What You’ll Learn
As you read how you end up with a frozen A/C and what you can do about it, you’ll learn:
- This is one of the most common air conditioning issues, and it requires immediate attention.
- This problem can impact many different components such as the A/C lines, evaporator coil, air filter, and more.
- Issues with the air conditioner refrigerant pipe quickly cause other problems that make it impossible for your A/C to function as it should.
What Do I Do if My A/C Pipe Is Frozen?
Surely frozen lines shouldn’t be a problem here in Maricopa County, right? Some people in Phoenix, AZ, and the surrounding areas are surprised to learn that air conditioning issues like this can still happen here. The thing about frozen lines is that they aren’t freezing because of the weather outside, but because of problems within the air conditioner itself.
Refrigerant lines connect the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump to the indoor evaporator coil. These copper lines are insulated so they can carry refrigerant back and forth, moving heat out of your home. When there are leaks, insulation problems, or similar faults in the system that give refrigerants too much exposure to other parts, you’re going to have air conditioning issues.
A frozen A/C line can normally be resolved with relative ease. For example, turn your air conditioner off right away, and set the thermostat to FAN mode with no temperature. This will help thaw the air conditioner pipes as quickly as possible. It’s important to understand that the problem isn’t fixed just because you’ve thawed your frozen A/C pipes. The fact that you even had frozen lines in the first place is a sign that there are other air conditioning issues.
You’ll need to have a Phoenix HVAC technician inspect your system to figure out where the problem is starting. The frozen pipes are only a noticeable symptom of something larger. There are a few possible reasons for frozen lines, but the following are especially common.
Restricted Airflow Can Cause Ice Build-up on Your A/C Unit
It’s possible that the freezing happened because there was insufficient airflow to keep excessively cold temperatures from building up. In fact, insufficient airflow is at the root of many common air conditioning issues. In this case, the evaporator coil might freeze because there isn’t enough warm air passing over it to balance out the refrigerant inside, which might be as cold as -20°F.
Once the evaporator coil freezes, the freezing spreads into the refrigerant lines as well. As humidity within your air conditioning system hits the frozen lines and coils, it condenses and freezes in a hurry. Eventually, enough ice has built up to lead to noticeable air conditioner problems.
Business owners, landlords, and homeowners might have insufficient airflow within their A/C systems for a few common reasons:
- Dirty air filters that can’t let air pass-through
- Build Ups or collapses in the air ducts or blocked vents
- Dust or dirt on the evaporator coil
- Problems with the blower fan that prevent it from moving air
As always, turn the air conditioner off as soon as you notice freezing. Keep the fan on, though, so it will blow warm air over the frozen components. This will help thaw your system within a few hours in most cases. From there, the first step is to check your air filter and return vents. If you don’t see any blockage, it’s time to call a Phoenix HVAC contractor.
Low Refrigerant Levels Can Cause Ice Build-up on Your A/C Unit
It might seem counterintuitive to think that low refrigerant can actually cause freezing. This happens because the refrigerant pressure inside your evaporator coil gets too low, which causes the temperature to drop, ultimately leading to freezing.
If you have a refrigerant leak, you might notice that your utility bills have been rising, and there is warm air coming from your vents. In extreme cases, you may even hear the leak from your refrigerant lines.
Serious Problems That Need Additional Investigation
Call a certified HVAC professional immediately if you have a refrigerant leak or you can’t determine why your system has insufficient airflow. These are serious air conditioner issues that you shouldn’t tackle alone, especially if you don’t have professional HVAC training. Ignoring these issues can also cause much larger problems down the road.
Need a Phoenix Tech to Inspect Your Frozen AC?
Here at Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating, and Plumbing, we are your Phoenix area A/C company. We know what it takes to address all types of air conditioning issues, from air purification concerns to warm air coming from the vents, including frozen lines. If your refrigerant lines or evaporator coil is coated with ice, time is of the essence.
That’s why we pride ourselves on offering quick response times and efficient service. Our technicians will arrive at your home, rental property, or business as soon as possible, then get to the root of the problem that is causing your lines to freeze. Schedule online at your convenience.
We understand that it can be very shocking for a homeowner, landlord, or business owner to discover frozen components within their air conditioners. Having a functional air conditioner is as important here in the valley as it is just about anywhere in the world, so people want quick answers when they have A/C issues. Here are some of the most common questions we get.
What Do I Do if My Air Conditioning System Freezes?
There are a few steps you should always follow whenever you find ice in your air conditioner:
- Turn the air conditioner off immediately. The ice won’t be able to thaw if it continues to get cooled by a running A/C.
- Turn the fan setting on even while the temperature is off. This will blow warm air over the frozen components and should melt the ice within a few hours, especially thanks to that warm Phoenix air.
- Do not turn the system back on until the issue has been resolved. Running your air conditioner with frozen lines or a frozen evaporator coil is bad for it.
From there, check to ensure your vents are open and clear, then inspect your A/C filter. If the filter is very dirty and clogged, replace it. In these cases, your problem may be resolved. In all other cases, though, you will have to call a professional HVAC contractor.
How to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing
Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent all types of air conditioner issues, including this one. During your regular A/C checkups, the technician will inspect refrigerant levels, the blower fan, drain lines, and more. This makes it relatively easy to identify threats before they get any more serious. Small problems are a lot easier and less expensive to fix than big problems, so it’s nice to catch them before your air conditioner is frozen.
What to Do if Your A/C Freezes
As mentioned above, turn off the system right away and put the fan setting on. Next, contact Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, your Phoenix air conditioning experts. Schedule service online, and we’ll get to work on your A/C.
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