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How to Prevent and Correct Air Conditioner Freezing

Posted by Laura Landvik on Jul 24, 2014 10:00:51 AM

What Can You Do to Prevent and Correct Cooling System Freezing?

Historically, we’re entering into the hottest part of the summer, which means we’ll be relying on our cooling systems more than ever! What happens, though, if your air conditioner freezes up on you? Can you get it back on track yourself? Or is there something you can do now to prevent a freeze-up from happening?

There are several factors that can cause system freezing and many times that will take a professional HVAC technician to repair. That being said, one important and simple thing you can do to prevent and/or correct this problem is to make sure you are maintaining your cooling system well.

Do you have a dirty filter?

Maintaining a clean filter keeps the airflow in your system unrestricted. Once you’ve replaced or thoroughly cleaned the filter, you can speed up the thawing process by turning the system off and putting it on the ‘fan’ setting. After the ice has melted, switch the system setting back to normal – if refreezing occurs, it’s time to call in the professionals.

Does your cooling system have airflow Issues?

A dirty filter isn’t the only thing that affects airflow. After checking your air filter, make sure all intake vents on the air conditioning system are unobstructed in front of the registers, and open all exhaust vents on the air conditioning system as well. Major obstructions can lead to freezing.

What is your temperature set at?

Is your home set at a temperature that is simply too cold? Running the unit for a very cold temperature indoors for long durations can also cause the coil to freeze up prematurely. The outside coil may be experiencing problems due to temperature fluctuations, so try adjusting for a more ideal thermostat setting.

Is your refrigerant low?

In some cases, freezing is caused by a leak in the refrigerant lines. Over time problems can occur in joints, valves and fittings, which can cause a leak. An HVAC technician can help you determine whether it’s worth it to have the system repaired or it’s simply time for a replacement. The age of the system and the type of leak are important considerations when making this big decision.

Do you have a dirty evaporator coil?

This commonly happens over time and really sneaks up on a homeowner. Without proper maintenance and cleaning, your evaporator coil will become dirty and you’ll slowly lose airflow until the cooling process doesn’t work properly or freezes up altogether. This is not a do-it-yourself fix – call in a Minnesota Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer.

Is your blower motor or relay defective?

If your system’s blower motor is not running at the proper speed or not running at all, that too can be a contributing factor to a system freeze-up. Motor problems require a professional technician’s help.

Regardless of the cause of your freeze, whatever you do, don’t attempt to hurry the thawing process along by applying any form or heat (hair dryer, portable space heater) to the frozen areas! And be prepared to clean up a bit of a water mess as well.

The bottom line is that routine maintenance check-ups and proper filter care can greatly reduce the chances of your system freezing up. By maintaining your system each spring, you can hopefully avoid a system freeze and an interruption in your family’s cooling needs during the heat of the summer.

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For home maintenance and comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.

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Topics: Cooling