How to Deal with an Air Conditioner Freezing Up

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Ice on and around your air conditioner may initially catch you by surprise – especially in the middle of summer. You may quickly check the inside of your AC and found the coils covered in ice as well. It will not take you long before you understand there is a problem in your air conditioner. Of course, you should call an aircon repair service to fix the problem as soon as possible. However, it would be a good idea to check a few things on your own before you call a technician.

Some Common Causes

There are a number of reasons why an air conditioner freezes up. You need to identify the exact cause in your case. Insufficient air flow is one common cause. If the cool air is obstructed inside your AC, it may make the evaporative coils dirty and excessively cool, causing icing around the coils. Any leaks in the refrigerant lines may also cause freezing up. Low outdoor temperature could be a reason as well, especially when the temperature falls below 60 degrees F.

Steps You Should Take

If you notice ice on your air conditioner, you should take the following steps.
• Defrost the unit – Simply start by turning off your AC unit. Make sure you place a large trey under the unit to collect the water as the ice melts. You can also run the AC in ‘fan only’ mode to let the ice thaw. Then clean the entire unit with dry clothes.

• Check the temperature setting – Ice can build up in your AC, if you set the temperature too low. Ideally, you should not set the temperature more than 18 degrees lower than the outdoor temperature. So check the temperature and adjust the thermostat setting accordingly.

• Check for any obstructions – If there is any furniture or other obstructions in front of your air conditioner, consider removing those, so that the unit gets space to release the cool air without any problem.

• Clean the air filter – You can easily remove the air filter from the unit. Check whether the filter is dirty. It is important to clean the filter and coils regularly. Without regular maintenance, your AC’s air filter may accumulate dust, dirt, and may get clogged, obstructing the air flow inside the system. Clean the filter with water and soap. If required, consider replacing the filter to improve air flow throughout the system.

• Clean the outside unit – Whether you are using a window AC, a central AC, or a mini split AC, it will have a large unit installed outside your home. You should check the outdoor unit for any blockage or obstruction in air flow. Sometime a foreign object may block the air flow or there could be a problem with a dirty filter obstructing normal air circulation. You need to clean the outdoor unit and see whether the problem goes away.

If the problem persists, consider calling an aircon repair service immediately. An HVAC technician is the best person to detect the root cause of the problem and provide you a permanent solution.

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