19 Sep How Could My Air Conditioning Be Frozen?
During the heat of summer, it is strange to find an icy buildup on your HVAC unit; however, frozen units are a common problem problem when systems are working overtime to keep up with July and August heatwaves.
There are two common causes for frozen HVAC units: insufficient airflow and leaking refrigerant. In this article, we will help you understand why your system is freezing up and what you can do about it.
How to Determine if Your HVAC System Has Insufficient Airflow
Your heating and air conditioning system is designed to maximize airflow and efficiency. When airflow is blocked, it causes your system to become unbalanced, disrupting the heat transfer process, which often resulting in an icy buildup on your HVAC unit.
If your outdoor unit is frozen, turn it off and allow it to thaw. Then search your home and system for signs of insufficient airflow:
- Check and change your air filters. Old, dirty air filters are often the cause of restricted airflow and frozen air conditioning systems.
- Check the clearance around your HVAC unit. There should be at least two feet of clearance around your outdoor unit. Fencing, shrubbery, and storm debris can block airflow and cause your unit to freeze.
- Check your ductwork. If your ductwork is dirty, it could significantly reduce airflow. If you suspect this is the cause of your airflow problems, consider having a professional inspect and clean your ductwork.
- Check and open all air vents. A common myth is that closing air vents in seldom used rooms can improve your system’s efficiency. This is not true. Blocked and closed vents reduce airflow and can cause your unit to freeze.
Once you have corrected potential airflow issues, restore power to your system and wait to see if the icy buildup returns. If it does, you will likely need to contact a professional, HVAC technician to inspect your system.
Is Your System Leaking Refrigerant?
You should never have to add refrigerant to your HVAC unit. If your refrigerant levels are low, it is indicative of a leak somewhere in your system. You can examine the base of your HVAC unit and the coolant lines running to and from it; however, leaking refrigerant may not be immediately visible. If you have corrected airflow issues, but icy continues to build up on your unit, contact a professional to inspect your system.
The Benefit of Maintenance Plans
We often stress maintenance plans as the only worry-free way to ensure your air conditioning system will keep you cool and comfortable. Even before exhibiting signs of failure, airflow issues and leaking refrigerant can reduce the lifespan of your unit. Maintenance plans ensure issues are identified and addressed quickly. Find out more here.