When your home AC unit freezes up, you will start noticing a frost build up along the copper material that extends outside the system. In advanced cases, the frost builds up to a block of ice. Such ice prohibits the AC system from optimum performance. This is a common air conditioning systems but the good news is that it’s an issue that can be fixed. Keep reading to learn what causes the AC unit freeze.
AC unit freezing is caused by several factors. The most common is low refrigerant. Air conditioning units come with chlorodifluoromethane or in short, R22 refrigerant. When it passes through the lines of a properly functioning AC unit, R22 refrigerant causes some condensation along the outside of the line. While this is normal, a change in pressure in the system, caused by low refrigerant levels, leads the refrigerant to react differently. Moist warm air from the house blows over the evaporator and condenses to the freezing point, which forms ice on the exterior copper casing. Apart from causing the AC to freeze, when the refrigerant level drops beyond a certain level, the AC compressor is subjected to work harder to pump the remaining refrigerant across the system. Such prolonged strain stresses the compressor to a point that it breaks down.
Poor airflow in the AC unit can also cause AC freezing. The air conditioning unit requires free airflow from your house to prevent the little condensation on the coils from freezing up into a block of ice. You need to regularly clean and replace any worn out or damaged air filters. Additionally, check the sides of the vents for any leaks and remove any blockages that prevent the free flow of air.
Dirty coils also lead to freezing of the AC units. The evaporator coils not only cool the air inside your home but also dehumidify it by ‘pulling’ the moisture out of the air. This moisture then manifests itself as condensation along the coils. These water droplets fall off the coils and into the drip pan. If the coils are dirty, the water droplets freeze faster than they can be disposed, causing frost and ice over the AC unit. Other than causing the AC unit to freeze, dirty coils prevent the air conditioner from expelling heat fast enough. As a result, the AC system is forced to constantly run to keep the room cool. The increased temperature and pressure on the AC system lead to compressor failure due to overheating.
This may sound ironic but Air conditioning units freeze even during summer. If you understand the mechanics of how AC systems work, you’ll understand why your air conditioner can turn a beautiful summer day into a sweltering one in just minutes. Something else to note, although ice buildup is a guarantee that you’re dealing with an AC freezing problem, sometimes the ice is in the interior parts of the unit so you may not see it. Given the intricacies, scheduling regular cleaning and maintenance with a professional in air conditioning systems in Boerne will help identify underlying issues before they materialize.