When the temperatures in Albuquerque are climbing above 100 degrees and the mercury in Santa Fe is topping 90, the last thing you want is for your air conditioner to freeze up. However, when you’re relying heavily on your AC it can — and will, if not maintained properly — freeze up. This happens when the evaporator coil gets too cold, causing ice crystals to form. Your HVAC freezing up can cause it to struggle to work properly or stop functioning altogether. And usually when you need it the most. To prevent the hot summer from feeling even hotter, here are seven common reasons HVAC units freeze up and what you can do to prevent them.
1. Dirty Air Filters
Air filters might seem like a simple — and forgettable — part of your HVAC system, but they are the root cause of many problems. It’s one of the top reasons behind freezing up. Dirty filters can cause numerous problems because they block airflow. With low airflow, the blower motor must work harder to circulate air. That leads to condensation building up on the evaporator coil, and, eventually a freeze up. The longer air filters go uncleaned, the more condensation and ice builds up on the coils. The solution is simple. Cleaning or replacing your filters often. You should plan to do this every six months if not sooner.
2. Refrigerant Level
Over time, your refrigerant may get low — just it does in your car’s air conditioning system. In many cases, however, a leak is causing your low refrigerant. When your system is low on refrigerant, it could cause water vapor to freeze on the surface of the evaporator coil. If you think your system has low refrigerant, call a professional like Aztec Mechanical. Only certified technicians may handle refrigerants. Checking refrigerant levels is a regular part of HVAC technicians’ seasonal inspections and tune ups, so they will spot this problem during a regular service call.
3. Faulty Blower Fan
If your blower fan isn’t working efficiently, your system could have insufficient air flow. Over time, this will cause water to condense and eventually freeze on the coils. But a faulty blower fan won’t just cause your evaporator coil to freeze, it could cause problems with your whole system. This is another case when calling a professional is the best fix.
4. Damaged or Dirty Ductwork
Damaged ductwork can restrict airflow to your HVAC, causing condensation to build up and freeze. Dirty ductwork can also cause other problems. This is particularly common in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, where blowing dust and pollen accumulates easily. You may also experience more build up if you’ve done renovations or had construction in your home; if your household includes kids and pets; or you recently moved into a home that had been vacant for a while.
5. Clogged Condensate Drain Line
The condensate drain line removes moisture from the air in your system. If there’s a clog in this line, the moisture can’t escape. It can begin to build up, and it could condense on the surface of the evaporator coil. Turn to a professional if you need your condensate drain line cleared.
6. Thermostat Problems
If you’re having to continually turn down your thermostat to get your AC to work, you could have a broken thermostat. With a broken thermostat, your system won’t cycle on and off efficiently. By working harder, air won’t flow as it should and — yep, you guessed it — the evaporator coil may get condensation and eventually freeze.
7. Dirty Condenser or Evaporator Coils
In New Mexico, blowing dust and pollen can cause dirty condenser and evaporator coils. Dirty coils can cause your system to work inefficiently. Over time, condensation builds up on the already dirty coils leading to a freeze up. Ask your heating and cooling technician if the coils need to be cleaned.
How Aztec Mechanical Can Help
Regular maintenance will head off many of these problems. Our expert technicians maintain a variety of home and commercial heating and cooling systems, and we can help you optimize your AC to stay cool. Contact us today to get started.