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Your A/C Unit Is Frozen

Posted on The Cooler Blog July 25, 2013 by Terry Jones

Living in South Florida, the heat can feel like summer year-round. Many people use the A/C more often in the summer and are dumbfounded when they see that their outside air conditioner or heat pump is covered in solid ice. It’s not usual for ice to form on an air conditioner, and it is certainly a cause for concern. Frost build-up is a definite sign that your air conditioning unit is not functioning correctly. Air conditioner freeze-ups need to be handled immediately! Ice accumulation can cause permanent damage to your A/C unit. Several common problems can cause air conditioner to freeze-up:

Insufficient Air Flow
The restriction of air flow throughout the unit’s evaporator coil will cause the temperature to drop below freezing. Ice build-up is caused by humidity in the air collecting on the coil and decreasing the cooling capacity. Everything from dirty air filters and blocked or undersized ducts to damaged blower motors can all restrict the air flow. Cleaning your filters and checking the ducts once a month will help reduce the issue’s impact if caught early on.

Issues With The Unit’s Refrigeration
As blockage can affect the evaporator coils, refrigerant leaks and low levels of refrigerant can as well. Inaccurate levels of refrigerant can cause pressure drops in the air conditioner’s coil, resulting in moisture in the air accumulating and freezing on it.

Outdoor Temperature
The majority of outdoor air conditioners don’t function as well in temperatures below 60°F. Although the days may be warm to hot, the temperatures during the night can steadily drop too low. The A/C system will not operate efficiently and ice build-ups are a possibility. Turn your unit off when the mercury takes a drop. Consider installing a special ambient temperature control that enables the unit to run properly in cooler temperatures.

What To Do When Your Air Conditioner Freezes Up

The first thing to do is to turn off the A/C unit and let it defrost thoroughly. Once it has completely defrosted, check the airflow. It’s highly recommended to clean / replace dirty filters or to remove any dirt accumulation or obstructions. If you’re one of the lucky ones, this could be all that is needed. However, more serious airflow and refrigeration problems require a professional. Call All Year Cooling at "> ">; our service technicians have all the necessary tools for serious air flow problems and refrigerant leaks.

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