2 Causes Of A Frozen Central Air Conditioner

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If you've ever seen ice on your central air conditioner condenser, evaporator coils, or refrigerant lines, you should know that this is more than an oddity. A frozen central air conditioner should be turned off immediately, as it will not deliver the cooling it's designed for and running it while frozen can damage the unit.

While there can be a few different causes of a frozen air conditioner, the problem usually comes down to two factors: blocked airflow or low refrigerant.

1. Blocked Airflow

Your HVAC system relies on a continuous supply of air to remove heat from inside your home and transfer it outdoors. When blockages develop in any part of the system that prevents the circulation of air, your condenser is no longer able to pull heat from the refrigerant and expel it outside. 

One of the most frequent culprits behind blocked airflow is the HVAC air filter. The air filter can become clogged with dust, dirt, and other contaminants from the air until it will no longer allow air to reach the air handler. Clean or replace your filter and try running your air conditioner again after it has thawed.

If your air filter is clean, the next place you should consider is your ducts. Dust and dirt can build up on the inner walls of your ducts and create blockages behind your home's walls. You can vacuum your vent registers with a vacuum hose to reach some blockages, but professional duct cleaning is often the only way to completely repair this problem.

2. Low Refrigerant

To release heat, the refrigerant inside your air conditioner has to expand when it reaches the condenser. When your system is low on refrigerant, it will still cause the refrigerant that is present to expand the same amount. This creates a greater cooling effect than desired, and the refrigerant lines or coils can reach below-freezing temperatures.

Under Environmental Protection Agency regulations, only a licensed HVAC technician is legally allowed to charge the refrigerant in your air conditioner. If your AC is frozen over, stop running it and contact a professional to check your refrigerant level.

A frozen central air conditioner is a problem that must be addressed quickly, but repairs don't have to be difficult or expensive. Keep these tips in mind so you can take the right steps to make your home comfortable again the next time your air conditioner freezes. Reach out to a professional who provides AC repairs to learn more. 

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13 July 2020

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