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What is Causing my AC Unit to Freeze Up?

June 2, 2021 | Blog

A reliable HVAC unit keeps you cool for the summertime, so it makes sense that the most common problem could be the actual system freezing up before properly cooling your home. Contrary to what you may assume, system freezes are common year-round – not just in the winter! There are many reasons why this could happen. Air Clinic DFW wants you to be informed about the best ways to take care of your HVAC system year-round. Read on to learn more about why your ac unit is freezing, along with several simple DIY solutions that homeowners can use to fix a system freeze.

Low Refrigerant Levels

In all AC units, the refrigerant in the system only operates properly with the proper pressure. Refrigerant liquid is used in your unit and repeatedly turns into gas and back to liquid throughout the process. If the pressure spontaneously changes, the air outside of the system may freeze. This causes the AC to freeze up and affects the flow of cool air inside your home. Regular refrigerant-level checks can help avoid this problem.

Improper Draining

As warm air is pulled over your system’s evaporator, condensation builds on the coils. This condensate should drip into a condensate pan below, however, this doesn’t always happen. Failure for condensate to drain can be caused by:

  • Clogged or broken drip pan
  • Dirty coils
  • Malfunctioning float switch

When condensed water is built up inside the AC unit, the danger of a freeze increases. Drainage problems can be caused by debris blocking the system outlets or loose pipes inside of the unit. A routine check of the drainage system can avoid an AC freeze-up which could potentially damage an entire unit.

Inconsistent Airflow

If possible, maintaining the airflow around a HVAC unit can prevent the system from freezing up. Your AC system is structured around vents. Whenever these vents are unable to keep warm air blowing over the coils, your system is at risk for freezing. Inconsistent airflow can be caused by several internal factors such as:

  • A collapsed duct
  • Low voltage to the fan
  • A clogged air filter
  • A bad blower motor

Dirty Air Filters

Similar to inside a home, the air filter inside the outdoor unit is the most important component for proper air quality. The main function of the air filter is to block out dirt, dust, and debris from entering the interior air. If these outdoor air filters get clogged then it further obstructs the airflow. If there are materials blocking the cool air from entering then it stays in the AC lines longer and leads to freezes. A simple solution is replacing all air filters attached to a building every 3 months unless they are washable and returned.

Thermostat Settings

An frozen AC can simply be caused by too much cold air for too long. Setting the thermostat to a low temperature and keeping it set could lead to over-cooling and condensation. In order to avoid this, set up a schedule to turn off the AC at frequent intervals to give it a break from time to time.

The best practice to avoid system freezes is through seasonal maintenance on your system. At Air Clinic DFW, we can help ensure that your HVAC system gets properly maintained to prevent as many system-breaks as possible.

To get started on scheduling your seasonal tune-up, contact us today!



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Air Clinic has always been fantastic to work with. Honest, reliable and flexible. They have excellent communication and fair prices. I’ve used them for 8 years now!


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Ryan, Justin, Austin and Kevin did an outstanding job. The communication among us for the H/VAC exchange was right on point. I would highly recommend this company to family members.


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