Frozen AC? Here’s What to Do

Published on: May 19, 2014
HVAC unit | AC Southeast®

Your air conditioner’s job is to cool your home, but too much cooling isn’t always a good thing. Freezing up is a common air conditioning issue, and it’s usually an easy one to fix. If you spot ice on your air conditioner’s coils, there are three probable causes.

Cool Outdoor Temperatures

Sometimes, freezing up has nothing to do with your air conditioner itself and everything to do with the temperature outside. Cold weather can cause the interior temperature of your air conditioner to drop, which in turn causes ice to form on the coils. This usually happens overnight, so if you notice the ice in the morning, try shutting your air conditioner off before you go to bed and see if that fixes the problem.

Dirty Air Filter

A clean air filter helps your air conditioner run more efficiently, but a dirty one does just the opposite. One of the host of problems caused by dirty air filters is ice formation. Essentially, the dirty filter blocks the flow of air out of the unit, which causes cold air to build up inside. The drop in interior temperature from that air leads to freezing.

To fix this issue, you’ll need to change or clean the air filter, depending on the unit. If your system uses disposable filters, get your replacements from a factory authorized dealer to ensure that they’re made to fit. If you have a reusable filter, clean it thoroughly with water and let it air dry completely before putting it back inside. Keep your air conditioner off while the filter is out.

Low Refrigerant Level

Refrigerant plays a vital role in your air conditioner by physically carrying heat out of the house. Although the cooling cycle uses refrigerant, it doesn’t actually consume the refrigerant chemicals, so any drop in refrigerant level means you have a leak. If changing the air filter doesn’t fix your freezing problem, there’s a good chance you’ll need to call an AC repair professional to have the unit checked for leaks and the refrigerant recharged.

AC Southeast®, we specialize in connecting homeowners with highly qualified, reputable air conditioner maintenance specialists. Our online tools will make it easy to find an HVAC dealer in your area, and we’ve carefully vetted all of the contractors on our site. If you’re having a problem with your air conditioner, we can help you find the right people to fix it.