Your AC is Frozen Mid-Summer… Now What?
Oh, the joys of warm weather. We wait all winter long for the heat to come, and when it arrives we rely on our AC system to keep comfortable. What happens when you’re mid heat and the air has stopped blowing from your vents? As you step outside to the scorching temps, you find your outdoor AC unit is covered in ice! What a crazy sight to see! So now what?
It may be a shock to see ice formed around your unit, but a frozen AC is a common problem during the hot Georgia months. Here’s a step by step guide to what causes this common AC breakdown and what to do next:
My AC is Frozen- What is the Cause?
- Dirty Air Filter- A dirty air filter can inhibit the air flow through your system. This can cause your system to freeze up. Make sure to have your seasonal maintenance and change your air filters regularly.
- Refrigerant Leak- Even a pin hole sized refrigerant (Freon) leak can wreak havoc on your HVAC system. Refrigerant is needed to cool your home. The lines that carry the refrigerant may become worn from normal wear and cause your system to freeze. Some systems have been known to have evaporator coil manufacturing problems that cause refrigerant leaks.
- Insufficient Air Flow- Damaged ductwork, a dirty evaporator coil, not enough return ducts and of course a dirty air filter can all restrict the flow through your HVAC system. Your AC is not getting the required amount of air to operate properly and causes the coil’s temperature to drop. The result is a frozen AC.
What do I Do Now?
If your system is frozen, the first step is to always shut it down to allow for the ice to melt. A frozen system cannot be properly worked on and checked. What does this mean for you? No AC for at least 24 hours. Check your air filter to see if it is the main cause of any air obstructions. Lastly, contact a professional to verify that you do not have a leak in the system. A system low on refrigerant can only be repaired by an expert. Most importantly, make sure that the technician is EPA certified and eligible to properly handle refrigerant and the repairs.
Is Adding More Refrigerant a Fix to a Leak?
No, No, No! Just like in your vehicle, your AC system is meant to hold the refrigerant in a closed system and cool the air properly without the need for refilling. There is something wrong with your HVAC system if refrigerant is leaking and you need repeated refills. It is possible that the system was incorrectly charged upon installation, (one more reason to hire a qualified team and not the least expensive hack). One correct charging should do the trick in an improperly installed system. However, repeated refrigerant refills mean that you have a problem that needs to be repaired and not patched.
Remember, no HVAC company can guarantee a refill will last for any specific length of time. When the HVAC system is compromised and refrigerant is leaking, it can last for days, months or a full season. However, there is no test to guarantee your refrigerant refill costs will hold you over. What does this mean to you as a homeowner? While you may opt to refill your system today, it is not out of the ordinary that the same problem may persist a short time later. What is the fix? Repair your system, and if the age qualifies, consider a higher efficiency model HVAC replacement. Most importantly, consider putting your repair costs towards a new system. This saves on monthly utility costs AND you will have a new parts and labor warranty!
Contact the experts at Guardian to provide you with regular maintenance that can help eliminate mid-summer AC breakdowns or a frozen AC. We will verify the warranty on your current unit, provide you with repair options if necessary, and help prevent typical causes to AC breakdowns. Call 770-727-1888 to get on our schedule for AC repair in Atlanta and surround.