How To Repair An AC Unit That Is Frozen In Houston
Of course, you would like your air conditioner to keep your home cool, but what happens if there is a malfunction and your air conditioner freezes up?
Although it might seem counter-intuitive for an air conditioning system to freeze when it is operated during the hottest weather, it can happen and does occur every year to many unprepared homeowners. On a very hot day, a frozen air conditioner might leave you and your entire house very uncomfortable.
Has Your Air Conditioner Frozen Up?
The very first sign that there might be ice buildup in your air conditioner can be when your system is not reaching your desired thermostat setting. You might notice it in the upstairs part of your house more quickly. If the air conditioning system is not properly cooling your home, put your hand over a supply register to see if you feel any air coming out of it. If the air is warm instead of cool, turn the system off and open up the evaporator’s access panel (for the evaporator’s location, check the manufacturer’s system diagram). If you notice there are frozen ac coils, or if any of the panels or equipment are encased in ice, your system’s refrigeration might have dropped under 32 degrees, which can result in a frozen AC.
What To Do When Your Air Conditioner Freezes?
Quite often, you can defrost the AC unit on your own. If you think there is a frozen evaporator coil you should not run the air conditioner since that can place strain on the compressor and cause it to become damaged and burn out. Locate the electrical breaker box and then turn the switch off that controls the power on your air conditioner to get the thawing process started on the coils. The process can take as long as 24 hours. You also can just turn the system off and turn the blower on to help thaw out the evaporator coils. Or you can just turn the system off and turn on the blower to help thaw out the evaporator coils. It is better to not attempt to clear away the ice by hand since that can end up damaging the components. After the coils and condenser have thawed, any standing water should be removed that might have pooled around the AC equipment.
Once the system has thawed out, the coils will need to be dried. If you haven’t turned the system’s blower on yet, restore the system’s power if necessary, and set the control on the thermostat to operate the fan or blower only. That will help to circulate air throughout the coils and system. You also might be able to speed the process up by using a hair dryer that is set on low. Just be careful to not use high heat or get too close to the unit’s coils with the hairdryer since that could potentially end up cracking them.
How Do You Repair A Frozen Air Conditioner?
There are a number of different things that can cause a frozen air conditioner and might require the expertise and experience of a qualified HVAC technician to repair them, but there are some things you can try to do on your own first.
1. Check Out The Vent Filters
Examine the vent filters to find out if they are clogged. That can restrict air flow. An air conditioning system may freeze due to a dirty filter. If the filter looks discolored or dirty, change them and then seek if that solves the problem.
2. Inspect The Fins and Coils
You also can inspect the cooling fins and coils around the evaporator to find out if they are dirty and need to be cleaned. If they use, gently remove any debris or dust using a soft brush. Check to see if all of your home’s supply registers are open in every room. Blocked registers might restrict air flow and that can affect the temperature of the evaporator and cause issues.
3. Check The Coolant Levels
If the coolant is low that can also affect the cooling efficiency and pressure of the AC system, which can cause the unit to freeze. At your local home improvement store, you can buy a coolant installation kit to check the refrigerant levels on your system and correct the levels. Call a professional HVAC technician if you suspect that your system has a refrigerant leak.
4. Reset The Power
After you take the proper steps to thaw out and correct the frozen ac unit, conduct a test to see if it once again cooling properly. If you have shut off the breaker, restore the power and turn down the thermostat to cool. After a couple of minutes, you should start feeling the cool air blowing out of the vents. If the system cycle for a really long without reaching your desired temperature or the air is warm still, there might be additional damage to your unit or you might have a refrigerant leak, then you will need to contact a qualified HVAC technician for assistance.
How Can You Prevent Future Frozen AC Lines?
Although a frozen ac might be caused by damaged equipment or malfunctions, some issues can be avoided by proper maintenance. Keep your evaporator coils clean, since dirty coils may restrict the airflow across them. Your system’s air filters should be replaced on a regular basis. Most manufacturers recommend that you change the air filters every three months at least. However, you might have to change them more often if you have pets. Set reminders on your computer or phone to remind yourself to change the air filters, or link your air filter changes with other regular home maintenance tasks. When you buy filters, purchase several at the same time so you have extra ones on hand to change them. Keep your air supply registers open to have good air circulation and flow, and then have your HVAC professional show you where the refrigerant lines are located on the system so you can check them on a regular basis to ensure they are not bent or blocked.
It is also good to keep shrubbery and trees trimmed away from your outside equipment in order to avoid leaves, twigs, and branches from getting into the system and cause problems. Consider getting your HVAC equipment serviced and inspected every year by an experienced technician who can assist you in making sure your system is properly maintained and might be able to troubleshoot any potential problems.
Keep in mind that, along with helping to avoid problems such as frozen systems, providing your air conditioning system with proper maintenance can also help to ensure that your unit runs efficiently, and that can help to reduce your cooling costs. If you discover that your system needs to be repaired, AC Man Houston can help to protect your budget from the costs that are associated with getting your AC unit back on track and operating properly once again.