“Why did my A/C freeze up?” Day in and day out, this is one of the most common questions we hear at Griffith Energy Services. Because air conditioners depend on numerous interconnected parts to keep your home cool throughout the summer months, there are a few different reasons for ice formation on the air conditioner’s coils. Freezing is usually a symptom of a problem that affects your air conditioner’s efficiency and will cause it to shut down, so unfortunately, you can’t just ignore it. Look for the three most common causes of AC freezing and take steps to address the issue right away.
What Makes Your AC Freeze Up?
The first thing you should check if you’re experiencing AC freezing issues is a dirty air filter. Normally, an air filter lets cool air pass through while removing debris and dust that could harm indoor air quality; if left alone for too long, however, that same air filter can become clogged and prevent air from leaving the machine efficiently. When cool air builds up inside the air conditioner, it causes the internal temperature to drop, which creates the right conditions for ice to form inside.
Another common cause of freezing is a change in outdoor conditions. If an air conditioner is running when the air outside drops below a certain temperature, its internal temperature may drop enough to allow ice to form. This happens most commonly overnight as the air cools down after sunset. Ice that consistently appears in the morning is usually caused by outside conditions. This isn’t particularly common during a mid-Atlantic summer, but it’s something to be aware of.
The most serious (and possibly the most common) issue that can lead to ice formation inside the air conditioner is a refrigerant leak or having low levels of refrigeration in your AC. Although air conditioners use refrigerant extensively to transfer heat, they do not actually consume refrigerant during the cooling cycle. Each machine is designed to run at a static Freon level, and if the refrigerant level drops below that point, ice may form on the coils.
What to Do If Your AC Freezes Up
If your AC freezes up due to a change in outdoor temperature, the fix is simply to prevent it from running while the outdoor air is cool. Try turning the machine off in the evening and back on in the morning, or invest in some new control equipment to do so automatically. Likewise, if the cause is a dirty air filter, the fix is as simple as changing or cleaning the air filter. Don’t forget to let a reusable filter air dry completely before putting it back in the air conditioner; if your unit needs a replacement filter, be sure to buy one that fits precisely from a factory authorized dealer.
If your AC freezes up because of a refrigerant leak, it needs professional attention to resolve the issue. Call us at Griffith Energy Services today to set up an appointment with one of our trained air conditioning experts. We repair all makes and models throughout the Baltimore, MD area and are always ready to help your family stay cool all summer long.