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Why Is My AC Unit Freezing Up?

Residential HVAC System

With summer still a bit around the corner, you may not be thinking about troubleshooting your air conditioner just yet. However, it never hurts to head into the season well prepared! One common question we get from clients is, “Why is my AC freezing up?” Let’s take a look at this topic, so you will be prepared for this issue as summer approaches.

How Air Conditioners “Freeze”

When you see a large chunk of ice hanging from the back of your AC unit, it’s tough to understand what exactly is going on. The ice forms on the evaporator coil; this is the piece responsible for “evaporating” the heat, moving it from the inside to the outside of your home.

There are two main reasons this coil ends up frozen:

  1. You’re low on refrigerant (which usually means you have a leak as well)
  2. The airflow into the system is too low

In both scenarios, the evaporator coil ends up becoming “too cool” and condensation forms on the surface. Once the condensation cools below freezing, the icing effect starts.

How to Troubleshoot a Frozen AC Unit

Here are a couple of basic steps you can follow to try to fix it on your own:

  1. Turn it off. No, we don’t mean down. Turn it completely off. This allows the unit to thaw out over a period of a few hours; it will take less time if the outside temp is warm enough.
  2. Check the airflow. Make sure registers are open and not covered by any wayward furniture or window coverings. Also, replace any air filters by the furnace, air return, and/or handling locations.

If your unit continues to freeze up, you’ll need professional help. It’s usually not possible to top up refrigerant levels on your own, plus, finding where your line is leaking can be difficult.

Need Some Help?

No problem. Contact Jerry’s Air Conditioning & Heating today and one of our AC troubleshooting experts will happily come out for an inspection.

Jerry's Air Conditioning & Heating



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Florence, SC 29501

843-665-7470

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