Why Your AC Keeps Freezing Up

If you are dealing with recurring ice formation on your air conditioning equipment, you may need to contact your cooling contractor for assistance. Even if your system is operating, the presence of ice signifies that conditions in your air handler are too cold. AC maintenance issues may be at the heart of the problem, but in some cases, ice signals more serious equipment problems.

Why is the Ice Forming?

Refrigerant is an integral part in the air conditioning process, and its behavior changes based on pressure. Pressurized refrigerant boils, becoming extremely hot even at lower temperatures. The release of this pressure results in dramatic cooling of the material. As refrigerant moves through the lines and into evaporator and condenser coils, these pressure changes are prompted in order to effect change in your indoor environment.

There are three primary factors that can result in colder-than-recommended conditions in the air handler. These include:

  • Refrigerant issues
  • Reduced airflow
  • Electronic malfunction

Making Corrections

If you defrost your air handler without making changes, you shouldn’t be surprised at the return of the ice. AC troubleshooting should take place while the ice melts. A clean air filter may be a cheap and easy solution. It’s easy to forget about your filter, but you need to start the cooling season with a new filter, making monthly checks and changes as needed.

As the ice melts, look to see if there is a thick layer of grime on your coils. This can create a barrier that reduces heat exchange between the refrigerant and your air supply, resulting in the coils remaining too cold and promoting ice formation. That grime can also prevent air from moving with appropriate pressures through your ducts. You can confirm that this is a problem by noting the pressure of air coming out of your vents when the system is operating again. Weak airflow may indicate the need for AC maintenance so that your coils can be professionally cleaned.

Check your thermostat batteries, as well. Weak batteries can result in unusual behavior from your air conditioning equipment, and irregular cycling might lead to ice forming.

Professional Diagnostics

Air conditioning repair is warranted if you continue to deal with ice after changing your filter and checking these issues. Annual maintenance is important for dealing with a dirty air handler and weak airflow issues. In fact, maintenance can provide a technician with the opportunity to optimize your equipment and pinpoint specific problems that may be causing icy coils. The staff of Brettco Heating and Air Conditioning offers preventive AC maintenance in the Greater Beaumont, TX, area and we are available to answer your questions or schedule an appointment when you contact our office.