What to do in the event that your air conditioner freezes up, the ways in which to avoid this happening, and when to seek help from professional technicians.
Air conditioners can be somewhat unpredictable; one day it is cooling you down, performing to its optimum and delivering in what it serves to do, and the next, it could freeze up.
Knowing what to do when you find yourself in a tricky situation with an air conditioner that has frozen is of utmost importance. As a common occurrence, it is also worth noting that there are ways to avoid having your air conditioner freezing up, but in the case that you do, it will be worth knowing how to go about tackling that dilemma.
What do you do when you happen to find your air conditioner is freezing up?
If your air conditioning unit freezes up, the first thing you would have to do is to thaw it out. This would require you to turn your air conditioner and the electrical breaker off and let the ice thaw or melt.
It is very important to make sure that you avoid using your air conditioner while the evaporator coils are frozen. This is because running your air conditioner while the coils are frozen will cause strain on the compressor.
The air conditioning unit’s compressor is one of the most expensive components in your entire air conditioners system. It is most probable that the thawing process will take up to a full day, so one should be fully prepared for this.
The second step will require you to dry the evaporator coils once all the ice has melted. You can opt to use paper towels to do this or let the coils dry out in the sun.
Another way to dry your evaporator coils is to restore the power to your system and to turn the blower on. Set the thermostat of your air conditioner to only run the blower or fan, in this way, air will be able to circulate around and through the coils, drying them quicker. Once the coils are thoroughly dry, your air conditioning system should be ready to operate normally again.
How to avoid your air conditioner freezing up
There are ways in which you can avoid running into a frozen air conditioner predicament by yourself. These are ways whereby you would not necessarily need the help of someone such as a mechanic or fixer upper, but you are able to do whatever you need yourself.
One of these ways is by ensuring that you change your air filter. One of the leading causes of frozen heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems is a dirty air filter. The air filter helps to clean the air that is circulating into your home. As this happens the filter will definitely catch dirt and dust particles, pollen and other allergens, leading to a build up and the eventual restriction in airflow and finally in your evaporator coils freezing. It is also important to check your filter monthly or more regularly, and to change it as needed.
Clean your evaporator coils. The condensate lines are known to drain excess moisture from your HVAC system, if there is a clog in the line, the water will become stuck causing any excess water to then freeze. This will certainly lead to your air conditioning system struggling to work or not even work at all.
Checking the weather forecast is another way of avoiding freezing air conditioners. When temperatures are most likely to drop at night, it would be best to not to turn your air conditioner on.
When is it advisable to seek help from a maintenance professional?
It is always best to seek the help of professional HVAC technician to help you in identifying potential problems with your air conditioner.
Scheduling an annual air conditioning maintenance service call will ensure that all the following are checked; pressure and coolant levels are inspected, thermostats are regulated and checked for a proper cycle and temperature, wiring, contacts, capacitors, and relays are all inspected.
This ensures that the evaporator coils are clean, the condensate drain is clear, the condenser and many other units are clean.
No matter what, avoiding a frozen air conditioning system is doable, as long as you are sure to do everything that is required of you as the air conditioner owner.
The goal is to always try and avoid the expenses of repairs that may have never needed to happen, should you have maintained to routinely check your air conditioning system. This is never to say, however, that help from a technician is insignificant.