Why Is My AC’s Evaporator Coil Freezing Up?

Have you turned on your air conditioner for the first time this year and found that your air conditioner is running, but no cool air is coming into your home? You may also have noticed that the air conditioning unit has visible ice and condensation build-up. If this is the case, then you’re experiencing a frozen air conditioner because your AC evaporator coil is freezing up. Call Maryland’s trusted AC repair company, Grove Heating & Cooling, to keep your home comfortable in the hottest summer months. 

Reasons Why Your AC’s Evaporator Coil is Freezing Up

Your air conditioner’s evaporator coil vaporizes liquid refrigerant to make the air cool. These coils are supposed to be cool, but not freezing. In an optimally running air conditioner, the refrigerant vapor stays around 40 degrees. If the coils get cooler than that, they can freeze, and once they freeze, they continue to build up ice. That’s why it’s so important to turn your air conditioner off when this occurs.

The most common reason for frozen evaporator coils is insufficient airflow. This is commonly caused by a clogged or dirty air filter, backed-up drain clogs, low fan speed, or a dirty evaporator coil. Check to see how many registers are closed in your home. If more than a quarter of them are closed, it could cause your evaporator coil to freeze. 

Sometimes low refrigerant levels and leaks are the cause of a frozen AC system. Your air conditioner could also be experiencing a malfunctioning defrost cycle. If your air conditioner cannot keep itself warm enough to prevent ice from accumulating, it means it can’t defrost properly.

If you have a window air conditioner unit, make sure it’s tilted so the indoor portion is slightly higher than the outdoor half to make sure it’s draining properly. 

What to Do If You Have a Frozen Evaporator Coil

First, you’ll want to turn off your air conditioner. Inspect your air conditioner inside and out for any obvious signs of condensation or ice. If there is ice, wait until it’s melted before trying to start the air conditioner again. Never chip away at the ice.  

Although there are some common solutions, you’ll most likely need to call an AC technician from Grove Heating & Cooling to find the cause and make the appropriate repair or replacement. 

Common AC Repair Solutions

As a homeowner, there are a few things you can do yourself to help thaw the ice off your AC’s evaporator coil. A professional HVAC technician is the best bet for completely solving the problem, but these are some steps you can take to get the process started.

  • Melt the ice on the compressor. You can do this by turning off your air conditioner and turning on only the fan. On your thermostat, you’ll find a button that will turn only the fan on. The air from the fan will help melt the ice on the compressor. You can also use a hairdryer to help melt the ice faster. 
  • If you’ve turned the fan on and don’t feel any air flowing, you may have a malfunctioning blower fan, broken drive belt, or dead motor. These issues will need to be addressed by an AC technician.  
  • Clogged air filters are one of the main reasons why AC evaporator coils freeze up. Replacing the air filter could solve the issue.
  • Make sure your air conditioner is draining properly. If there is a drain pan, see if ice accumulation on the coil extends beyond the drip pan beneath the air handler. Have containers on hand to catch the dripping water and prevent water damage as the ice melts.

Call Grove Heating & Cooling for Regular AC Inspections

The best way to prevent your air conditioner’s evaporator coil from freezing up is to have your AC unit inspected regularly by the technicians at Grove Heating & Cooling. Our maintenance plans make regular maintenance a breeze. We inspect your heating and air conditioner before every season to ensure everything is in working order. Regular maintenance can protect you during the intense heat and can also enhance the lifetime of your HVAC system. Call Grove Heating & Cooling today to learn more. 

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