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Seeing a frozen coil in your air conditioning unit can come as a bit of a surprise, especially during the hot summer months. Just in case you are thinking that it could be a good sign, let us assure you that it is nowhere near that. Ice buildup on your air conditioner actually indicates that the unit is not performing to its potential and this can lead to problems.

An air conditioner is designed to distribute cold air around a room, not freeze up itself. Luckily for you, there are a few simple things that you can do in order to prevent your air conditioner from freezing up.

1 - Check Vents

Ice buildup can happen due to improper airflow inside an air conditioner. This is why the first thing that you need to do to prevent your air conditioner from freezing up is to check the vents. You need to make sure that both the vent that supplies the air to your air conditioner and the vent that expels the air coming from the unit are completely open.

If there is any furniture placed near the vents, it is better to move them away so that air can flow easily into and out of the vents. Do not close off more than two to three vents for your HVAC unit. While it may look like a good idea to do that so you will be cooling only a few portions of your home, it can be problematic. You might end up restricting the airflow too much and potentially cause the buildup of ice inside your air conditioner.

2 - Change Air Filters

While we are talking about maintaining proper air flow, there is also the air filter in your air conditioner to consider. If the air filter of your HVAC system is clogged or dirty, it can prevent the air from flowing in through the return ducts. When the evaporator coil does not get the proper amount of airflow, you will end up with a frozen coil with a thick layer of ice on top.

Checking and changing the air filters of your air conditioner regularly is not only necessary to prevent it from freezing up, it is also important to ensure that the unit performs optimally. Clean air filters can help to improve the indoor air quality because they can properly filter out all the airborne dirt and dust. Experts recommend that you should change the air filters of your air conditioner once every three months.

3 - Condensate Drain Line Checkup

Air conditioners are designed to cool down the surrounding air by absorbing heat and transferring it away from homes. During this cooling process, moisture in the air condenses. The same happens when your air conditioner is cooling down the air and the moisture condensed from the humid air then drips down into the condensate drip tray.

The moisture eventually flows out of your air conditioner through its in-built drain system. If there is any part of the condensate tray or condensate drain line that becomes blocked or clogged, this can cause the condensate water to back up into the air conditioning unit. The overflowing condensate tray causes excessive moisture within the air conditioning unit, thereby increasing the chances of your air conditioner freezing up. Make sure that you check the condensate drainage system of your HVAC system and get rid of any and all blockages that can cause the water to build up.

4 - The Blower Fan

Even a small problem with your air conditioner can lead to ice buildup. If the blower inside your air conditioning unit is not working properly, it can make the unit freeze up. The unit will fail to generate the kind of airflow it needs to keep the evaporator coil from freezing up. One of the most common problems occurring in air conditioning units is that their blower fans become slow over time or they stop working altogether, even though the rest of the unit may be working properly.

In either of these cases, you need to call in a skilled technician to come in and properly examine the blower fan inside your air conditioning unit. Several small issues can adversely affect your air conditioner’s blower fan. It can simply be an overall wear and tear of the unit, the motor could have possible issues, the rotation speed might be troublesome, the power output of the blower fan can be causing the problem or the rotation direction might be wrong. A skilled technician that knows their way around an air conditioning unit will be able to figure out the exact nature of the problem and provide you the best solution for it.

5 - Refrigerant Leak

One of the most common reasons why there is an ice buildup in air conditioners is low refrigerant levels. While the air conditioning unit may be operating with the lower refrigerant levels, it can cause a decline in the coil temperature to below freezing point. This causes the water vapor in the nearby air to start condensing and collecting on the coil surface. Initially, the condensing water vapor will start to create a little frost on the coil but the very same frost can build up into a thick layer of ice. This is caused by a leak in any part of the internal system, which handles the refrigerant in your air conditioning unit.

Calling In Professionals To Make It Go Away

Calling in skilled technicians can help you get rid of the ice buildup problem inside your air conditioning unit. While you can deal with the issues of blocked vents, air filters and blocked condensate trays yourself, refrigerant leaks and malfunctioning blower fans should be left to the experts.

If you live in Arizona, you don’t need to worry. At Mesa Plumbing, we deal with a host of common issues related to your home. While the name suggests that we’re plumbers, we do so much more than that. Contact us through our website at or simply call us at (480) 832-1660 and have our expert technicians come in and examine your air conditioning unit. We’ll make the cold shoulder that your HVAC is giving you go away.

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