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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.
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. The low outdoor temperature could be a reason as well, especially when the temperature falls below 60 degrees F.
It’s easy to tell if your AC has frozen up because there are three clear signs. You might see ice on the unit, feel warm air coming from a vent near it or hear hissing noises that sound like escaping gas. If you notice any of these warning signals, be sure to call an AC technician as soon as possible!
Your air conditioner can take anywhere from an hour to even a whole day just for the unit itself. If you catch this early enough before more damage is inflicted on your equipment- then whatever amount of time that takes (an hour or a full 24 hours) could be reduced if caught in time! The blower motor located inside pulls warm air from within the home and blows over refrigerant coils that make up an evaporator.
Your AC might be freezing because of a clogged drain. A condensate line can get blocked, trapping water in the air conditioner and causing your evaporator coil to turn into ice. Drain moisture that freezes will also cause your AC to shut off!
A dirty filter can cause your AC to freeze up. Air filters can become dirty over time, leading to poor airflow of the cold air you want. A clogged filter traps that cold inside and may even make ice start forming on your AC’s coils. Once this happens, an otherwise-working machine becomes inoperable due to a buildup of frost.
If you notice ice on your air conditioner, you should take the following steps.
Simply start by turning off your AC unit. Make sure you place a large tray 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.
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 settings accordingly.
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.
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.
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 airflow. Sometimes 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.
Watch this video if you wish to know more.