If it's insanely hot outside, why is my ac frozen?
People often ask us in disbelief: "If it's summer and 92 degrees outside, why is my AC frozen?"
Here in Central Florida, frozen things are few and far between. Even on the coldest nights here, we rarely have more than a frost, and certainly not a prolonged hard freeze. In our temperate climate, we expect certain things to be frozen:
But in the heat of summer, we would never expect our air conditioners to be FROZEN!
How can an air conditioner in central Florida freeze up like a glacier in a desert?
How being cool also requires being warm
Your ac unit keeps your home cool by pulling heat from the air. That heat is sent into coils in a condenser filled with refrigerant. The chemical refrigerant absorbs the heat and converts it to moisture that is sent outside to evaporate.
Pulling heat and moisture from the air around you keeps you cool.
But to keep those coils filled with refrigerant from freezing, you must have warm air circulating around them.
It sounds weird, but you need a little heat to stay cool.
If warm air isn’t moving, your coils get too cold. Any number of problems exist that explain why your ac is frozen:
1) Blocked airflow keeps the warm air from keeping your coils cool.
Check your vents and registers to make sure nothing is blocking circulation.
Check your air filters. A dirty or clogged air filter prevents airflow. Air filters should be changed every 4-6 weeks. (Did you know that according to the United States Department of Energy, you can make your heating and air conditioning system 5% to 15% more efficient just by changing your air filters regularly?)
2) Incorrect levels of refrigerant can cause your ac to freeze up.
Do you know when your ac unit was last serviced?
Do you know how much refrigerant is in it?
Is there a small leak in a line that is letting refrigerant seep out?
3) Drainage that is blocked, either by ice or debris. might be the culprit in causing your ac to be frozen. Check the lines and the drainage holes to make sure nothing is plugged up.
4) If your ac is frozen, it might also be due to a mechanical problem like a faulty thermostat or a fan that isn't working properly.
What should you do if your ac is frozen?
As a temporary measure, you can turn the unit off and let it defrost, but this process can take hours. Another option is to take a hot air blow dryer and wave it over the frozen coils to get the ice off. Wipe off the evaporator coils.
But if you’re not an HVAC technician, how would you know how much refrigerant you need to keep your unit working properly? How could you figure out what caused the problem to begin with? You might not have the time to check the drainage holes, the state of the air filters, or the operation of the mechanical parts.
That’s why the best thing to do is to call us at ServiceOne. We’ve been taking care of the HVAC and plumbing needs of central Florida for more than twenty years. Our office staff is polite and professional, working to get your concerns addressed. Our technicians are trained and talented and ready to serve you.
We know why your ac is frozen, and we can fix it quickly. Better yet, we can maintain it on a regular basis so you never have to worry about it freezing up in the sweltering heat of a Florida summer. Just ask about our maintenance agreement.
That frozen ac unit you have? Now, like Elsa, you can “Let It Go!” and never think of it again.
Call us at 1-407-499-8333.