As your air conditioner pumps out cool air to keep you and your family comfortable during the hot Kansas and Missouri summers, you need to feel sure that it will continue to work without fail. Sometimes, air conditioners freeze or become covered in ice. Cates Heating and Cooling wants you to understand why your air conditioner may be freezing up and how you can fix it.

What is Causing Your AC to Freeze?

It can be hard to pinpoint just what is causing an air conditioning unit to freeze, but the only way you can properly fix the problem is to determine the source. Two of the main reasons that air conditioners ice-up are:

  1. Clogged air filters

Clogged air filters restrict the flow of air over the evaporator coils. Restricted airflow can cause the evaporator coil to drop below freezing and accumulate ice due to the humidity in the surrounding air.

  1. Insufficient refrigerant

Low levels of refrigerant can be caused by a leak in the system or from improper installation when first charged. When the refrigerant drops too low, the temperature of the AC’s evaporator coil will drop too low and cause freezing and ice accumulation.

How to Fix a Frozen AC

The first thing you should do when you notice that your AC is frozen is turn the system off. Then, check the air filter to see if debris is clogging up the filter and preventing air from passing through. If your filter is dirty, change it out for a clean one and allow your unit time to defrost. You’ll want to make sure there is no ice on the outdoor unit, main pipe of the indoor unit, or the area around the main pipe. Once completely thawed, turn the system back and make the sure the problem doesn’t reappear.

Regular air conditioner maintenance may help you catch any damage to your air conditioning unit more quickly. These maintenance checks can locate leaks in your system or clogged air filters before they cause a problem for your unit and, in turn, your home.

If your air conditioning unit still isn’t cooling properly, the airflow isn’t improved, or you see ice reappearing on the unit. Call Cates Heating and Cooling right away. Our technicians are available for emergencies 24/7 for situations just like this one, so you don’t have to suffer in the summer heat for long. Since continued ice build-up can cause permanent damage to your air conditioning unit, don’t wait to get a local air conditioning repair service out to look at the unit.

What NOT to Do When Your AC is Freezing

If you notice ice accumulating on any part of your air conditioner, here’s what you shouldn’t do to prevent costly damage to your unit.

  1. Don’t continue to run the system. You will eventually damage the compressor and burn up the motor if airflow is restricted. If the damage to the parts becomes severe, you may need to replace the entire system.
  2. Don’t try to replace the refrigerant yourself without having the system leaks sealed. This won’t fix your problems, and it can result in depletion and re-icing in a short amount of time.
  3. Don’t try to remove the ice off of your unit. Instead of helping, you could cause damage to the equipment, which will result in expensive repairs. Instead, turn the unit off and allow it to thaw completely.

Instead of trying to solve the problem yourself, you should contact a local HVAC repair company, like Cates Heating and Cooling to help. Kansas City Metro Area residents with AC icing problems can contact Cates Heating and Cooling at 913-888-4470.