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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.

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