Frozen AC Coils
Extreme summer heat is not far around the corner, which means it’s important that you start thinking about whether or not your HVAC system is in good working order.
If your AC unit has malfunctioned, a frozen coil just might be the culprit. Unfortunately, unlike a lot of other system breakdowns, a frozen AC coil can be the result of a number of issues…making it a tricky problem to diagnosis.
How to spot a frozen AC coil system malfunction
A telltale sign of a frozen AC coil somewhere in your system is frost or ice anywhere on your indoor unit. Problem is, indoor units are not always the most easy to access. So it’s important that you’re aware of what to look for.
It goes without saying that one of the very first symptoms of any AC issue is HEAT.
It your AC system isn’t pushing through cool air the way it should, first check your air supply. If the air blowing is at all warm or if the air has stopped blowing altogether, a frozen coil just might be the culprit.
Even if you’ve only noticed a slight decrease in the quality of the cool air in your home, you shouldn’t ignore the problem.
Frozen AC coils are known to cause a whole host of problems down the line, including causing an increase in moisture in your system, which could in turn cause pesky problems like condensation and water leaks.
Wondering what you can do to prevent frozen AC coils?
Here is a comprehensive list of the top HVAC issues that can cause your AC coils to freeze.
- A dirty air filter
A well functioning AC system needs to be able to move air easily throughout it in order for it to function as intended.
A dirty air filter can do a lot of damage, including obstructing the air and making you and your family sick from poor air quality.
Worst case, if air is not circulating as it should through your home or business, the coils can get too cold and even freeze.
- A broken fan
While keeping a clean AC filter is a great first step to maintaining your system, it won’t do any good if your fan isn’t pushing air as it should.
A fan with a broken motor or dirty blades can cause a lot of damage and a overall lack of air flow that could lead to a frozen AC coil.
- Blocked condensate lines
Condensation lines are a vital part of a working HVAC system. They are what drain away extra moisture from the humidity, bringing it to the pipes and eventually the floor drain.
What this means is that if the water gets trapped in one place because of a clog, it can freeze over.
- A malfunctioning thermostat
Your thermostats role in your HVAC system is to regularly check the temp of your home or business and maintain a consistent, comfortable living environment.
If your thermostat breaks or malfunctions, it can cause a whole host of problems, including causing your AC to run for too long or even not at all.
If left unfixed, a faulty AC unit from a malfunctioning thermostat can even cause frozen coils to develop.
- Refrigerant leaks
Refrigerant is the life-fuel of your AC system. It’s the chemical solution that flows through it, changing temp and pressure to soak up all the heat.
If your refrigerant starts to leak, it will take in more heat than it should due to a lack of pressure and stop working entirely.
This can cause the refrigerant lines, and in turn the coils, to freeze over.
Leaking refrigerant isn’t just bad for Mother Earth though. Depending on where you live it can even be against the law to have a leaking refrigerant line.
That’s why it’s of the utmost importance that you call on a professional to fix the leak rather than just topping up your system with more refrigerant and calling it a day.
How to deal with frozen AC coils
Once you have determined that you do indeed have a frozen AC coil problem, the next step is to get it fixed before more havoc can be wrecked on your system.
Below are the appropriate steps you should take to service your frozen AC coil issue.
- Turn the unit completely off. This will prevent overall compressor failure.
- Locate and clean up all Frozen AC coils are known to cause leaks when the ice starts to melt, so take a look around your property for any puddles and clean them up as necessary to prevent further damage to your building.
- DO NOT attempt to cut or chip the ice o This can damage the coils.
- Call on a professional. Diagnosing and repairing a frozen AC coil issue can be tricky, so it’s probably your best bet to call on a professional to get your unit back up and running as fast as possible — especially in the warmer summer months.
Prevention is key to avoiding frozen AC coils
If dealing with AC problems sound like a headache and a half, take heart. You can avoid frozen ac coils or any other common issues with your HVAC system by having a preventative maintenance plan in place for the unexpected.
Preventative maintenance plans are offered by most AC repair companies and include a yearly system inspection as well as periodic upkeep from a qualified HVAC specialist who will do things like change your AC filters, clean all coils, and inspect your lines for any leaks.
A frozen AC coil somewhere in your system is usually the end result of a minor problem that went undiagnosed for too long. But with a preventative maintenance plan in place, any problems with your system will be noticed right away, saving you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.
Learn more about how to get the right HVAC maintenance plan for your needs by clicking here.