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June 27, 2019
The three-digit temperatures are back in Yolo & Solano Counties — has the needle on your thermometer broken off yet? There is no doubt you have been relying heavily on your air conditioner already at home and in your car. What do you do when you’ve set your thermostat to “cool,” dropped the temperature setting, and waited for cool air to come out of your vents for what has felt like hours? The local guys and gals at Greiner have talked with many homeowners panicked that their air conditioners may be broken, only to find that there is frost on the refrigerant lines and their air conditioner has frozen up!
So, you may be asking “how do I stop my air conditioner from freezing?” or if you’ve already noticed your air conditioner has frozen up, you’re probably wondering “how do I unfreeze my air conditioner?” That’s what Greiner is here for — to get your home back to that cool, comfortable temperature you need to stop sweating another air conditioning breakdown!
Understanding a Frozen AC Unit
The hot summer sun can turn the leather seats in your car into molten lava, and the sidewalk into a concrete skillet — so how is it that even with all the outdoor heat, an air conditioner can freeze? The short answer is that the evaporator coils inside your air conditioner have gotten too cold.
In order for your air conditioner to operate properly, warm inside air travels over the evaporator coils that contain a liquid refrigerant. The coils remove the heat from the warm air, and then send the resulting cool air into your ductwork and vents, which distributes the cool air throughout your home. However, when frost and ice build-up on those coils, it constricts air flow, thus reducing your air conditioner’s cooling abilities. Before we can diagnose what has led to your evaporator coils to freeze, let's get to step one in unfreezing your air conditioner:
Step 1: Turn your air conditioner off, and wait!
Now that your air conditioner is off, the frost can begin to thaw without risk of harming the compressor in your AC unit. You can speed up the thawing process by setting your thermostat to the “fan” setting once your air conditioner is off.
Diagnosing Your Frozen AC Unit
Your air conditioner has frozen for a reason. If you can’t diagnose the issue, then it is bound to happen again, leaving you and your family frustrated (and sweaty). Reasons for a frozen air conditioner fall into two categories.
Air Flow Issues
Like we covered earlier, if there is a drop in the air flow coming into your air conditioner, then your evaporator coils will get too cold and freeze up. Low air flow can be caused by a few different issues:
A dirty air filter (when was the last time you changed your air filter?)
Closed supply vents (make sure all of your vents are open and unobstructed)
Broken blower fan or motor
Ductwork issues like improper sizing
Dirt and dust buildup that has developed on your evaporator coils
Low Refrigerant Levels/Refrigerant Leak
Think about your air conditioner like the engine of a car — If the electricity and incoming air flow are like the gasoline, then the refrigerant is like the engine oil. Your air conditioner evaporator coils are pressurized with refrigerant, and any drop in that pressure means there is a leak. If the pressure in your evaporator coils drops, so does the temperature of those coils.
If you aren’t sure what is causing your air conditioner to freeze up, that brings us to:
Step 2: Call Greiner!
The local guys and gals at Greiner are never too far away to help you when you need it. Stop sweating your failing AC unit woes, and call Greiner. Trust in the honesty, care and patriotism of the local experts at Greiner!