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Why Is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

If your air conditioner is blowing hot air, there’s a good chance the outside unit has actually frozen up. The air conditioner is supposed to be moving heat, humidity, and condensation in the right directions. An imbalance in this process can cause humidity to turn to ice on the air conditioner. We see this a lot in Southern California where air conditioners have a tough job, but thankfully a good tune-up and cleaning is all you usually need.

Common Reasons for Frozen AC Systems
#1: Air Filter or Airflow Problems

Clogged air filters and other problems with airflow contribute to an ice build-up on the coils in several ways:

  • Dirty filter kicks back cooled air
  • Condensate fails to drain and ices over
  • Return vents aren’t delivering enough supply air
  • Airflow is otherwise restricted by the housing, blower or other parts
#2: Refrigerant Problems

A refrigeration leak or under-charged refrigerant can cause icing as well. That’s because the refrigerant works to absorb the heat energy from inside your home before returning cooled air. With too little refrigerant, the coils do not absorb heat as well, which causes humidity to freeze on the refrigerant line instead of evaporating or condensing into the drain line.

#3: Dirty Coils

A dirty evaporator coil and condenser coil will attract more humidity and then freeze up. Call an HVAC technician to clean the coils and inspect for damage. Otherwise, the air conditioner will freeze over again after you thaw it out and start it again.

How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner

First, switch the unit from “cool” to “fan.” This thaws the ice while collecting the melted water into the drain pan. You can also check the air filter to see if that’s the main issue.

You’ll also want to call your local HVAC repair technicians to check the refrigerant line, clean the coils, and conduct a regular AC tune-up. This is important even if a dirty filter seems to be the culprit, because you may have equipment damage due to the ice.

For a simple and effective solution to a frozen up air conditioner in Orange County or Riverside County, you can call the air conditioner repair experts at Dynamic Air Services at ​949-649-8794 for a quick maintenance appointment.

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