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What Causes a Frozen Air Conditioner?

Learn what causes ice buildup inside an air conditioner and how to fix it.

What Causes a Frozen Air Conditioner?Ice buildup inside your air conditioner is one of the most frustrating problems for a homeowner to experience because when this happens you get absolutely no cooled air flowing into your home. It can take hours to melt the ice and restart the unit, at which time your air conditioner repair technician will be able to start troubleshooting the unit.

Here are the two main causes of a frozen air conditioner:

Restricted Air Flow

The first problem that can cause your air conditioner unit to turn into a block of ice is inadequate airflow. Without proper airflow, the cold air generated by the coils just sits inside the unit, making it colder and colder until eventually, the dehumidification process starts to produce ice instead of water.

In most cases, an icy air conditioner caused by restricted airflow is easy to fix. After melting the ice, three main culprits of restricted airflow should be checked:

  • Dirty filter
  • Dirty fins and coils
  • Blower/fan problems

If you’re lucky, your AC repair technician may be able to fix your problem with a simple air conditioner cleaning. Or, you may need a fan repair, which is still relatively inexpensive.

Coolant Leak

A more worrisome problem that can result in ice buildup in your air conditioner is a coolant leak somewhere in the system. As coolant levels drop, the evaporator coils will actually start to get too cold and moisture in the air will start to precipitate out as ice. The problem only becomes worse once the ice starts to accumulate because the ice insulates the coil and keeps it from ever warming up.

There are many possible places where a system may leak coolant. For example, the line that carries coolant between the condenser and evaporator may become damaged or the seal on a shrader valve may deteriorate. If your coolant leak is traced to one of these issues, breathe a sigh of relief because the problem will be relatively easy to repair. If, however, your coolant is leaking from a hole in one of the coils, you will probably need to replace the entire unit to solve the problem.

Need Help with a Frozen Air Conditioner?

If you have noticed ice buildup in your air conditioner, you need to call (661) 947-2653 and get help from Econo West Heating Air & Plumbing. You can rely on our experienced AC repair techs to correctly identify the root cause of your ice issue and provide a lasting and reliable solution.

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