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Why is My Air Conditioner Frozen Over?

Frozen-ACWith record setting heatwaves being felt across the country already this summer, it may seem like a good sign to see ice forming on your air conditioner while you’re using it. That means it’s working well, right? Well, unfortunately not so much.

It’s actually a sign that the system is dealing with a serious issue that is preventing it from operating properly. If it’s not repaired in time, the whole air conditioner could shut down. Have a look below at what might be causing your air conditioner to freeze over, and what you can do about it.

The Air Filter

The most common cause for an air conditioner coil freezing over is a clogged air filter. Most homeowners don’t even know that they have an air filter in their air conditioner, but they do. And it needs to be changed at least once every three months while the system is being used on a regular basis in order to stay in good shape. If this doesn’t happen, the air filter can become clogged and cut off most of the air from flowing into the system.

The air conditioner relies on the constant influx of warm air from the ducts to maintain its temperature balance. Without air flowing over the coil, the system will continue to harvest heat from the air around it. The temperature around the coil will drop until the condensate on it eventually freezes into ice.

The Air Handler

Another common issue is if the air handler in the system malfunctions in some way. The air handler is the part of the air conditioner that is actually responsible for circulating air throughout the home during operation. If the air handler stops working the way it should, it can easily prevent the system from moving air through itself and result in the same issue as above.

Why Ice is a Problem

Ice is an issue because it cuts off the system’s ability to properly cool the air in the home. Your air conditioner’s output will drop significantly the longer the system is frozen over. What’s worse, though, is that the ice can actually spread down the refrigerant line to other parts of the air conditioner. This will eventually result in other malfunctions, and could quickly lead to the entire system breaking down.

What You Can Do

If your air conditioner already has ice on it, the best thing you can do is to call for repairs as soon as possible. If you’re concerned about preventing the problem from happening in the first place, we recommend that you change your air filter every three months during the summer. You should also schedule preventive maintenance for your air conditioner at least once a year, if you aren’t doing that already.

Southwest Heating and Cooling provides a full range of AC Repair services in Littleton, CO. If you need to have your air conditioner professionally repaired, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our professional technicians. We’ll make sure that your air conditioner stays in good condition.  

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