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technician fixing an air conditioner freezing up outside unit

It’s the peak of summer, and now more than ever, you need a reliable cooling system. However, you have noticed your AC with ice. Having an air conditioner freezing up outside unit can be pretty frustrating to encounter as a unit owner. There are various reasons behind this, and we will thoroughly go through each of them. 


To further guide you in troubleshooting and repairs, we will explain the possible issues further. It can help determine when and why you need to call your professional HVAC technician for SOS.


Understanding How Your AC Works and Determining If You Have a Frozen Unit Problem


Knowing and learning how your HVAC system works is essential before discussing why you might have an air conditioner freezing up outside unit. One must first understand the typical process involved during the cooling process of an AC like how you must know proper humidity levels.


Your HVAC system utilizes the Joule-Thomson effect. In thermodynamics, it shows that heat has higher molecular energy. It happens because molecules tend to move faster, producing heat. On the other hand, cool air has low-molecular energy due to decreased molecular movement. What your air conditioner does is cool your home. Hence, it uses the refrigerant within the evaporator coils to expand the air molecules. Heat removal becomes possible through molecular expansion, and your HVAC system will disperse colder air. It is similar to how your furnace blows colder air when it has issues which could signal that it’s failing.


When something goes wrong during this process, the end product could have a different result. By understanding what could intervene in the standard cooling procedure, we can rule out what might cause your outside unit to freeze. If you have an AC freezing up, iced refrigerant pipes could be a signal. It is usually the most apparent symptom you could check as it runs between your outdoor unit and home. Other signs can also include condensation forming on the surface or your AC failing to disperse cool air to your indoor dwelling. Whichever output you are experiencing, always make sure to pay attention. 


Possible Reasons Behind your Frozen Outdoor Unit


Now that you know the basic ideology involved in cooling your home, you might be asking, “what led to my air conditioner freezing up outside unit?” We have three basic answers that you might want to check. 


The first possible culprit is a dirty air filter. Air filters function to “filter” and rid your indoor air of potential pollutants. So you might have wondered, “How can my air filters contribute to my air conditioner freezing up outside unit?” As your air filter does its job, dirt and debris accumulate in them over time. While it may not sound as problematic, when your air filters obstruct the path of air, it can trigger air conditioner malfunction. It stresses the importance of having your filters cleaned or replaced regularly. 


The second reason might be low refrigerant levels. It could be that your HVAC system has refrigerant leaks, wherein refrigerants flee. As you know, proper refrigerant levels ensure the appropriate function of molecular expansion. When levels stoop low, your AC has less pressure and leaves your outdoor unit frozen. You must seek expert help as refrigerants are potentially hazardous to health. Attending to this issue by yourself is not advisable. 


Lastly, a damaged blower fan can also lead to a problematic AC. The blower fan functions by pushing warm air to the AC coils. If it’s not blowing enough air, the evaporator coil stops the air conditioner from operating. In this case, your blower motor might be the problem. Hence, you should seek professional help. 


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