What Causes an AC To Freeze Up? Common Causes & Troubleshooting Tips

When the scorching summer heat arrives, properly functioning air conditioning becomes crucial for your comfort. However, one issue that can disrupt the cool airflow fast is when your AC freezes up.

Here’s what causes an AC to freeze up and some troubleshooting tips you can try. We’ll cover:

  • What does it mean when an AC freezes up?
  • Common causes of an AC freezing up.
  • Troubleshooting tips and potential fixes.
  • Where to find an expert AC technician in Beaver Valley.
Close up view of an HVAC unit

What Does It Mean When an AC Freezes Up?

An AC unit freezing up refers to the formation of ice or frost on the evaporator coils, obstructing the airflow and impeding the cooling process.

Several factors can contribute to this problem, and understanding its underlying causes is essential to prevent or address it effectively.

Common Causes of AC Freezing

Many different culprits might be behind your air conditioner freezing up. Here are a few of the most common causes of this problem:

  • Insufficient airflow: Inadequate airflow is a leading cause of AC freezing. It can result from clogged or dirty air filters, closed vents, blocked return registers, or obstructed ductwork. Restricted airflow prevents the warm air from circulating properly, forming ice on the evaporator coils.
  • Low refrigerant: Refrigerant is crucial in cooling, absorbing heat from indoor air. When refrigerant levels are low, the system can become imbalanced, causing the evaporator coils to become excessively cold and freeze.
  • Faulty thermostat: A malfunctioning thermostat can cause the AC to run continuously, resulting in the evaporator coils becoming too cold and freezing up. It’s essential to ensure the thermostat is functioning correctly and accurately reading the temperature in your home.
  • Dirty coils: Over time, dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on the evaporator coils, hindering their ability to absorb heat. As a result, the coils may become excessively cold, leading to ice formation.
  • Blower fan: Problems with the blower fan, such as a malfunctioning motor, worn-out belt, or damaged blades, can disrupt the airflow and cause the evaporator coils to freeze.

Troubleshooting Tips & Potential Fixes

If you notice your air conditioner has started to form ice on the evaporator coils, there are several steps you can take to resolve the problem:

  • Check and replace air filters regularly to maintain proper airflow.
  • Ensure vents and return registers are unobstructed.
  • Clean the evaporator coils to remove dirt and debris buildup.
  • Have a professional inspect and recharge refrigerant levels if necessary.
  • Verify thermostat functionality and accuracy.
  • Schedule regular maintenance to identify and address potential issues before they lead to freezing.

Trust BVSM With All Your AC Repair & Maintenance Needs

Understanding the causes of AC unit freezing is vital for maintaining a comfortable and functional cooling system. Insufficient airflow, low refrigerant levels, and faulty thermostats can all contribute to this problem.

You can address AC freezing effectively by following the troubleshooting tips above and seeking professional help when necessary.

At BVSM Heating & Air Conditioning, our team can troubleshoot and resolve your AC system malfunctions. Whether your unit has started to freeze or you have other air conditioner failures, our experienced team of NATE-certified technicians is here to help.

Request air conditioning repairs or maintenance for your Beaver Valley home by calling 724-417-9550.

Do I Need Heat Pump Replacement or Repair?

It’s understandable that when your heat pump begins to struggle or can no longer meet your comfort needs, you’ll become torn—should you call for heat pump repair right away, or has the time come to replace your heat pump system?

If this is a stressor you’re currently experiencing, you can rest easy. The certified HVAC contractors at BVSM Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help you select the appropriate heat pump services for meeting your comfort needs!

Signs You Need Heat Pump Repair

An important thing to understand about heat pumps and other HVAC systems is that when you need repairs you should schedule them as soon as possible. Failing to get service in time means your system continues to struggle, which often leads to further damage that may force you into seeking a new heat pump installation before it’s strictly necessary.

If your heat pump is exhibiting any of these signs, call for repair right away:

  • Poor heating or cooling quality – A professionally installed and properly maintained heat pump system should have absolutely no trouble keeping up with your comfort needs. If you notice cold or hot spots in your home, or the system struggles to maintain temperatures stably, call for service.
  • Increased energy costs – One of the primary advantages of a heat pump system is the sheer cost-efficiency and energy conservation that the system offers. Keep a close eye on your energy costs, because if they spike you likely need a repair.
  • Loud or strange heat pump noises – Loud, scary noises are almost always traced to a component in the system that has become loose or damaged. This is a particularly hazardous problem, because damaged parts often do considerable harm to the system if left for too long.
  • Inability to switch between “heat” and “cool” modes – This problem is commonly caused by a damaged reversing valve. The issue is fairly easy to repair, but will prevent swapping until it is handled.

When to Consider Heat Pump Replacement

Scheduling repair is the default choice for the majority of homeowners. It’s usually faster and more cost-effective, so that makes sense. However, there are many situations where heat pump replacement is smarter, and more cost-efficient as well.

In most cases the choice will come down to a cost-benefit analysis, which most professional HVAC contractors are glad to provide. If repairs can get your system operating effectively, that’s great. But if the repair will only serve as a stopgap, it’s usually more worthwhile to seek replacement because multiple repair bills can get prohibitively expensive very quickly.

It’s wise to discuss heat pump replacement in these scenarios:

  • Your heat pump is more than 10 years old
  • Your heat pump is beginning to lose efficiency and energy costs are consistently too high in your home
  • You need heat pump repair too frequently, such as yearly or even every two years
  • Your current heat pump repair costs exceed 1/3 of the full value of the heat pump

Schedule Heat Pump Service in Beaver County, PA

Whether you need heat pump repair or heat pump replacement, or you require the aid of a professional that can help you make the right choice, you can always count on BVSM. Our licensed and certified heat pump contractors focus on providing you with the services you need, and our top objective is always to provide you with the solutions that best fit your situation.

Contact us online to schedule heat pump services in Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, Dormont, or Moon, PA! Need to speak with a professional directly? Just dial 724-417-9550!