It can be weird to find a chunk of ice on your outdoor air conditioner, especially during the summer months. While you may think your AC can’t possibly freeze on such hot days, it can happen more often than you’d realize. Even worse is that a frozen AC unit doesn’t have much cooling power and might also signal a serious problem.
If your question is, ‘how do I keep my air conditioner from freezing up?’, keep reading this article and find out seven effective ways.
If you notice that your AC unit has frozen over, turn it off. You can set your system to fan to have a chance to thaw out. If you have a blow dryer, you can gently warm your system.
Unfreezing can take anywhere from one to 24 hours, depending on how much ice has been formed. However, never try to break the ice with a sharp object; it can damage the air conditioning components.
2. Check the filters
A dirty air filter will keep your system from running smoothly and is the most common cause of frozen AC condensers. Inspect the air filters if they are choked with dust and dirt. You need to clean or change them as necessary. If you use your air conditioning system a lot, change the filters once a month.
The choice of filter vary based on:
- The type of filter suitable for the unit
- Your area of residence (if there is a lot of pollen)
- If someone smokes in your home
- If someone in your home has asthma, COPD, or allergies
3. Clean the coils
If there’s a clog in the coil, the water will be stuck and freeze. It’s necessary to clean the evaporator coil since it can stop your air conditioner from freezing up. A cleaner coil will work better and enable your AC system to run more efficiently.
4. Look out for refrigerant leaks
A refrigerant leak could happen due to holes or cracks and be responsible for the frozen air conditioning system. So, look out for any cracks and holes and get them fixed quickly because such malfunctions can disrupt the entire system.
5. Check the thermostat
Your air conditioner shouldn’t be set below 20°, even when you want to cool your home quickly. So if your AC is set at such a low temperature for hours, it can bring the refrigerant temperature down to freezing. Always keep it at a moderate temperature!
6. Don’t forget the weather
If your outdoor AC runs on a cold night, ice formation can occur. A good rule is always to turn your air conditioner off when the outdoor temperature dips.
7. Stop blocking air vents
Most people are not aware that a simple vent blockage can freeze their AC systems. Sometimes, you unknowingly block the air vents by keeping large furniture or shades which interfere with the unit’s airflow. You may also close vents that are not in use but remember closing too many of them also causes air conditioners to freeze.
This problem is easy to fix! Ensure that nothing is blocking the vents and there is ample space for air circulation.
Tips For Regular Maintenance
It’s an excellent practice to maintain your system by doing these steps regularly. You should:
- Clean the evaporator coils.
- Clear the condensate drain.
- Inspect pressure and coolant level.
- Check out the capacitors, loose wires, and relays.
- Avoid handling coolant chemicals; they can be harmful and toxic.
- Lubricate the condenser fan motor and blades, if needed.
For better protection, you can purchase a home warranty plan that covers the air conditioning system of your home. It is a service contract covering the repair or replacement cost of your home’s critical systems and appliances.
Once you have a home warranty, you can place service requests whenever your AC breaks down. The company will send a licensed technician to your home to fix your air conditioner. In exchange for the service, you would be required to pay a small deductible of around $50 – $100, regardless of how complex the repair is.
It can be frustrating to have a frozen air conditioner, but the problem is preventable. You have to regularly maintain your system and give it a good clean-up. Then, you can enjoy the comfortable environment!