Keep Your Air Conditioner From Freezing This Summer

Keep Your Air Conditioner From Freezing This Summer | Hartman Bros.No, a frozen air conditioner won’t make your home even cooler this summer. In fact, ice formation on the A/C indoor evaporator coil will cause cooling performance to decline steadily and rapidly. It may eventually damage expensive components like the compressor and even cause water damage inside the house (when the system shuts down and all that ice melts).

Ice forming on the evaporator coil comes from condensation of water vapor in the air. When everything’s functioning properly, the evaporator coil that extracts heat from indoor air stays in the 40-degree range. Condensation simply drips off and is carried away by the condensate drain line. When the coil temperature drops below freezing for any reason, however, condensation — gallons of it — starts turning to ice that coats the coil surfaces, eventually forming a solid block that obstructs airflow through the coil. The system then runs non-stop until a safety sensor automatically shuts it down — or some major component fails due to overheating.

So what can you do to help prevent coil icing?

Change the air filter monthly. Low system air flow means the coil doesn’t extract sufficient heat to keep coil temperatures above freezing. Ice is the result. A monthly filter change helps keep airflow at optimum levels and the coil ice-free.

Annual maintenance by an HVAC service technician includes these checks to prevent freeze-ups:

  • Refrigerant measurement. Insufficient refrigerant circulating through the coils also triggers icing. Low refrigerant pressure causes the refrigerant to vaporize more rapidly and pushes coil temperatures below freezing. Since low refrigerant is almost always due to leakage somewhere, the technician can troubleshoot the leak, then add refrigerant to the specified level.
  • Coil inspection and cleaning. An evaporator coil coated with dust or dirt doesn’t efficiently absorb heat energy, causing coil temperature to drop and ice to form. Since the evaporator coil is sealed inside the air handler, inspection and cleaning is a part of yearly preventive maintenance by a qualified service tech.

For qualified service to prevent or resolve frozen air conditioner issues, in Fort Wayne contact the HVAC professionals at Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about frozen air conditioners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 260-376-2961.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “GSPhotography/Shutterstock”

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    Richard Hartman Richard Hartman has worked in many capacities: service, installations, and production of sheet metal since the early years of the business.... More »