you could be seriously injured. Always call on a local heating and cooling professional in these circumstances.