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What Can Cause an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?

When it is a 90 degree day outside, the last thing you expect to find in your air conditioner is a chunk of ice, but it happens. When your air conditioner freezes up, it is a problem that you should not ignore. An initial worry is that heavy, expanding ice can damage the parts of your air conditioner. Furthermore, when that ice does melt, it is exposure to moisture that leads to potentially damaging rust.

What you need to do is track down what is causing your air conditioner to produce ice by looking at these common culprits.

Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter will restrict air flow into the air conditioner. This doesn’t seem like it would have a big effect, but it does. Your air conditioner consists of an indoor unit, which has the evaporator coil, and an outdoor unit, which houses the compressor. A refrigerant line runs between them cycling refrigerant. When there is not enough air flow, there is not enough heat to remove from the air and the refrigerant stays colder than it should, ultimately forming ice.

This issue can also happen if you turn the air conditioner on when it is still 50 degrees outside. The air is too cold, the refrigerant stays too cold, and ice forms.

Refrigerant Leak

The other issue you need to consider is that there is a refrigerant leak in your system. What actually causes freezing is the fact that the refrigerant in the system is low. However, refrigerant doesn’t get low on its own. It runs on a closed loop system and will only go down if there is a leak in the system.

If your air filter is clean, you will want to call a professional out to look for refrigerant leaks. Ignoring the issue means toxic refrigerant is leaking into your yard, and low refrigerant will eventually lead to air conditioner damage. If you are having your air conditioner ice over or any other problems, contact us today to see what Minnesota Heating & Air Conditioning can do for you.