AC Compressor Freezes Up

What to do When AC Compressor Freezes Up

All the appliances in your home are necessary for your daily activities. That’s why we know it would be a nightmare if your air conditioner suddenly stopped working. There are several reasons this might be happening. To help you fix this problem fast, in this article, we will talk about your AC compressor frozen over. 

You might think that there is nothing wrong with having a frozen AC system during winter. But, you are wrong. It doesn’t matter which season you are in, a frosty buildup in your air conditioner is a warning sign. Before you call a technician, you need to learn how to detect the problem and its probable causes.

If you want to find out why your AC system is frozen, then, the first thing you need to do is understand the process of making cool air. 

How does your AC system work?

In your air conditioner, there are two key elements you need to keep in mind, the coil and refrigerant. When your system is working, your coils need to be warm, otherwise, they will freeze over. For instance, if you want a cool breeze during summer, the indoor coil removes the heat from the inside of your home. Then, the refrigerant will transfer the air and push it outside through the outdoor coil.

This is the reason why you might notice your AC system is extremely hot because it is transferring all the heat to the outside of your home through pressure. If there is not warm air or enough pressure, the coils will start getting cold. 

Why is my AC compressor frozen over?

Now we know that if there is something wrong with your AC system, then the warm air will stop, and the coils will start freezing. But, how can all of this affect your compressor? Well, if there is high humidity near your home, the coils will be insulated. This means warm air won’t be able to reach them and fix the problem. 

With all this moisture in the air, the inside of your AC system will transform into a frosty buildup which will crawl up the copper pipes. As a result, your compressor will burn out and freeze up. The worst part is that your compressor is the more expensive part. That’s why when you notice that the airflow is warmer than what it should be, you should check your system. Then, call a technician right away. 

4 reasons why your AC is frozen

Since there are several elements involved in the process of producing fresh or warm air, there are different signs you should look out for.

1. Dirty evaporator coil

If your AC condenser coil is frozen, then you need to check if there is a dirt buildup. If your evaporator coil is covered in dust or grime, this will prevent it from getting a warm airflow. That’s why to avoid an AC condenser coil frozen, you should clean it regularly. The best way to do this is by scheduling annual maintenance.

2. Lack of refrigerant

In case your compressor has a frosty buildup, the problem might not be that the AC evaporator is frozen. Actually, the most common issue could be a lack of refrigerant. When your system is working, this part will compress the refrigerant to turn it into gas. Then, during the second compression, this gas turns into a liquid that blows inside your house thanks to the fan. 

However, if you don’t have the right amount of refrigerant, this process begins earlier. As a result, there would be enough cold to freeze up the coils. The longer this happens, the more icy buildups you will have in your AC. 

3. Insufficient airflow

When your AC freezes up, usually, the problem has to do with a lack of airflow. This is a situation that can happen due to different reasons or malfunctions with your system. Below we will explain the most common causes.

  • Broken blower motor

As you might have guessed by now, the blower motor is probably the most crucial part of your AC. If the motor doesn’t work, then the fan won’t blow enough air over the coils. The result would be an AC condenser coil frozen. If there is an issue with the blower motor, then you will hear some rattling sounds.

  • Under-powered fan

Your AC is an appliance that needs a lot of voltage to work since there are several high-power elements. If your blower motor or fan is not getting enough voltage, then your entire system could turn into a frosty buildup.

  • Dirty air filter

Depending on the type of AC system, the filter could be replaceable or washable. In either case, you should do this every three months, although some people will say you can wait up to six months. If you forget, then dirt and dust will build up in your filter, which will create a lack of airflow. Ultimately, this could freeze up your entire system.

4. Bad Drainage

If your AC freon line is frozen, then, you should also check if there are any drainage problems. This usually happens in homes located in humid climates. The evaporator coil needs to work twice as hard to eliminate all the humidity from the airflow. All of this can cause frozen condensation, which will worsen the problem. 

Preventing a frozen AC system

If your AC unit freezes up due to any of the reasons we explained above, you’ll need to call a technician to fix it. However, if you want to prevent this situation altogether, this is what you can do.

  • Change your air filter regularly. That way, there won’t be any dirt or dust buildup. Even though it is recommended to change the filter every three months. But, if your children have any allergies, you will need to do this every month.
  • You need to schedule at least one annual appointment. However, we will advise you to do a seasonal tune-up right before summer and winter. 
  • The last thing you can do is get an airflow inspection. The only thing you have to do is call for HVAC maintenance. Keep in mind this might cost you, but in the long run, it will save you a lot of money. 

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