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What Is A Frozen AC?

April 28, 2023 | Blog

As the weather gets warmer, it may feel like your home never gets cool enough no matter how much you crank up the AC. Sometimes this might be because your air conditioner has frozen over. Now, you might be thinking, how could anything possibly freeze in this heat?

Southern Air Mississippi is here to answer all of your questions about your frozen air conditioner. Read on to learn why your AC freezes, how to tell if it’s frozen and how to thaw it out!

Why Does An Air Conditioner Freeze Over?

System airflow is key to ensuring your air conditioner stays operational. When running smoothly, refrigerant circulates through your system as it constantly changes from liquid to gas and back again. Typically, warm air heats cold liquid refrigerant in the evaporator coil, raising the temperature of the refrigerant until it turns into a gas and passes into the compressor.

The warm refrigerant gas cools down in the compressor until it returns to a liquid state and the cycle continues. Without proper airflow over the evaporator coil, there’s nothing raising the temperature of the cold liquid refrigerant, so your AC tends to freeze.

Here are some of the things to look out for that can impact your system airflow:

  • Dirty air filter
  • Damaged AC blower fan
  • Dirty evaporator coil
  • Blocked or collapsed air ducts

To ensure that your airflow is always at its best, we recommend scheduling regular HVAC maintenance at least once a year. Annual maintenance goes a long way in preventing minor issues that lead to larger problems such as frozen air conditioners.

Identifying A Frozen Air Conditioner

While the most obvious way to identify a frozen AC is seeing an ice buildup on your refrigerant line or evaporator coil, many homeowners don’t check their outdoor unit regularly. And even if they do check the outdoor unit, the ice might not be clearly visible from inside the unit if the view is obstructed by interior components such as fan blades.

There are some signs that your AC may be frozen that don’t involve inspecting your outdoor unit. For instance, your unit may be frozen if you notice less cool air flowing from your vents or if you notice condensation forming on the indoor unit or condensate drain.

How To Thaw Your Air Conditioner

Thawing out your air conditioner is a task you can tackle yourself in most cases. Start by shutting off your air conditioner using your thermostat, then switch the fan on. This will push warm air through the coil to help melt the ice faster.

Depending on the severity of the freeze, it may take a full day for the unit to defrost. While you’re waiting, it’s a good idea to check your air filter and vents to see if there are any contaminants restricting airflow. Once your unit is thawed and any blockage is cleared, try turning your AC back on and monitor it to see if ice begins to form again.

If you’re still experiencing cooling issues after your AC is completely thawed, give your local HVAC service provider a call. This is likely a sign that the ice has damaged parts of your system, which will require repairs before your air conditioner can work properly.

Call Southern Air For Professional HVAC Repair!

When your air conditioner starts to look more like an icebox while your home feels like an oven, it’s time to call in the licensed technicians at Southern Air Mississippi! The trusted technicians at Southern Air are here to help all of your McComb AC repair needs. Contact us today to schedule your next repair or annual AC maintenance!

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