Why Do Air Conditioning Units Freeze Up?

HVAC RepairNothing is worse than a malfunctioning air conditioner unit during the heat of summer, but unfortunately, that is when problems occur. What can be especially frustrating is when the unit seems to be working and is cooling enough to actually create ice but isn’t dispersing cold air. Simply put, the ice constricts the unit and it is unable to work properly until thawed out. A number of factors can cause the air conditioner to freeze over and stop working.

Compromised Airflow

The air conditioner relies on a properly designed airflow system in order to function. The heat which comes from warm air as it is cooled also leaves the coils thawed out, but without an appropriate amount of air, the coils will in turn freeze. A number of things can cause such a situation whether as simple as having too many room vents closed to needing new filters or blocked ductwork.

Dirty coils are also a common cause of the problem, as they can obstruct airflow allowing themselves to freeze which in and of itself blocks the flow even more and therefore the problem only gets worse once it begins. Yet another issue that leads to poor airflow is a damaged blower fan. It’s self-explanatory that if the fan isn’t working efficiently there won’t be the proper amount of air movement going through the unit and to the vents.

Lack of Refrigerant

It may seem a lack of refrigerant would mean the air isn’t cool enough to freeze, but in reality, the opposite is true. The system is designed to work at a specific pressure, which allows for condensation to form and drain from the unit. When that pressure is lowered, the refrigerant acts differently. It still causes condensation, but not quickly enough to properly drain which leaves it time to freeze. Again, once it begins to freeze it can only get worse until the unit is turned off and allowed to thaw out.

Oregon’s Best HVAC Company

There are occasions when a unit simply freezes one time and will work fine again once thawed out, but such a situation is rare. Far more typical is that once the unit freezes it will continue to do so until properly repaired by a certified HVAC technician. If you’re experiencing difficulty with a freezing air conditioner near the Springfield, Oregon area, contact us and we’ll have a clean professional come by at your convenience to assess and repair the damage so you can get back to being comfortable in your home.