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Why Is My AC Freezing Up? 

Jun 1, 2024 | AC, Air Conditioner, Air Filters, Airflow, Freezing, Frozen, Leak, Refrigerant, Temperature, Thermostat, Vents

If your air conditioner is freezing up, you may just be left scratching your head, wondering how this happened. How does an AC unit freeze over in the heat? While we know this sounds puzzling, there could actually be multiple reasons why your air conditioning system is freezing up. So, feel free to explore with your Five Star Heating & Cooling Cincinnati experts the most common causes and troubleshooting steps to rectify a frozen air conditioner. 

Step 1: Stay Calm  

Before we really dive in, we want to first reassure you everything is okay. We can figure this out together. Plus, you can rest assured, your Five Star Heating & Cooling Cincinnati family is here to support you and come to your aid if needed! So, stay calm and let’s resolve this together. 

Step 2: Begin Troubleshooting  

Insufficient Airflow  

Issue: Reduced airflow could cause your AC to freeze if it’s unable to function correctly. So, keep in mind that clogged air filters or closed vents could impede airflow, leading to the buildup of cool air causing the AC’s refrigerant condensing on top of the coils. 

Solution: Inspect your air filters regularly and replace them if necessary while you are troubleshooting. Then ensure all vents in your home are open and clear of any obstructions that might block airflow. 

Take Note: We recommend changing your air filters every 1-3 months, depending on the filter type. 

Incorrect Thermostat Settings  

Issue: It’s not impossible that your thermostat settings are set too low. If your home’s temperature is set excessively low, your air conditioner might not be able to keep up the continuous cycle of extremely low temps. 

Solution: Adjust your thermostat to a higher setting. Also, consider investing in a smart thermostat to efficiently monitor and adjust your home’s temperature, thereby reducing strain on your air conditioner. By using a smart thermostat, you can preprogram your temperature settings to be at your preferred cool temperature throughout the week, making your home ready to kick back and relax in upon your arrival. 

Imbalanced Refrigerant Levels  

Issue: Imbalanced refrigerant levels can cause your AC to freeze. This means that if the coolant in your AC is at an incorrect level, it could drop the evaporator’s temperature too low, leading to moisture freezing and ice buildup. 

Solution: It’s best to let a professional handle refrigerant issues. A licensed HVAC technician will have the right equipment to safely check and handle the AC’s refrigerant levels. So, please call us if you suspect a refrigerant issue. 

Signs of refrigerant issues can include: 

  • Bubbly or hissing sounds when the AC is off 
  • The AC is not blowing cool air  
  • Ice on the refrigerant lines  

Step 3: Defrost Your Unit  

Once you’ve identified the ice on your unit, proper measures can be taken to restore your AC’s functioning. But first, you’ll need to let the ice thaw. 

To defrost your AC properly: 

  1. Turn your air conditioner off at the thermostat.  
  1. Switch your fan setting from ‘auto’ to ‘on’ to start the defrosting process.  
  1. Keep track of the melting ice’s water. This means that if there’s a large amount of ice that needs to melt, you will want to make sure the melted water won’t be able to cause water damage to the area that it is melting in. 
  1. Be patient. Thawing can take a few hours to a whole day, depending on how much ice is present.  

Step 4: Consult a Professional  

If you can’t identify the cause of the freezing, if there’s a refrigerant issue, or this issue keeps recurring, it’s time to consult a licensed HVAC professional. Neglecting this issue could strain your air conditioning unit and potentially cause avoidable damage. So, it’s not something you want to put off. 

We offer 24/7 emergency services to keep you and your home cool. Call Five Star Heating & Cooling Cincinnati today at (513) 216-5011, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!