Check The Refrigerant Levels
Refrigerant is the liquid that runs through your system’s coils. This liquid helps to cool or heat air that passes through your system. It is critical that your HVAC unit has the right amount of refrigerant to function correctly.
If the refrigerant levels are too low, your HVAC system is subject to icing. When experiencing HVAC issues, fill the refrigerant to the level indicated by your unit.
When checking refrigerant levels, also look around for leaks. If your system is leaking refrigerant, call Professional Services right away for an emergency repair service.
Refrigerant is a critical part of your HVAC unit. However, the liquid is hazardous to people and pets, so it is vital to call for a repair as soon as you detect a leak.
Problem : Dirty Rv A/c Unit Air Filter
The issues caused by a dirty or clogged air filter reduce air flow, which is the most common culprit of RV AC freeze ups.
You should be replacing your air filter annually, and cleaning it about once a month during seasons of heavy use.
You can get replacement ones cheaply and theyre quick to install.
What To Do When Theres Ice Buildup On Your Ac Unit
If you notice ice buildup on your air conditioner, you can protect your AC by turning your system off or switching the unit to a fan-only setting. Use the fan only option if your system has that, it will help the evaporator coils dry off faster.
The only way to remove ice from your air conditioner is to shut it off and allow the ice time to melt. When your air conditioner is on, it is pumping freon through the evaporator coils, which means theyre going to stay cold and the ice wont melt. Without the coils operating, the ice should melt.
It should take about 24 hours for the ice to melt, but it could be longer if your unit is covered in a solid block of ice.
While the ice is melting, youll want to keep an eye on your condensate drip pan. If your thermostat does not have a fan only option, you should take a towel or paper towels and dry off the evaporator coils and fins. If you have the fan only option, you shouldnt have to do anything other than leaving it blowing for 24 to 48 hours.
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What Causes An Air Conditioner To Freeze Up
To understand what causes an air conditioner to freeze up, you need to know the basic science of how an air conditioner works.
Your AC takes in warm air from your home, which is blown over the evaporator coils. The liquid refrigerant which resides in the coils absorbs the heat and moisture from the air. It changes its state from liquid to gas and is taken to the outdoor unit, where the heat is removed. The excess moisture is also drained out through the condensate drain pan located underneath the evaporator coils.
For a regular operation, your AC needs a continuous supply of warm air. If warm air from your house does not reach the refrigerant, it becomes so cold that any moisture on the coils freezes.
So, problems hindering the airflow inside the air conditioning unit or issues with the refrigerant flow can result in your AC unit freezing up. Lets explore some of the causes, along with how you can keep your air conditioner from freezing up:
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Whether youre dealing with frozen air conditioning equipment or are having another problem with your system, our HL Bowman professionals are here to resolve it for you. We are the most trusted and reputable heating, cooling, and plumbing company in the Harrisburg, PA, area and are always ready to assist when you need us. Reach out to us today by calling or request service online.
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Check And Change Your Air Filter
Good airflow is absolutely essential if you want to keep your air conditioner from freezing over. A clogged or otherwise dirty air filter can easily get in the way of this by preventing sufficient air flow through the return air duct. If there isnt enough air flowing through the evaporator coil, the coil will eventually develop an ice layer.
Changing your air filter on a regular basis is not only essential for preventing freeze-ups but also necessary for good air-conditioner performance and indoor air quality. Most experts recommend that you replace your air filter once every three months, although some manufacturers may suggest you replace your air filter every month. The frequency at which the filter should be changed depends on the activity in the home. If you have opened the windows more often in the spring or early fall there may be more dust coming into the home than usual. If you have done some home repairs like dry wall work the dust produced during your project is bound to clog up the furnace filter quicker than usual. It never hurts to make a monthly check part of your regular schedule.
Need More Assistance With What To Do When Your Ac Unit Freezes Up Call Ks
A proactive and preventive mindset saves you money throughout the year on your energy bill and keeps your air conditioning running well. Avoid the headache of ice on your HVAC systems evaporator coils with good airflow and regular service.
Make it even easier with membership in one of our service plans. We offer plans at three different levels to fit any budget. So and schedule an HVAC maintenance call for your heating and cooling system.
Our team serves homeowners throughout the Birmingham, Alabama area, including Bessemer, Calera, Chelsea and Helena. Youll also find our team in Vestavia Hills, Pelham, Mountain Brook, Homewood and Hoover.
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Inspect The Acs Condensate Drain
With all the moving parts of an air conditioner, another reason it may be freezing up may be due to a clogged condensate drain. As you thaw the ice, the water should drip into the condensate pan and then travel outside by way of a condensate drain, represented by a PVC pipe.
If theres dirt in the water, this can cause a clog, which then leads to overflow. Overflow leads to water damage, and excess water around the unit leads to freezing.
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How To Stop Your Ac From Freezing Up
No one wants to deal with a frozen air handler, but with a few simple steps, you can keep your air conditioning system running efficiently, reduce your risk of your air handler freezing over, and save energy. Heres what you can do:
- Clean or change the air filter regularly
- Clean the evaporator coils regularly or schedule a professional cleaning once a year
- Check the refrigerant levels regularly
- Schedule professional tune-ups with your local HVAC company
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How Does An Air Conditioner Make Cold Air
Its helpful to know the general operating principles of an air conditioning unit, so you know the functions of the various components. Air conditioning works by taking the heat out of your house and sending it outdoors. The system has four major components: the evaporator coil, compressor, condenser coil, and refrigerant. There are three steps in operation:
- Warm air from the return vent is filtered and blown over the evaporator coil. Extremely cold refrigerant absorbs the heat and turns from liquid to gas. Cool air is circulated back into the home.
- The refrigerant is sent outside to the compressor, which compresses it and increases its temperature.
- The third step is where the condenser sends the hot air outdoors. The coolant returns to liquid during this step and circulates back in this closed-loop system.
How Long It Can Take For Your Ac Unit To Defrost
Its common for individuals experiencing a frozen AC issue to wonder how long it takes for their unit to thaw. Well, the thawing process could take up to 24 hours depending on the size of your unit, the extent of the ice buildup, and the efficiency of your blower fan. If the freezing on your air conditioner was just starting, it could clear up faster in an hour or two.
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How To Tell If Your Air Conditioner Is Frozen
Keeping a frozen air conditioner running could easily damage your compressor, which is extremely expensive and exhausting to repair. A few telltale signs of a frozen AC unit include:
- Your AC system isnt reaching the desired thermostat setting
- The air blasting from the air registers feels warm
- Your electric bill is higher than usual
- Water leaking around the AC
- Hissing or bubbling noise
- Condensation and moisture around the air handler
- AC coils are encased in ice
- Ice is visible outside the AC unit
To avoid this problem all together, and to not have to frequently inspect your air conditioning unit for signs of being frozen, youll want your AC serviced annually.
Problem : A/c Unit Obstruction
Visually check the AC unit to see if there are any bird nests, animals, or heavy brush or debris physically surrounding the AC units coils on the inside or outside of the housing.
If youre parked under thick brush and its resting on or around the A/C unit, this can cause the RV air conditioner to freeze up due to lack of airflow same for birds nests and animals.
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How Does An Air Conditioning Unit Work
How you probably imagine an AC works is wrong. Contrary to popular belief, an AC system does not inject cool air into a building. Instead, it removes the heat from inside and transfers it outside. Cool huh? .There are 4 major components among the 3 stations of an air conditioning system: the evaporator coil, the compressor, the condenser, and the refrigerant a special chemical that links everything together through a closed loop system.
How Moisture Contributes To The Problem
Moisture plays a significant role in causing air conditioning systems to freeze even when the outdoor temperature is high. When the ice starts to form on the evap coil, it insulates it so that any warm air flowing through your system cannot reach the coil. This starts a cascade effect.
The more moisture in the air, the more the ice will continue to build up until your evap coil is a solid block of ice. High humidity, such as what we get during summer here in Northwest Florida, will make a bad problem worse.
Now you have to let the ice thaw in your air conditioner, which takes time. This means no AC and no cold air while this happens, so it’s best to avoid it in the first place…
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Get An Airflow Inspection
Obstructed airflow is a major reason heating and cooling systems malfunction or function inefficiently. Similar to a clogged filter, blocked vent returns and registers prevent adequate airflow.
This causes your system to work harder without a way to release the cooled or heated air. Are vents and registers clear from any obstructions? Your problem may be poorly designed or installed ductwork. In some cases, the ductwork is installed well but the wrong size for your house or the capacity.
Common Signs Of Hvac Problems
If you notice any of the following problems with your heating and air conditioning unit, don’t hesitate to call the technicians at Professional Services:
- A significant amount of ice is covering your HVAC unit
- Your coils have severe ice buildup
- The unit is not pulling or releasing any air
- Your HVAC unit does not effectively heat your home
- You hear strange noises coming from the heating system
When it comes to fixing a frozen or malfunctioning unit, calling for professional expertise right away is critical. The licensed technicians at Professional Services understand the electrical and structural complexities of a heating system. Our goal is to provide a quick yet effective fix that ensures your unit will continue to work throughout the rest of winter.
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Look At The Acs Condensate Pan
Check to see if the condensate pan is draining properly. If not, you could end up with leaks that lead to water damage. You should be able to tell very quickly if the pan is draining properly. If there is a puddle on the floor under your air conditioner, then the pan is not draining, water is building up, and you are at risk for some serious water damage issues.
If your pan is not leaking before you check it, put some towels on the floor under the unit in case water spills out. You may also want to add some specially formulated cleaning tablets to the pan to prevent future build-up and to eliminate any odors.
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Incorrect Thermostat & Fan Settings
Keeping the temperature and fan speed low can affect how your AC transfers heat from inside to the outside.
When the temperature outside is quite high in the summer months, the fan needs to run at high speed to lower the inside temperature. This is because the low fan speed can strain the unit, and it will have a hard time maintaining the temperature.
In such an instance, low air circulation combined with a cold refrigerant circulating the unit causes the ice to form on the coils.
Increasing the fan speed and providing the necessary airflow is the key here. You can also raise the thermostat settings to avoid cold refrigerant flowing through the system.
Its best to avoid running your AC for extended periods at extremely low temperatures to keep your air conditioner from freezing up.
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Running Ac On Cold Nights
As explained before, the air around the evaporator coils can get cold during operation, and a constant supply of warm air is needed so that they do not freeze over.
When the temperatures drop pretty low, the refrigerant gets so cold that it freezes any moisture in the air before it can even circulate the coils.
To avoid this problem, turn your air conditioner to fan mode and keep it running for a while until the ice thaws.
Avoid using your air conditioner on cold nights. Instead, open the windows to get the cool, breezy effect when the temperature drops at night.
Moreover, you can use a smart thermostat or a smart AC controller to program your unit to shut down once the temperature drops below a certain level.
Check The Acs Air Filter
If you havent cleaned the air filter in a while, a buildup can occur that will cause the unit to stop working as efficiently. It doesnt take much for a filter to get clogged and this is actually one of the main reasons why an air conditioner freezes up in the first place. A thin layer of dirt is all that is necessary to prevent warm air from flowing through the unit.
To get to the filter, take the cover off the AC. Youll want to do this as soon as you adjust the thermostat because the longer you wait, the more thawed water youll have to deal with. Clean the filter by running it under water and then waiting until it is fully dry before putting it back inside the unit. You also simply buy a new filter from your local home improvement store.
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Causes For A Frozen Ac
The main reason why your AC lines are freezing is because your evaporator coils are getting too cold.
The evaporator coil is filled with refrigerant which cools the air in your HVAC system. When things are working properly the evaporator absorbs the heat from your air and provides a cooling effect.
However, when there is a problem with your AC system, the heat exchange process can be restricted causing your evaporator coil to absorb less heat and produce ice on the coils. The ice can eventually accumulate on the refrigerant line. You’ll start to notice that your AC is not cooling even though it’s running.
Some common reasons that cause your AC lines to freeze are:
- Refrigerant leaks from evaporator coils
- Accumulation of dirt over the coils
- Blocked AC vents
- Low refrigerant levels
The Air Filter Is Dirty
The air filter within your air conditioning system has a big job to do. This small component is responsible for filtering debris from within your air conditioning system before it can be dispersed throughout your home. However, air filters accumulate debris quickly and need to be changed on a regular basis.
Waiting too long to change your air filter impedes the flow of air produced by your air conditioner. As a result, your air handler can freeze.
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What Do I Do If My Air Conditioning System Freezes
In many cases, you may be able to defrost the ac unit yourself. You should avoid running the air conditioner if you think you have a frozen evaporator coil because this can place a strain on the compressor which could possibly cause damage and burn it out. Find your electrical breaker box and turn off the switch that controls power to your air conditioner to start the thawing process on the coils, which could take up to 24 hours. You can also simply, turn off the system and turn on the blower to help thaw the evaporator coils. Its best not to try to clear the ice by hand which could also damage components. Once the condenser and coils have thawed, remove any standing water that may have pooled around the equipment.
After the system is thawed, youll need to dry the coils. If you havent yet turned on the systems blower, restore power to the system if needed, and set the thermostat control to operate the blower or fan only. This will help circulate air through the system and coils. You may also be able to speed up the process with a hair dryer set on low heat. Just take care not to use high heat or to get the hair dryer too close to the coils which could possibly crack them.