Why Is My Air Conditioner Freezing?

Having cold air coming through your air conditioner is a good thing, but there are some circumstances in which the unit itself might freeze up, preventing normal operation from occurring.

Issues with any of the major components of the air conditioning system could result in the refrigeration system freezing itself and the AC not working properly.

Here are a few of the most common reasons why air conditioners freeze up:

  • Blocked ducts: The cold, conditioned air passes through your home via the air ducts. If any of those ducts are blocked off or collapsed, this could prevent the cold air from passing through, which could force it back and cause the unit to freeze up since that air isn’t passing into your home.
  • Improper airflow: Perhaps the most common reason for air conditioners freezing up, a lack of sufficient airflow can be a result of a wide range of issues, such as issues with the blower motor or problems with air intake. If warm air stops flowing over the coils, this could result in freezing and a buildup of ice, which can cause the air conditioner to stop functioning.
  • Low voltage: In most cases, your electric bill will see a bit of a spike over the summer months as you’re drawing more power to use your air conditioner. There are a variety of components within the air conditioning system that require a certain amount of power, so if you lack the proper voltage, this could impact some of those parts. If, for example, the blower motor or fan stops working due to a lack of sufficient voltage, this could result in a lack of airflow over the coils, causing them to freeze up.
  • Blower motor problems: The blower motor is the part of the air conditioner that blows warm air over the coils. If it fails, this will disrupt the airflow over the coils as described above, resulting in ice buildup within the system. You may be able to determine if a motor needs to be replaced before it fails. You might hear inconsistent sounds coming from the unit, or a strange rattling noise.
  • Clogged air filters: You need to remember to change or clean your air filters on a regular basis. A clogged-up air filter will result in inefficient operation that drives up your energy bills, and also will prevent your air conditioner from being able to send the cold air through your home as efficiently as you might like. A significantly clogged filter could cause the unit to freeze up.
  • Refrigerant problems: A lack of sufficient refrigerant in the system can result in the unit freezing up. The compressor inside the unit compresses that refrigerant after a release of heat from inside. Warm air converts the refrigerant into a gas. The refrigerant heats up and drops the pressure in the system, then gets converted back into a liquid to be sent toward the blower motor. A lack of refrigerant results in compression happening too early, which could freeze up the system.

Is your AC not working? One of the above causes could be to blame. Contact the team at J & B Air Conditioning, Heating, & Gutters today with any questions—we’ll help you figure out why your air conditioner is freezing up and get the problem addressed.

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