An A/C freeze on a hot summer day is not a sign that your unit is producing too much cold air. When the air conditioner’s indoor evaporator coil turns into a block of ice, that’s evidence of a maintenance issue or malfunction that may inflict serious damage to critical components like the system compressor. An A/C freeze may also cause the unit to inexplicably shut down temporarily.

During these episodes, you’ll be without cooling and possibly facing more serious, expensive repairs as freezing repeatedly recurs—which it usually does, if not diagnosed and resolved by a qualified HVAC service technician.

Here are some of the causes behind an A/C freeze:

Low airflow

Insufficient airflow through the coil inhibits heat transfer and coil temperature drops below freezing. Condensation forming on the coil turns to ice, eventually blocking all airflow through the coil. This may damage the compressor and/or trigger a system shutdown. Low system airflow may be caused by simply a dirty clogged air filter. If the filter hasn’t been changed regularly, have an HVAC professional change it.

Refrigerant leak

Low refrigerant pressure initially makes the evaporator coil run excessively cold and triggers ice formation. Almost all cases of insufficient refrigerant charge are caused by a tiny leak somewhere in the system. Eventually, refrigerant pressure drops so low that an automatic sensor will quickly shut down the system every time it cycles on. Low refrigerant requires professional expertise and equipment to locate and repair the leak, then restore the refrigerant charge to proper level.

Dirty Coil

Dust and dirt coating the evaporator coil also inhibits heat extraction and may cause the coil temperature to drop below the freezing point. Ice accumulation soon begins. A dirty and dusty coil also reduces energy efficiency and system performance. Since the evaporator coil is sealed inside the indoor air handler, DIY coil cleaning isn’t an option. Call for professional service.

An A/C freeze requires qualified HVAC troubleshooting and repair. Contact the experts at Jackson & Sons.

Jackson & Sons, Inc.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Eastern North Carolina (including Wayne, Johnston, Greene, Lenoir, Pitt and Duplin Counties) about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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