"Frozen" is the name of an adorable Disney movie. But when it applies to your air conditioner, it's not cute! And it doesn’t take a genius to know that the block of ice you're seeing on your frozen air conditioner is directly related to your cooling problem. That ice is a sign of a frozen evaporator coil, which is a serious cooling issue and a principal cause of reduced airflow in your home.
If air doesn’t flow freely due to an ice buildup, it starts getting noticeable as your home gets warmer. The evaporator coils are located in the indoor portion of your air conditioner and are comprised of a series of coils made from copper or steel. Your evaporator coil is pretty much the most important part of your AC unit. And without getting too technical here, the evaporator coil works alongside the condenser and removes the humidity from the air as the condenser condenses this humidity into water for elimination. Ok, that was a mouthful. So in simple terms: the evaporator coil makes your air cold.
Several things can cause your evaporator coil to freeze. One is a lack of airflow across the coil. Airflow problems can be caused by anything from a clogged air filter to leaks in your ducts. The refrigerant flowing through the copper or steel tubing is designed to remove the humidity from your home. So if the airflow is blocked in your evaporator coil, you will have a frozen air conditioner.
Dirty evaporator coils can also cause them to freeze up. This is why regular AC tune-ups are necessary. Your evaporator coil can also freeze if there’s a low level of refrigerant. Evaporator coils together with refrigerant absorb heat from your home’s air. So if your air conditioning unit is losing refrigerant, it will need to be serviced. Other causes include mechanical failures such as irregularities in your refrigerant lines or a blower fan that is not functioning properly. Whatever the cause is, you need to call us! But before you do:
Of course we're always happy to come out and service your air conditioner if it freezes up, and (here comes the shameless plug) Super Heat & Air will get there fast! But you can thaw out your evaporator coil yourself in the meantime. The first step when you see that frozen chunk of frustration around your evaporator coil is to turn your air conditioner off. However, defrosting it too quickly can cause your condensation drain to overflow, which could lead to water damage.
After you have turned your air conditioner off, try changing the Auto switch on your thermostat to the On position for the fan. This will prevent your evaporator coil from thawing out too quickly. Also, never try to thaw the ice out with a blow dryer or any other heating element. Thawing it yourself may solve the problem, but you should have one of our expert HVAC technicians check it out for you anyway and perform maintenance on it.
Another thing you can do before you call us is check your air filter to see if it’s dirty or clogged. Sometimes a simple air filter replacement can solve the problem. In any case preventing water damage and other serious problems is what's up. So if your air conditioner is frozen, don't let it run that way for too long!