Few things are worse than having the air conditioner in your Vancouver, Washington home freeze up right when you need it. When the outside temperature is unbearable, having this essential equipment ice over can leave everyone at risk of heat-related health issues. Often, this is a strong indication that your AC system is simply in need of maintenance. At other times, professional help is required. Following are six ways to get your cooling system back up and running after it freezes.
1. Start by Turning Your Air Conditioner Off
Whether your cooling system starts freezing over or is overheating, you always want to start by shutting it down completely. With a freezing unit, you should turn the unit off to allow it to gradually thaw out. However, you shouldn’t expect it to thaw within a matter of minutes. Give your air conditioner several hours to rest. This should be plenty of time for built-up ice to melt. As the ice melts, you can start moving through the following troubleshooting checklist to determine the underlying cause of the problem.
2. Check and Change the Air Conditioner’s Filter
When your air conditioner freezes up, the first thing to check is its air filter. This is especially true if you haven’t performed a filter change in a while. HVAC air filters should generally be changed every one to three months. However, many homeowners may need to swap this component out more often. If you have pets, live in a naturally dusty area, or have other factors that contribute to higher levels of airborne particulates indoors, it may be necessary to change your HVAC air filter about once every three to four weeks.
Dirty air filters inhibit proper airflow. When airflow is impeded, air conditioners tend to freeze over. This occurs as ice starts to build on the evaporator coil. Putting a new filter in may resolve the issue. It will also improve the quality of your indoor air.
3. Troubleshoot Other Possible Air Flow Issues
Make sure that there aren’t blockages in other areas of the system. Check the HVAC air vents throughout your home to ensure that these aren’t covered in lint and other debris. You can wipe these down with a damp cloth or use your vacuum cleaner to suction the build-up of debris away. If any of your air vents are blocked by window treatments or furnishings, move these things out of the way. Make sure that the outside condenser unit is free of debris as well and properly ventilated.
Keep in mind that if the HVAC air vents are dirty, your ductwork is likely dirty too. Scheduling air duct cleaning services could be necessary for preventing your AC from freezing over again. For optimum indoor air quality and AC performance, professional duct cleaning should be performed at least once every three to five years.
4. Check for Refrigerant Leaks
Ice on your air conditioner’s evaporator coils may be a sign of a refrigerant leak. Think about how your air conditioner was performing right before it started freezing up. If your energy bills have been on the rise for the past few months or if your home has remained hot and humid even when the air conditioner is on, the unit probably lacks adequate refrigerant. If you believe that this is the case, schedule an appointment for air conditioner service right away.
5. Have Your Blower Fan Inspected
The problem may lie at your air conditioner’s blower fan. When there are no airflow issues as the result of a clogged HVAC air filter or dirty air vents, this component should be professionally inspected. Continuing to run an air conditioner when the blower fan is damaged or failing can cause serious problems across the entire system.
6. Make Sure the Condensate Drain Line Isn’t Clogged
Another common reason why air conditioners freeze up is a clogged condensate drain line. Check the AC unit’s drip tray. If it is overflowing or if there is pooling water around the unit, this is the cause of freezing. HVAC professionals can flush your condensate line to clear the blockage and ensure problem-free AC operation.
Residents of Vancouver, Washington can always count on Northwest HVAC Heating & Cooling for fast, friendly AC service. We provide air conditioner, heat pump, and ductless cooling system repairs. If your cooling system keeps freezing up, we can find out why and solve the problem. Get in touch with us today to schedule service.