What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?

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What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?

When late summer temperatures reach blistering highs, you depend on your air conditioner not only to keep your home comfortable, but also to keep you safe from hazards such as heat exhaustion. If your air conditioner keeps freezing up, it’s more than an inconvenience — it’s a potential health concern. It might seem counterintuitive that a freezing air conditioner could be a bad thing; afterall, wouldn’t a colder unit be better at producing cold air? Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. Air conditioners are more complicated than most people realize, and they depend on the smooth functioning of several mechanisms. Keep reading to learn why your air conditioner keeps freezing up, as well as how to get it running at full capacity again. 

Is a malfunctioning AC system causing you to sweat? You need the best AC repair Desoto, TX, has to offer, the HVAC experts at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating. Call us today at 469-518-4211 to request service. 

How Your AC Works: The Basics

If you don’t understand how your air conditioner works, don’t feel bad — most people don’t. However, if you’re dealing with constant AC issues, it’s important to learn the basics so that you can start to diagnose the problem. Here are the main mechanisms that a split AC system (the standard central AC used in most homes) uses to produce cold air: 

  • Evaporator. The evaporator absorbs warm air from your house and pulls it over the evaporator coil, which contains cold refrigerant. The refrigerant extracts heat from the warm air and converts it into a low-pressure gas.
  • Compressor. From the evaporator, the low-pressure gas moves to the compressor. The compressor raises the temperature and pressure of the gas to encourage its movement to the condenser. 
  • Condenser. Once in the condenser, the high-temperature gas passes over the condenser coils, which carry off the heat. The remaining gas condenses into liquid form and travels back to start the process again. 

Top Reasons Your AC Freezes Up

As you can tell, your air conditioner relies on several different parts functioning at full capacity. If one of the parts malfunctions, the whole process is in jeopardy. A broken part or low-functioning component can cause the evaporator to cool the refrigerant too much, which is what causes it to freeze and ice over. Although many issues can cause your AC to freeze up, there are a few common offenders. 

Blocked Air Flow

If your air conditioner doesn’t receive sufficient air flow, humidity could settle on its coils and cause them to freeze. One of the things that stifles air flow is an excessively dirty filter, so if you haven’t changed it in a while, this could be your issue. The first thing you should do is turn off your AC to prevent further damage, then check your filter. If it’s clogged and dirty, replace it while your air conditioner is thawing. After a couple hours, turn it off and see if the issue has improved. 

If it hasn’t, you could be looking at a larger issue, such as a collapsed air duct, bad blower motor or low voltage to the fan. To assess the situation quickly, you’ll need to contact an emergency HVAC specialist from the best AC repair Desoto, TX, has to offer — Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating

Blocked Coils

Running an AC system with a dirty filter (or no filter at all) has another risk: blocked coils. When dirty air blows across coils that are wet with humidity, dust sticks to the coils, forming a thick layer of grime. This layer of grime insulates the coils, trapping excessive cold inside and creating an icebox effect. You can easily prevent blocked coils by regularly changing your air filter. 

Low Refrigerant Levels

Refrigerant is an essential component of your air conditioner; without it, your AC won’t blow cool air. If your AC’s refrigerant is low, there could be a kink or leak in the refrigerant line. The latter could cause the refrigerant to expand too much and become cold, which can freeze your AC. Even if a leak doesn’t result in an immediate freeze, it will put extra strain on your air conditioner, causing it to break down prematurely. 

Refrigerant leaks are a main cause of AC malfunctions in the summertime. If you suspect a leak, it’s important to call a trained HVAC professional from Dial One to assess the situation, as refrigerant can cause ecological damage when improperly handled. 

Cool Nights

As we head into fall, nights should start to get a little cooler again. It’s important to check the forecast and look out for cool nighttime temperatures, as lower temperatures can drop the air pressure in your AC, causing it to freeze. Luckily, there’s an easy fix: when temperatures are moderately cool, turn off your AC and open some windows. 

There’s an easy way to avoid an expensive air conditioner repair in Desoto, Texas — call Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating to schedule essential AC maintenance. Our HVAC specialists check filters, fluid levels, fans and more to ensure your AC is working properly. 

Call a Desoto HVAC Specialist

When it comes to AC problems, diagnosing the root cause isn’t always an easy task. Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. An experienced HVAC technician from Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating can come look at your unit and start problem-solving right away. Whether you need a minor repair or a full AC replacement, our Desoto air conditioner repair specialists have got you covered. 

Need an emergency fix? Not a problem! Dial One is proud to offer 24-hour, emergency HVAC services in Desoto. We know that HVAC issues arise at inconvenient times, which is why, in addition to emergency services, we offer multiple financing options. If you’re ready to get the cool air flowing again, contact us online to request the best AC repair Desoto, TX, has to offer. You can also give us a call at 469-518-4211, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

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