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Covenant Heating and Cooling Blog

Why Is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?


We’ve discovered there are two typical schools of thought when it comes to an air conditioner developing ice all of the sudden:

  1. Well, it’s a refrigeration system, so ice is supposed to form like this, right? or
  2. Um, it’s the middle of summer, this isn’t normal–what’s wrong with my AC?

The latter is the school of thought we hope you have when you see ice forming anywhere on your air conditioner. Because it’s true, ice development on an air conditioner is not normal.

Fortunately, we have an explanation for why this occurs as well as a solution for you so it never happens again and threatens your comfort and your home’s structural integrity. Read on to learn more!

Ice Is Never Part of the Normal Cooling Process for a Central AC

Air conditioning systems keep your home cool by utilizing electricity, motors, fans, and refrigerant–not by using ice in any part of the process. But that doesn’t mean that ice can’t form–specifically on the system’s evaporator coil–and start causing problems for your comfort, the lifespan of your air conditioner, and even your property.

“Where Does This Ice Come From?”

First, if you have a dirty or clogged-up air filter, it may be restricting airflow, meaning not as much air is circulating over the evaporator coils. This air is supposed to circulate, it’s where and how the evaporator coil rids your home of heat. The refrigerant inside this coil absorbs heat and turns it into the chilled air that makes its way back into your home.

Your HVAC air filter is in place to protect the HVAC systems themselves from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get inside and harm its components. But this filter does need to be changed every 1-3 months during periods of use, by the homeowner.

Anyway, because the refrigerant won’t have enough heat to absorb in this scenario. it means the refrigerant going through the coil will be too cold, and therefore will freeze.

Another reason ice might form on your air conditioner is that there is a refrigerant leak–that is, your air conditioner doesn’t have enough refrigerant. Refrigerant is a chemical substance that actually makes the cooling process possible. Without enough of this substance to absorb and distribute heat, the temperature of the coils can fall too low, and therefore start freezing up.

This is a tricky problem to have because this requires not only a refill (recharge) of refrigerant, but the source of the leak must be located and your AC must be repaired. Fortunately, we can help with all that!

The first and only thing you should do when you notice ice on your air conditioner is contact a trained and experienced professional. Only we know how to adequately thaw out the ice in a way that doesn’t further damage your system nor your property. Plus we can make sure whatever problem caused it to begin with is resolved.

When you’re in need of quality AC repair in Mount Juliet, TN, you don’t have to look any further than Covenant Heating and Cooling, where we are “Dedicated to the Promise of Serving You!” Contact us today.

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