Why is my HVAC system freezing up?

Why is my HVAC system freezing up?

Posted by
Ed Miller on Tue, Oct 22, 2013

frozen ac unitAir conditioning units in Jacksonville FL can freeze up for a variety of reasons. Some require little effort on your part but many of them need to be corrected or repaired by a certified service technician. Nevertheless, here are things you should know.

Dirty Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil, as with any filter, gradually accumulates dirt over time. You won’t notice that you’re losing airflow until your AC freezes up or is not cooling or heating well.

A dirty evaporator coil is an inconvenient and costly problem. It reduces the efficiency of air conditioning units in Jacksonville FL and increases both cooling and heating energy costs.

While it’s possible to pull and clean it yourself, trained HVAC technicians are usually hired to fix the problem. That’s because the Do-It-Yourself approach can further complicate the problem and cause equipment breakdown or costly repairs. Cleaning the front of the coil with a brush, for instance, will only push some dirt deeper into the coil. The entire process can take a maximum of 6 hours depending on the state of the evaporator coil and the accessibility of the air handler. A certified technician may also offer to install highly-efficient air filters and UV light to kill bacteria and mildew usually found in air handlers.

Low Refrigerant

Air conditioning units in Jacksonville FL are likely to freeze up when they’re low on cooling refrigerant or freon, which is actually a refrigerant of many types.

Ideally, HVAC systems should be sealed and should not leak. And like the gas in your car, the refrigerant should stay inside the sealed AC unit to run efficiently. Once the refrigerant leaks, ice typically builds up to the indoor coil.

There are many other signs to look for: the air starts to get warmer, the space takes longer than average to cool, and the floor by your furnace is wet. If any of these happen, call a technician immediately to check your system.

Damaged Blower Motor

The blower motor shows obvious signs when it’s defective. The loud noise is perhaps the most obvious. A functioning blower motor does its job fairly silently without adding noise to the usual air conditioning sound. When the fan inside is not turning or the air pressure seems low, it could also be a sign that your blower motor is not working properly.

A faulty blower motor requires professional help from a certified HVAC technician, one who is widely experienced when it comes to fixing air conditioning units in Jacksonville FL. The blower motor capacitor may have to be replaced.

Dirty Filter

A dirty air filter restricts the airflow, reduces absorption of heat and eventually causes the AC unit to freeze up.

Clogged filters build up ice and block your unit from functioning properly. Don’t wait for your AC to freeze up. Have a technician routinely check and clean or replace your filters to ensure peak performance. This alone can help lower your energy expenses by 5 to 15%.

Air filters should be cleaned every month or two. Some are reusable, others should be replaced. Many filters, however, require frequent attention especially if the unit is constantly used and exposed to a dusty environment.

To sum up, there are four main factors that cause air conditioning units in Jacksonville FL unit to freeze up: a dirty evaporator coil, low refrigerant, too little airflow because of a defective blower motor and a dirty filter.

Regardless of the cause, it’s important to troubleshoot first and see if there’s a simple solution to the problem. Start by shutting down the AC and checking the filter. If it’s dirty, clean or replace it. And if this doesn’t solve the problem, it’s best to let a professional technician fix it. This can save you a lot of time and headaches. The technician will do the following:

  • Check the thermostat.
  • Inspect, clean and tighten connections.
  • Measure airflow through the evaporator coil and clean it if necessary.
  • Check all electric terminals.
  • Get the right amount of refrigerant.
  • Look for any leaks using a leak detector and properly seal your system.

Highly efficient air conditioning units in Jacksonville FL are essential for surviving the intense Florida heat. Make your life easier, more comfortable and less expensive. Contact Snyder today and get your unit checked or fixed.

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