Air Conditioning Troubleshooting: Frozen AC Pipes
In the summer time, no one likes to have air conditioner problems. One of the more bizarre occurrences is when the the A/C unit or the A/C pipes freeze. Older units are more prone to freezing than newer units, but it’s always a possibility no matter how new. You might have noticed that your A/C unit is running constantly, but your house doesn’t seem to cool down. If you notice that your air conditioner has dropped in performance, it’s time to do a visual check of your unit. If you find the pipes from the air conditioner are frozen, then your air conditioner is frozen too! So what do you do about it?
If you find your air conditioners’ pipes frozen, you will need to immediately turn the switch on your thermostat from A/C (or COOL) to the FAN setting. This has two purposes, most importantly the compressor will be turned off, preventing damage to the unit. It will also put warmer air into the cold air lines, which will start the air conditioning unthaw process. There are two checks you can do yourself that could be causing the A/C unit to freeze:
- Dirty Filter – If you haven’t had your air conditioning filter changed recently, the lack of air flow could be causing the evaporator coil to freeze. Check our blog post on changing your air conditioner filter.
- Air Temperature – If the night air in your area drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you should not be running the air conditioner overnight. This will cause freezing.
If neither of those seem to be the culprit, it’s time to move to the next step.
Next Step: Calling a Professional
If your unit or lines are frozen, but the filter is clean and you are not running the air conditioner in cool weather, you will need to have an HVAC repair service take a look at the system because it is likely a complex issue. Your unit is likely leaking refrigerant (e.g. freon), and they will be able to permanently solve the problem. A freon leak is dangerous is not cleaned up and fixed properly. Your air conditioner pipes may be freezing due to the A/C lines being wrapped in duct tape, or electrical tape. This is not an adequate solution, and is unsafe as well. The most important thing to do is to turn off your air conditioner before you burn out the compressor.
A reputable heating and cooling company will be able to repair your system to ensure that the air conditioner no longer freezes. A professional repair is your best option for not only fixing the problem, but ensuring it won’t happen again.Attempting to fix the unit yourself can be very dangerous. They will give you personal tips on how to prevent frozen air conditioner pipes in the future on your own. Continued freezing of the AC unit can lead to irreparable damage, and will you be forced to purchase a brand new air conditioner. Stay current with our blog’s homepage to make sure you don’t miss any more money saving energy tips!