Frozen AC: Symptoms, Causes And Cures

Of all the things to go wrong with your air conditioner, you might not ever think that freezing would be one of them. However, your air conditioner can develop ice on the coils and the surrounding areas, which can cause your air conditioner to malfunction. You should know the symptoms of a frozen AC system, as well as what causes it and how to remedy the problem. 


There are a few different things that you should look out for that point to your air conditioner being frozen. One of the main symptoms of a frozen air conditioner is if you notice that your air conditioner is running constantly, but the temperature in your home doesn't drop, or in fact actually gets warmer. When the air conditioner freezes, it will keep running but the home will not be cooled properly. 

Another symptom of your air conditioner being frozen is if you notice that the airflow within your home has significantly dropped. The air conditioner will still be running, but the amount of airflow coming through the vents will be a lot less than if your air conditioner wasn't frozen. If you notice these symptoms in your home, you can check for yourself to see if there is ice on your air conditioner. Turn off your air conditioner and open up the panel that gives you access to the evaporator. Look at the copper coils that are in place. If these coils are covered in ice, then you have a frozen air conditioner.   


Your AC freezing could be caused by a number of different things, as not just one thing will cause your air conditioner to freeze. One of the most common reasons your air conditioner freezes is due to blocked airflow in your home. Blocked airflow means that the air cannot move across the condenser coil properly, and causes it to freeze up.  Often times this is caused by a dirty air filter blocking the proper passage of air.

Another reason that your air conditioner freezes might be due to a refrigerant leak in your unit. Freon, or other types of coolant, causes the air conditioner to freeze up by dropping the pressure in the coils, which then gives moisture the opportunity to freeze on the coils. Symptoms of refrigerant leak include lower levels of refrigerant in your unit and greasy, dark spots near your air conditioner. 

Another reason your air conditioner is frozen may be due to the operation temperatures. If the temperature outside, where your unit resides, is too low and your air conditioner is still running, the AC system cannot work in the right way and you might find that it freezes up.


Curing your frozen AC unit will depend on if you can isolate what is causing the freezing problem. If insufficient airflow is your issues, you need to check your air filters and change them out for fresh new ones that will allow the air to properly flow.

If the problem is due to refrigerant leak, instead of just topping the refrigerant off, you need to find the source of the leak and stop it. If you just refill the refrigerant without finding out where it is leaking, the freezing will just keep happening. 

If your problem is due to outside operating temperatures, ensure that your air conditioner isn't running if the temperature drops below 62 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent this from happening. 

If you have noticed your air conditioner acting oddly, it may be due to ice forming inside the unit. If you don't feel like you can adequately handle the issues, you can discover more here or call in an experienced HVAC technician to help you cope with the problem. They can fix your AC and ensure that it doesn't start freezing up again in the future.