When your air conditioner freezes, do you turn it off, let it thaw, and then turn it on again? While this will temporarily solve the problem, it won't do anything to address the core causes of a frozen air conditioner – so before long, your condenser will just freeze again. To break free of this annoying freezing and re-thawing cycle, work on getting to the root of the problem. Here's a look at three common reasons why air conditioners freeze over and how to address each one.
When the air filter gets too dirty and clogged with debris, air will have a hard time flowing through it. As a result, the air flow through your condenser will be reduced. Slower air flow means more "coolness" will stay in the condenser coils for longer than it should. As a result, the coils get too cold and eventually freeze.
Thankfully, this is an easy fix. Slide out the old filter and take it with you to the hardware store to ensure you buy another one that's the same size. Slide the new filter in, and you're set. Set a reminder in your phone or leave a note on your fridge so you remember to change the filter every one to three months from now on.
Too many closed or blocked air vents can also inhibit the flow of air through the condenser. If the already-cool air is being forced through 4 open vents instead of 12, for example, it will be slowed down, and as a result, the warmer air entering the condenser will be slowed down, too.
Go around your house, and make sure all of your vents are open. Check to ensure none are stuck in the "closed" position (older vents often have this issue). If your vents are stuck closed, you may need to replace them. Also, move any furniture away from the vents so air can flow through them freely.
Dirty Air Condenser
If dirt and grime build up on the condensing coils, then air won't be able to come into direct contact with them, and they may get colder than intended and eventually freeze.
Turn the power off to your air condenser and remove the cover by unscrewing the screws that hold it in place. Use a garden hose to rinse off the coils. You may need to use a soft brush to brush away the grime if it is really bad. Put the cover back on, and turn the power back on.
If you try the three fixes above and your air conditioner is still freezing, then it is time to call in an HVAC specialist like Winters Heating Cooling & Indoor Air Quality. There may be an issue with your air circulation fan, and repairs of this sort are best left to a professional.