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Is Your Central Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

Steps to Take if Your AC Keeps Freezing Up

These are some of the most common reasons for your AC unit to freeze up.

AC unit freeze upThe most common cause for a central air conditioner to freeze up is lack of airflow to the AC unit. The first thing you should do when your air conditioning unit freezes up is to turn off the “cool” and “auto” settings on your thermostat so the fan will help your AC evaporator coil thaw out.

Here are several possible causes why your central air conditioning unit is freezing up:

When Was the Last Time You Checked or Changed Your Air Conditioner Filter?

A dirty air conditioner filter or an air filter that is too thick and dense severely restricts air flow to your AC unit. This is especially true with the newer more energy efficient air conditioners with higher SEER ratings. Remember to turn your air conditioning system off and set it to fan to allow it to thaw. Check the condition of your AC unit air filter. If the filter is is dirty, most likely that is causing your AC unit to freeze. Something as simple as a dirty filter can cause bigger problems that can require major AC repairs. Remember to check your air conditioning system air filter and replace with a clean one whenever you see it getting dirty. You should change you air conditioner air filter at regular intervals. Most air conditioning manufacturers suggest every four weeks or sooner if it gets dirty or clogged before then.

Dirty Air Conditioner Evaporator Coilcoil_dirt_clean

If you have been using an ill fitting air filter or a hogs hair type air filter that allows too much dirt and dust to get through to your air conditioner evaporator coil it will get dirty, become clogged and restrict air flow. If you attempt to do an “in place” coil cleaning yourself you must be extremely careful to not bend any of the fins on your coil. They bend VERY easy!!!! Replacing an evaporator coil is VERY COSTLY. It is generally best to call a professional air conditioning repair technician to clean your coils properly.

 Restricted Air Flow

Check the registers, the duct connectors and the ductwork. Is your ductwork leaking air? Is your ductwork extremely dirty, blocking airflow to your air conditioning system? Clean any blockages that are restricting airflow to the AC unit. If necessary, have a Fix Your AC Fast inspect your ductwork for damage and leaks. You may need to have your ductwork professionally cleaned to clear the blockage from the ducts.

After your air conditioning system has thawed, airflow is cleared and the filter is changed, turn on and monitor the AC unit. If your AC unit continues to freeze up, you need to have the issue diagnosed by a professional HVAC technician.

Freon Leak

Another reason for air conditioner freeze up is the lack of coolant. However, if your air conditioner is low on freon that is not a normal condition that occurs over time.  If the air conditioning unit has leaked coolant and the levels are low, the air conditioning system works harder than normal and can form ice on the coils and pipes.

It is extremely important that the coolant or Freon level of an air conditioning system be checked often. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America or ACCA recommend checking once a year to maintain the proper Freon levels. If your Freon levels are low either the proper charge was never added to your system or there is a leak which should be repaired.  A 10% loss of Freon or coolant will cost the home or business owner 20 percent more in electrical costs and can cause undue wear and tear on your unit.

Low levels of Freon can cause compressor failure, reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner. Freon leaks will not get smaller and will usually increase in severity over time so a repair can save money on service as well.

Freon Leaks can be caused by many problems including unit vibration, physical damage (from lawn movers, pets, etc.), stress, worn service valves, etc. Methods for locating leaks include visual inspection, high viscosity liquid leak detector, electronic detection equipment, ultraviolet leak detection and a nitrogen isolation test. Of all of the methods the nitrogen isolation test is one of the most effective methods for locating all the leaks in the a system.

Your professional Fix Your AC Fast HVAC technician will perform a dye test to find out where your air conditioning system is leaking, fix the leak, recharge the system with coolant and prime the air conditioning unit.

AC Troubleshooting Tips

How to Troubleshoot Your Air Conditioner or Heat Pump and When To Call a Professional AC Repair Service

air conditioning repair tech checking condenserThere are times when your air conditioning and heating system really doesn’t require the service of an expert AC repair service. Here are some common troubleshooting tips to go over before you call for air conditioning or heat pump repair.

Air Conditioner Not Cooling or Blowing?

Check circuit breakers at fuse box. The outdoor air conditioner condenser unit and indoor air handler unit have their own breaker. Even if breakers appear to be in the correct position, they are often tripped. Flip circuit breaker off and back on

Indoor Air Conditioning Unit Leaking Water?

If the AC unit is leaking water one of three possible things has occurredair conditioner leaking water water w 2 inch flood 11-19-12
1. Drain line is plugged. Check to see if your air conditioner’s drain line is draining properly. If it is not you can clear it by attaching a shop vac to the drain line opening in your home and /or outside drain line where it drains into the ground.
2. AC Evaporator coil is dirty. Dirt, mold, and algae are growing on your coil causing it to drip. Evaporator coil cleaning is something that should be done by an air conditioning repair professional. Air conditioner evaporator coils are very costly to replace and the fins are VERY easily bent.
3. Coil is frozen with ice. Air flow is restricted to your coil. Check your air conditioner filter to make sure it is not dirty. Change your air filter of it. In the meantime, turn off your air conditioning unit and let it run on fan only to let it defrost. It could also be caused by your air conditioner being low on freon. If that is the case you should call an air conditioning repair professional to perform a leak test. You will need to turn off the AC unit and call for AC repair service.

Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

When your air conditioner evaporator coils freeze up it is indicative of restricted air flow and/or your system is low on freon. Restricted air flow is caused by a dirty air conditioning filter or a  dirty evaporator coil.

If your system is low on freon it means you have a freon leak. Air conditioning systems do not get low on freon as a natural occurrence of time and use and can cause serious damage if not addressed.

It is extremely important that the coolant or Freon level of an air conditioning system be checked often. A 10% loss of Freon or coolant will cost the home or business owner 20 percent more in electrical costs and can cause undue wear and tear on your unit. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America or ACCA recommend checking once a year to maintain the proper Freon levels. If your Freon levels are low either the proper charge was never added to your system or there is a leak which should be repaired.

Low levels of Freon can cause compressor failure, reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner, can freeze the evaporator coil, and many other problems. Freon leaks will not get smaller and will usually increase in severity over time so a repair can save money on service as well. The laws on CFC’s do not allow an air conditioning contractor to add Freon to a leaky commercial system if the leak is within 30% of the units capacity. They are required to fix the leak in the system. Violation of this law may cause contractors to loose their license.

Freon leaks can be caused by many problems including unit vibration, physical damage (from lawn movers, pets, etc.), stress, worn service valves, etc. Methods for locating leaks include visual inspection, high viscosity liquid leak detector, electronic detection equipment, ultraviolet leak detection and a nitrogen isolation test. Of all of the methods the nitrogen isolation test is one of the most effective methods for locating all the leaks in the a system.

Air Conditioner Fan Runs Continuously?

Make sure your  air conditioner thermostat is set to the “Auto” position.

AC Unit Runs But Does Not Cool Below 78 degrees

1. Your AC Unit is possibly low on freon
2. Your ductwork in the attic is leaking
3. Your air conditioner or heat pump is old and inefficient and can not keep up with the heat load
4. Your air conditioner is under sized for the heat load demand

nest air conditioner and heat pump thermostat Thermostat Not Registering Correct Temperature?

A temperature reading of within three (3) degrees up or down is considered normal. New digital thermostats are more accurate.

Are Some Rooms Warmer than Others?

In the warmer room, make sure the air conditioner vent is open or open it further. If this does not resolve the problem, the situation is the result of one of the following three conditions.
1. The ductwork was not sized properly
2. The air conditioning system needs to be balanced by adjusting the air flow dampers in the grills
3. The ductwork has come apart and is leaking cool air into the attic.
Call for Air Conditioning Repair Service.

Musty or Mildew Odor?

1. Your ductwork got wet and is giving off a musty odor or it’s possibly growing mold.microbial growth-bacterial-fungus-mold-on -ac-coil
2. No AC air filters were used and the ductwork is dirty and growing mold.
3. No filters or wrong filters were used and evaporator coil is plugged up with algae, microbial growth, fungus, mold and bacteria.
4. Drain pan is full of algae, fungus, mold and bacteria.
Schedule air conditioning repair service for an AC Tune up and Air Duct Cleaning and Duct Sanitizing. Our air conditioning professionals will suggest the best options for your situation.

When Do AC Filters Need Cleaning?

AC filters should be kept clean or replaced monthly. You should be using filters with a minimum MERV rating of 8 or higher. Please visit our section on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

coil_dirt_cleanDirty Coil?

As dirt, debris, pollen and spores accumulate on your air conditioner evaporator coil over time it will produce microbial growth, fungus, mold and bacteria. This build-up will restrict your air flow and cause you to have less cooling throughout your house and, at the same time, increase your electric bill. The bacteria and mold spores will circulate through your entire home and possibly affect your allergies and your health. The only way to fix this problem is to have the coil professionally cleaned.

Why Should I Choose a Programmable Thermostat?TR_ComfortLink II_Smart Control - Medium

Most programmable thermostats are capable of four different time and temperature settings. A programmable air conditioner thermostat will reduce your power bill by fluctuating temperature settings while you are at work, away or asleep. We highly recommend this product.

Is a yearly Tune-Up necessary?

All AC units should be maintained at least once per year.

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