With temperatures soaring, the last thing you need is to arrive home to a freezing air conditioning unit. At first glance you might have thought it was a good thing, after all ice means more cold air right? Wrong, your AC unit is a finely tuned piece of machinery and when it gets out of balance, the system that controls your refrigerant can freeze, blowing warm or no air at all leaving you in the hot seat, literally.
How Does Air Conditioning Work to Make Cold Air?
The heart of your air conditioning unit is the refrigerant in your coils. Once activated, the refrigerant relies on air to blow across the coil cooling the air while keeping the coils warm so they do not freeze. The science is simple; the coil removes hot air from inside transfers it through the refrigerant to another coil which forces the heat outside your home. Have you ever noticed that your outdoor unit blows hot air? The reason for this is your unit is transferring heat from inside and transferring it outside leaving the temperature within your home cool and comfortable. If the system malfunctions or something interferes with the warm air from blowing over the coils, or the pressure is incorrect, the coils can get too cool and they can freeze.
What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?
Moisture: High levels of humidity can add to the potential of your coils freezing over. As ice begins to form warmer air is unable to reach the coils to keep them warm and in proper working order. More moisture, equals more ice, creating a vicious cycle that can leave you and your family members hot and uncomfortable as temperatures rise.
Airflow: One of the most common causes of a freezing ac unit is airflow, or rather a lack of airflow. There are numerous reasons that can cause this including, a malfunctioning motor to the air intake. If something interferes with the airflow system blowing warm air across the coils while the compressor is running, your AC will begin to freeze, and if this isn’t enough lack of air flow has the potential to cause even more problems as time goes on.
Blocked air duct: Air moves around your home through your duct system. When your ducts are blocked and obstructing airflow the amount of air flowing to your coils will be affected allowing them to freeze.
Bad Blower Motor: The blower motor is an important part of your AC system and when it stops working properly it affects the amount of air blowing over the coils. Little or no air flow equals freezing coils. A telltale sign of a malfunctioning or bad blower motor is rattling sounds coming from your AC unit.
Low Voltage to the Fan: Occasionally, the problem may be your electrical system. Your AC unit requires a certain amount of electricity to run efficiently. This is one of the reasons why your power bill increases during the summer months. If your fan isn’t receiving enough power, it can create a problem with airflow which can result in your coils freezing over.