You’re in your home on a hot day with the air conditioning on full blast, but you notice that it can’t possibly be working efficiently because you’re still sweating. You go to have a look at your unit and you see ice. What’s the deal here? Why is your air conditioner frozen while you’re inside sweating?
There could be a number of different causes for this, but there are things that you can do to diagnose your frozen air conditioner and get your home back to your desired temperature:
Find out if your air conditioner is frozen
Luckily, a frozen air conditioner isn’t a difficult thing to spot. First, you’ll probably notice that it’s warmer in the house than you’d like so you turn down the thermostat. You wait a while, but discover that your home still isn’t cooling down.
You decide to take a look at your air conditioner to see if something is wrong and find a buildup of ice. That’s all there is to it in most cases.
Another way to find this problem is by placing your hands over the air registers to see if the air is coming out cool as it’s supposed to. If not, you’ll want to take a closer look at your unit. If you can’t easily see the ice, you should use your system diagram to find out how to unscrew the panel to the evaporator and see if ice is present.
You could potentially find ice on the panel, ice on the coils inside, or you may notice the refrigerant is reading below 32 degrees.
Now that you’ve determined you have a frozen air conditioner what should you do?
Fixing a frozen air conditioner
In many cases, fixing a frozen air conditioner is something that a professional HVAC technician will need to do. However, there are some things you can try first, if you want to:
- Change the filters: Dirty and clogged filters can cause the air conditioner to freeze. Check your filters and change them if they look dirty to see if this fixes the problem.
- Open all air supply registers: Make sure every air supply register vent is open in every room. Closing the registers restricts air flow and can affect the temperature of the evaporator.
- Clean both the coils and fins around the evaporator: Take a soft brush to remove any debris or dust to see if that helps any.
- Give it time to thaw and cool properly: Once you’ve done any or all of the things above, you’ll have to wait a bit to see if the unit is thawing out and begins to cool again.
If you’ve tried the above steps and find out that your air conditioner is still frozen, you’ll want to contact a professional air conditioning repair service and have them come out and inspect and repair you’re A/C system.
Having a frozen air conditioner is not something you’ll want to try to let go and ignore, hoping it will get better. Troubleshoot if you can, but don’t be afraid to call for help.