Why Air Conditioners Ice Up and How to Fix Them

Like most people, you are probably wondering why your air conditioner is freezing up in the summer. First, there is no need to worry. This is a common occurrence with air conditioners. However, just because it is a common occurrence doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. The freezing of air conditioners has been shown to have adverse effects on their efficiency. The good thing is it can be eliminated and, better yet, prevented. Here’s how.

What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?

Before delving into how to reverse freezing in air conditioners, let’s start by looking into why it happens in the first place. Usually, airflow is the number one cause of freezing. But, there are several other reasons air conditioners freeze. 

  1. Poor Airflow

After long periods of use, air filters in the vents can become clogged with dust, debris, or pollen. These block the airflow in and out of the house. The clogging stresses airflow in the condenser. Eventually, this air gets condensed on the coils and turns to ice. To prevent this problem, you need to replace the air filters. An air filter’s lifetime depends on your location, the number of people in the household, and the size of the house. 

  1. Closed Air Vents 

Sometimes, air vents end up being closed, preventing airflow between rooms and throughout the ductwork. As a result, the part of the house where the registers are closed will limit airflow. Air conditioners need to have a steady flow of air to make sure humidity doesn’t settle on the coils and freeze. If the airflow disruption isn’t fixed, it could also damage the condenser.

  1. Leaking of the Refrigerant (Freon)

Low refrigerant causes pressure in the evaporator coils to drop. The evaporator coils become too cold with time, and the air condenses on the coils forming ice. This refrigerant also regulates the temperature of the air conditioning system. Therefore, if you suspect a leak, swift action is required to prevent further damage. You will have to contact a specialized HVAC technician for help. 

  1. Air Conditioners: Defective Parts

The above three causes of AC freezing are the most common here in Irvine, California. However, air conditioners have a variety of parts with the potential of causing icing up. For instance, at times, we find defective O-rings in the refrigerant lines. A blower fan that’s not spinning correctly can also cause freezing. Regular maintenance of air conditioners can prevent these from happening.

How to Prevent Air Conditioners from Icing Up

The following prevention measures will lower the chances of AC units freezing up: 

  •       Change the air filter regularly, depending on AC usage
  •       Always keep the registers and supply vents open
  •       Adjust the thermostat readings regularly or switch to an automatic one
  •       Make sure the blower fans are working correctly 
  •       Have scheduled maintenance with a professional HVAC technician 

Most AC units are made in such a way that you can troubleshoot problems like freezing. But, if you plan on doing it yourself, you need to understand there is a limit to how much you can do depending on the cause and your skills. Some causes of freezing are dangerous, for example, refrigerant leaks and the complexity of air conditioning units. So, we recommended consulting with a certified HVAC technician first. 

To Sum Up

Frozen AC is truly a nightmare. The good thing is that it’s relatively inexpensive to repair. Most causes are easy to overcome. We are the number one HVAC technicians in Irvine, California, offering services all around Orange County. Give us a call, and we will send our team of experts to help you out.

Kalka Plumbing Heating & Air, located in Irvine and servicing all of Orange County residents and businesses, for plumbing, heating, and air conditioning needs.

At Kalka Plumbing, Heating, and Air, our goal is to offer the most reasonably priced plumbing and HVAC work in Orange County and the surrounding cities. Because we value our customers, we do everything we can to keep service costs down without skimping on quality. We also pride ourselves on serving our customers for almost 3 decades. Find us online at Or by phone – (949) 458-6600.

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