Why Do AC Systems Freeze?

When a cooling system freezes up, it will no longer provide the cooled air you need to maintain a comfortable climate in your Portsmouth, VA, home. While the unit should defrost in about an hour, it will likely freeze again within a short period of use. This cycle of freezing and defrosting can indicate one of several underlying problems. 

A nearby professional who is experienced in cooling system care can diagnose and fix the problem for you. Fixing the underlying problem will leave your unit operating more efficiently and eliminate the problem of freezing. There are a few things your HVAC technician will check as they diagnose your cooling system.

A Lack of Airflow Will Lead to a Frozen AC Unit in Your Portsmouth, VA, Home

The most common cause of a freezing cooling system is a lack of, or reduction in, airflow. Your air conditioner relies on the influx of warm air, which the compressor cools and pushes to the blower fan. 

In turn, the blower fan pushes the cooled air into your home via the ducts. If the airflow is inhibited at any point in this process, the compressor will freeze up.

Collapsed Ducts

You might experience a frozen AC if your ductwork becomes damaged or blocked. A blockage in your home’s ducts will result in a backup of airflow. As a result, your system can’t take in more warm air to be treated. Since the compressor will continue operating, the coils will freeze.

Faulty Blower Motor or Blower Fan

During a seasonal inspection, your trusted technician will service the blower motor by lubricating the bearings, tightening the belt, and checking the condition of the blower fan. If the motor isn’t properly lubricated, it will eventually overheat and seize. Another possibility is that the belt will break or the fan will come loose. 

Any of these issues will lead to a blower motor assembly that’s no longer functioning as it should. Since the fan is no longer forcing cooled air out into your home, the compressor won’t be able to process more air to be cooled. In a short time, the coils in your Portsmouth, VA, home’s cooling system will freeze over.

Lack of Power

Your AC unit requires a specific voltage to operate. A larger HVAC system will typically have a dedicated circuit to meet those demands. However, if you don’t have a dedicated circuit, you may be facing an energy supply issue. Insufficient power can cause the AC unit to freeze up if there’s not enough energy to run the blower motor and fan.

A nearby professional HVAC technician can determine whether your Portsmouth, VA, home lacks sufficient power to manage your cooling system’s needs. If so, they can offer solutions that will resolve the problem, such as installing a dedicated circuit.

Dirty Air Filter

If your AC unit’s air filter isn’t kept clean, you will experience many different problems with the operation of your cooling system. The air that is pushed out through your ductwork will not be adequately filtered. You will also experience a frozen AC more frequently as the dirty air filter inhibits proper airflow.

Dusty Coils Can Lead to Freezing in Your Portsmouth, VA, Home’s AC System

The air filter in your air conditioner serves many purposes, including keeping dust from gathering on the refrigerant coils. If dust does accumulate on the coils, moisture will cause the dust to thicken and form an insulating barrier. 

This barrier causes the cold temperature of the coils to become trapped, which can in turn make the system freeze up.

Insufficient Refrigerant Levels Lead to Frozen Coils

Another thing your trusted technician will check is the refrigerant level in your cooling system. When there isn’t sufficient refrigerant, the coils will begin to accumulate condensation. 

Low refrigerant levels will also cause the coils to cool prematurely, leading to condensation freezing onto the coils. Once this process starts, it will continue to build up more ice on the coils.

When this occurs, you should contact your HVAC technician. It won’t take them long to add enough refrigerant. They will also check to make sure your system isn’t leaking refrigerant. If they find a leak, they will suggest repairs to fix that problem.

Protect Your Air Conditioner

You can prevent your AC system from freezing up and avoid other problems with your cooling system when you schedule maintenance with Energy Pro Heating & Cooling. We provide comprehensive HVAC care, including seasonal checkups, repairs, and new system installations. Call us today to schedule an evaluation of your system.

April 28th, 2022 | Heating and Cooling