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Why AC Units Freeze and How to Prevent It From Happening

Summer is a wonderful time. The kids are out of school, the pools are open, and the great outdoors are just calling you for all sorts of adventures. Even though summer offers many activities for you and your family, there’s no denying the need for a cool place of refuge. Even just running errands in the summer heat can be exhausting and cause you to sweat. When you walk through your door, you want to be welcomed with the cool air that comes from a fully functioning air conditioning unit. Should your AC unit cease to function properly, it can make for a very long summer!

Why Does My AC Unit Freeze?

The most common problem AC units face is freezing. To the uninformed, the idea of an AC unit freezing up in the dead of summer may sound strange, but there are a handful of factors that may cause a unit to freeze:

     Low Refrigerant Levels – The coil in your AC unit needs to stay above freezing in order to function. If there is a leak causing you to lose refrigerant or if the refrigerant was not properly charged, then your coil may drop in temperature causing it to freeze. If this is the case with your unit, or if you want your refrigerant levels checked, then be sure to contact an HVAC professional for assistance.

     Dirty Air Filters – Air needs to be able to flow freely through your ducts and around your AC unit. If you have not replaced your home’s air filter within 90 days, then you run the risk of collecting dirt on your unit’s coil, causing it to drop in temperature and freeze. Be sure to regularly change your air filter to ensure that there is sufficient air flow throughout your home.

     Closed Supply Registers – Many people may close their supply registers, or vents, in the rooms that are less likely to be occupied in order to save money. However, this may limit the airflow in your ducts which can cause your AC unit to freeze. Make sure that you do not close more than a quarter of your home’s supply registers.

There are other possible causes for your frozen unit, such as a faulty fan, thermostat problems that cause your unit to run more than it should, or drainage problems.

How to Prevent Your AC Unit from Freezing

We’ve hinted at things you can do to prevent the common causes listed above, but let’s review the best precautions to take and routine maintenance you should schedule:

     Have your refrigerant levels checked by an HVAC professional as well as any possible leaks. It’s smart to have this done before the hot summer months when you need it the most and when prices may be their highest.

     Ideally, you’ll want to change your air filters every 30 days. Be sure not to go longer than 90 days without changing your filter.

     Ensure that you do not close more than ¼ of your home’s supply registers.

     Do not use your air conditioner if outside temperatures are lower than 60 degrees. Your unit is meant to perform in warm conditions.

     Have your thermostat checked to ensure that it functions properly and will not force your air conditioner to work more than necessary.

If you live in the Chattanooga or Cleveland, TN area, contact Central Heat & Air for all your air conditioning and HVAC needs. Hurry and have one of our professionals come inspect your air conditioning unit to verify that it is ready to provide you with the cool relief you need this summer.






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