Summer is here again: time for cooling off with ice cream, swimming and air conditioning. Many homeowners are aware that pre-season maintenance is essential, but once the cooling season begins, summertime activities may take precedence over caring for their air conditioners. This is a mistake.
There are many issues that can arise mid-summer concerning your A/C. A big problem that many homeowners never think about is having their air conditioner freeze. Learn to watch out for what causes an air conditioner to freeze and the ways to prevent costly repairs:
- Low refrigerant. Letting the level of the refrigerant in your air conditioning system decline can lead to the cold coil becoming too cold and can result in freezing. A major cause of this problem is that a leak has developed somewhere in your system. To fix this problem, you need to refill the refrigerant in your system, as well as locate and repair the leak. Call an HVAC technician as this is not a DIY task.
- Lack of airflow. If the cold coil on your system does not have enough airflow to help maintain a warm enough temperature, your A/C system may freeze up. A common reason for inadequate airflow is a clogged filter. Check that your filters are clean and also make sure that the air registers on your system are open and clear. Closed registers and dirty filters just don’t freeze your A/C unit, but can wind up costing you hundreds of more dollars in cooling costs.
- Adjust the fan. A/C units have built in fans that help to move air while the unit is working. Make sure that the fan is operating. This will help keep your air conditioning system from freezing. Most fans are typically set to the medium speed setting at the factory. You may need to increase the speed of your fan depending on your unique conditions.
- Turn off your A/C when the temperature dips. It is not uncommon for the temperature to go down during the night. When cool temperatures are expected, save yourself money and the possibility of having your system freeze, by simply turning down your A/C. If you notice that your air conditioning continues to run, even after you turn it down, you may need to have a technician inspect your thermostats to determine that they are functioning correctly.
- Make sure that the blower is not installed backwards and that it is not blowing in reverse. If the direction of the blower is switched, an air conditioner may freeze.
- Make sure that your A/C unit is draining properly. A clogged drain is a common cause of an air conditioner freezing. If you have an individual window unit, you need to slightly tilt the unit outward, so that any water in the drip tray will drain. If you have central air, you need to be sure that the drain pipe is connected to the floor drain and that the drain pipe is clear. Make sure there are no leaks and that the drip tray is emptying completely of any collected water.
What causes an air conditioner to freeze is often apparent to homeowners. If your A/C is freezing, but you can’t find any reason why, you need to contact a professional heating and cooling technician.
For more information on what causes an air conditioner to freeze, or any other questions about cooling your home, please contact Griffith Energy Services, Inc. or call us at 888-474-3391 to schedule an appointment. With more than a century of serving the Mid-Atlantic region, we have the experience and knowledge to assist you with any of your heating or cooling problems.
Written by Kevin Spain