Although AC is supposed to send cool air into the room, there shouldn’t be any ice in the system. But sometimes, we find AC lines that are covered in ice. Why are your AC lines freezing, and what should you do to fix it?
There are two basic reasons why your AC may be frozen: restricted airflow and low refrigerant. These can happen to both central and split systems.
Restricted Air Flow
Your AC system contains something called Freon, which is responsible for removing heat from the air. When the airflow isn’t running smoothly, Freon is not able to do its job. The air is not chilled while the Freon’s temperature is still dropping. Hence, it will chill the pipes around it. Many factors can lead to restricted airflow, such as dirty filters, dirty coils, clogged ductwork, blower fan errors, closed or blocked vents, or anything clogging the airways.
The pipe that freezes is usually the one that contains refrigerant. When the amount of refrigerant is lower than it is supposed to be, the temperature will drop and freeze the pipes. Bear in mind that the refrigerant pipe is supposed to be a closed loop, so the volume should not decrease. Therefore, if your refrigerant gets low, there must be something wrong. Most often, this happens due to leaks in the refrigerant pipes.
What Should I Do?
If you see that your AC lines are frozen, the first thing you need to do is find the culprit. Fix the root of the problem to prevent it from happening again in the future. Depending on the circumstances, here are some potential solutions to your freezing AC lines issue:
- Replace your air filter
- Clean your AC unit
- Remove any blockages in the vents and ducts
- Fix any leaks
- Refill the refrigerant
Not all of these actions can be performed by homeowners or amateurs. Hence, you might need to call a professional service in your area to solve the problem for you.
Bear in mind that frozen pipes can be prevented by regular maintenance of your AC. This service includes cleaning the whole system, identifying and fixing leaks (if any), replacing air filters and other parts as required, and checking up on the performance of your AC in general. This is a vital service if you want to prevent as many potential problems as possible.
Whatever the cause, frozen AC lines are not something you can ignore. This issue is a sign that your system is not working properly. When the lines are frozen, the AC unit usually fails to deliver cold air at the desired temperature. Or, it may need to work harder to reach the expected temperature.
This means extra stress on your AC system. It will consume more energy, too. When your AC performance drops like this, it becomes more prone to premature breakage. Simply put, by letting your AC line freeze, you are causing your AC to break down sooner than it is supposed to.