Frozen Pipe on your Outdoor Air Conditioner?
One day, you find that your air conditioner has stopped blowing cold air into your home. After some investigation, you have detected that your refrigerant lines are covered in ice. You begin to wonder to yourself if this is normal.
Unfortunately, having ice anywhere on your air conditioner is not a normal occurrence. Ice-build up on your unit can occur if you have your air conditioner operating in sub 65-degree weather for whatever reason. Still, for the sake of the situation, we’ll say you aren’t.
If you have ice building up on your air conditioner refrigerant lines, then you might have one of the two problems:
•The airflow over your evaporator lines is restricted.
•Refrigerant levels are too low.
If you are not sure which problem you have, then don’t worry. We will explain to you both problems and why they lead to a frozen air conditioner. And we will explain what you can do to fix the problem.
Why do I have frozen Air Conditioner pipes outside?
When you have an AC that isn’t “Breathing” in enough air, the part that cools the surrounding air, the evaporator coil, will get too cold, and eventually, it will freeze over.
Here is the reason: The evaporator coil can be considered an extensive webbing of refrigerant coils. The refrigerant inside these coils could reach temperatures as low as 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically, this is enough to warm unconditioned air passing over these coils, which prevents frost and ice build-up.
But if there is not enough warm air passing over the coils, the evaporator can ice over very quickly, and the ice will travel along the refrigerant lines. The ice will build even fast when humid air hits the coils, causing them to condense and freeze.
Problems that could lead to restricted airflow:
•Clogging in the air filter
•A collapsed air duct or air ducts
•dirty evaporator coils
•Problems with the blower fan
•Vents that have been blocked or closed.
What can I do?
•Turn the thermostat setting off immediately.
•Turn on the thermostat fan setting and wait for three to four hours before reactivating the AC unit. The ON setting will run the fan even when your Air Conditioner isn’t cooling. This will help your AC draw in warm air from your house and help thaw the frozen coils.
•Check your air filters, if they look like the picture on the right below, then it is time to replace them.
•Check all of your return vents. Make sure that they’re not being blocked by household furniture or drapes.
•Have a professional air condition repairman inspect and make repairs to your air conditioner. If you have inspected for all of the problems above and have not found the reason for your air conditioner freezing, then have a professional inspect and check over your system, see what is wrong, and make repairs to it.
Ice Build-up on your AC Unit due to Low Refrigerant Levels!
Your Air conditioner uses an important chemical called refrigerant, which absorbs heat from the inside of your home and pushes that heat outdoors. But if the levels of refrigerant fall past a certain point, the pressure inside of the evaporator coils will drop as well. And if the pressure drops, then so will the temperature. This will lead to ice forming on your evaporator coils.
The only thing that can cause your air conditioner refrigerant levels to fall is a refrigerant leak.
Your refrigerant is stationed inside a circuit of copper coils that is closed off. Refrigerant never gets used up, unlike rinse aid in a washing machine. So if your refrigerant levels are low, the only explanation is that there is a way for the refrigerant to escape, possibly through a hole in the refrigerant coils.
Telltale signs of a refrigerant leak includes:
•Noise resembling bubbling or hissing along the refrigerant lines.
•Warm air flowing from your vent.
•an unusually high electric bill.
What you can do!
•Turn your thermostat settings off immediately.
•Turn on the thermostat fan and wait three to four hours for the system to thaw.
•Call a professional air conditioner repairman to inspect your AC system if you believe you have a leak in your refrigerant coil. Be aware that refrigerant is a toxic chemical that should only be handled by a professional.
Be wary of contractors who will recharge your system without fixing the leakage first. If they don’t try to repair the leak early, you will end up having to pay for another refrigerant recharge soon, which is an expensive process.
Contact All Time Air Conditioning today at (561) 777-9888 to have the job done right.