What to Do When Your AC is Freezing Up?
An air conditioner is supposed to cool the room by blowing out cold air. It is therefore natural for the indoor unit to be a little cold too. This is normal, but if you take a look at it and notice ice or frost on it, it means that the AC is freezing up and may indicate some malfunctions in your Bay Area home.
Ice on the AC is not normal and must be paid urgent attention to. There are various reasons as to why you may notice frost on the indoor unit, and while some of these can be easily tackled, some need the expertise of a professional HVAC technician.
Causes of an AC freezing
There are multiple potential causes for your AC freezing up.
- Faulty thermostat
- Reduced air flow
- Refrigerant Leak
Obstruction in the drain line are the common causes of this problem. Most of them, if noticed early on, are easily fixable and will not burn a hole in your pocket. But if you ignore the AC freezing signs, the system will continue to run and take a lot of pressure doing it. Eventually, the strain on the system may cause a compressor failure.
The compressor is the heart of your air conditioner and also a costly component to repair or replace. In dire cases, you may also need to get a new AC. So, it is best to get any malfunctions checked soon to avoid a big expense and inconvenience to residents.
Measures to be taken as soon as you notice ice
It is natural for the indoor unit to be cold but if you notice any ice or frost on it, do not turn up the temperature. If the AC runs for a long time with this problem, there are chances of permanent damage taking place which is nothing to write on your LinkedIn page about. It is necessary to shut down the system immediately and to not run it unless the problem is taken care of.
How to unfreeze the AC
Once you have shut down the system, it is likely that the ice on the unit will melt and water will leak onto your flooring, carpets and on the walls, causing further damage to your interiors. The best solution is to urgently call an HVAC technician to get the ice off and to inspect the unit for the cause of the problem.
But if it is imperative that you remove the ice collected on the unit, there are some tips to follow.
Never use a sharp or pointed object to chip away the ice collected on the unit. This can damage the condenser coil fins.
You can try thawing out the ice by turning on the system fan. Set the thermostat to fan setting in order to do this. It takes a while but is one of the safer ways to get rid of the frost. Be warned that you cannot try this option if there is ice on the fan as well.
You can also use a blow dryer to melt the ice but don’t use a stick of dynamite – that’s a little too much.