What to Do When You Find Your AC Unit Freezing Up in Summer

An AC unit freezing up in summer sounds at first like a case of too much of a good thing. After all, keeping you cool in hot weather is what air conditioners are supposed to do. However, when a central AC runs cold enough to become obstructed by ice, it’s actually a sign of serious dysfunction that could cause expensive permanent damage to the unit.

Air conditioners are heat movers. Cool refrigerant circulating through the indoor evaporator coil extracts heat from the household airflow, then disperses that heat into the outside air at the condenser coil.  However, when certain circumstances cause the refrigerant temperature to drop excessively low, the result is an AC unit freezing up during the summer and shutting down entirely. Here are two scenarios that may be the cause of an AC unit freezing up in summer.

Refrigerant leaks.

Insufficient refrigerant circulating in the system initially causes the evaporator coil’s temperature to drop too low. Condensation on coil surfaces turns to ice, eventually forming a layer thick enough to completely obstruct airflow through the coil, potentially damaging the air conditioner’s compressor and/or triggering a total system shutdown. The most common cause of a low refrigerant charge is tiny leaks in the system. Simply adding additional refrigerant isn’t a viable solution to an AC unit freezing up in summer. Qualified professional service to locate and repair the leaks, then restore the proper refrigerant charge, is what’s needed.

Low airflow.

A continuous flow of air through the evaporator coil is necessary to keep coil temperatures above the freezing point. If airflow volume is insufficient, the coil temperature may drop below freezing and cause ice formation. Low airflow is a frequent cause of an AC unit freezing up in summer. Often, it’s due to a clogged or dirty air filter. During the summer cooling season, replace the system air filter monthly to maintain proper airflow and prevent freeze-ups.

Contact the service professionals at Paitson Bros. for prompt service to resolve an AC unit freezing up in summer.  We’ve been here to ensure your indoor comfort every summer since 1922.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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