Why is Your AC Frozen? Find Out Here!

Preparing Your Boynton Beach Home for a Scorching Spring!

Our certified AC technicians at East Coast Mechanical Inc. (ECM) suggest that in the spring and fall of each calendar year, Coral Springs homeowners have preventative AC maintenance performed on their HVAC units. During this necessary session, the AC technician will look for things that could cause mechanical failures during the upcoming seasons.

Things like worn out belts, blower motors in bad repair and clogged filters are on the top of the list. Many people don’t realize that their units need to be serviced. Think of it like a car. A vehicle that is never maintained will eventually fail to run. What if you never changed the oil in your car? The same philosophy is used for the units and their need for maintenance.

When the heat is sweltering outside, you want your unit to keep your home and your family cool and comfortable. Unfortunately, when AC season is in full swing, ECM often receives calls that a unit has frozen, or developed ice on the outside. A frozen unit can cause a lot of problems, and there is a danger of messing up the condenser and other parts. If you see ice on the outside of your AC unit, turn it off and call ECM to schedule an appointment with one of our certified AC technicians at 561-585-9850 today.

5 Common Reasons Why Your AC Unit Will Freeze Up

Dirty Evaporator Coils

The evaporator coils are imperative for the operation of your HVAC unit. If you haven’t had a preventative maintenance session, the dirt will collect on these coils and cause major headaches. A dirty evaporator can happen for several reasons.

First, if the unit has run without a filter, it can cause a great deal of dirt to get past the filter area and onto the evaporator. If the filter is dirty and hasn’t been changed in a while, unfiltered air can get by the filter and get into the system. This also can be the case if the filter is inexpensive; they need to be changed more often and don’t hold up well beyond 30 days.

When unfiltered air gets into the system, the evaporator coil takes on the job as the filter. The problem is that an HVAC technician can only remove the surface dirt from the coils when cleaning them. If it is clogged inwardly, the unit will need to be replaced.

Some have tried to hose the out and it causes pin dot holes to form. They simply must be replaced. Using a good pleated filter should prevent issues of this nature in the future; never skimp on the air filters. A dirty evaporator coil will cause the unit to freeze up and will also increase utility bills, as it loses energy efficiency. It’s a problem that can be prevented by changing the filter and using quality replacements.

Low Refrigerant Levels

The refrigerant is vital to keeping the unit running and blowing cold air. It really baffles some customers how it can be 100 degrees outside but their unit is a block of ice. The refrigerant is governed by pressure. When the pressure on the inside drops, the temperature also drops. When you have low pressure inside a unit, you also have ice. The ice typically starts on the evaporator coil and then works its way to the inside. Don’t be confused thinking that if you have ice on the outside the inside is okay. Ice starts from the inside out. Turn the system off immediately if you see ice on the unit.

Think of your refrigerant as the blood in your body. You shouldn’t have to add any blood to your system unless you are bleeding out somewhere. You shouldn’t need to put Freon in your unit every year. If you are continuously filling your unit, there is a leak somewhere. Don’t keep throwing your money away. Refilling your refrigerant isn’t as inexpensive as it used to be. In 2010, R-22 was banned leaving few options. Rather than keep wasting money refilling the tank, have a leak detection performed to see where the leak is and have it fixed. It will cost more upfront, but it will save money in the long run.

Faulty Blower Motor

The blower motor is very important for keeping the air circulating within a unit. Often when this is the problem, the outside system will be working but the inside isn’t kicking on. Additionally, if there are any strange noises coming from the unit, it could be a faulty blower motor. In this situation, call immediately for an evaluation.

Bad Contactor

One reason for an iced over unit could be a stuck contactor. It’s a tiny part that can be accessed from the outside. An easy way to identify this problem is to turn the unit off at the thermostat. If the unit outside keeps running, then it’s most certainly a contactor. When you turn the thermostat off, it is not shutting the unit off due to this faulty part. Unit the breaker is turned off to the unit, it will continue to ice over.

Turning The Thermostat Too Low

Some people have unrealistic expectations for their units. This is often the case where ice is forming on the outside of the unit. If the ambient temperature outside if 89 degrees, the HVAC unit should be able to cool the home to about 69 degrees, or 20 degrees cooler than outside. However, when the temperatures reach the high 90’s and even into the 100-degree category, the unit can only do so much. If it is 100 degrees outside; turning your unit down to 60 degrees is not going to get your home any cooler. In fact, what it will do is cause the unit to run nonstop.

Since the unit will never be able to get the home to the temperature set on the thermostat, it will continue to run. The constant running will cause the unit to freeze up. If a technician has identified that there is no other reason for the unit to freeze, the only thing left to do is allow the unit time to thaw.

The temperature should never be set below 70 degrees inside the home, especially not with our hot and humid Coral Springs weather. Not only is it bad for the unit, but it is devastating on the utility bills.

Your HVAC unit is one of the most important systems in your home. You depend on it for your comfort all year long.

When you have a unit with an issue, call East Coast Mechanical Inc. for A/C repair. We are available 24/7 for your HVAC service needs. For quality services in your Coral Springs, FL home, call East Coast Mechanical Inc. at (561) 585-9850.

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