Why is My Home’s AC Unit Freezing Up?


Summer, along with hotter weather will be here before we know it. All too often, homeowners notice that their outside air conditioning unit is caked with ice. It’s supposed to be cold, isn’t it? But not caked with ice in the middle of summer. Something has to be wrong. Something is wrong. What causes air conditioners to freeze in the middle of summer? The answer(s) are quite simple.

How Air Conditioners Freeze

The evaporator coil is the component of a central air conditioning unit that actually freezes. This component of the air conditioner transfers heat from the inside of your home to the outside of your home. The two main reasons why the evaporator coil may freeze are:

1. Airflow restriction, or

2. Insufficient refrigerant

Either way, the ending effect is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil cannot operate to properly transfer heat, and in essence ‘overcools’ itself. The net effect of this super-cooling is condensation (that’s water formation), and the formation of ice from that condensation as it cools below the freezing point.

What Should You Do When Your A/C Freezes?

  1. Turn the unit completely off at the thermostat, and don’t try to thaw the system by increasing the temperature at the thermostat. Just make sure the A/C system is completely OFF.
  2. Confirm that there is nothing restricting the airflow to the system. Replace the furnace or air handler’s filter along with any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and ensure that they are not obstructed by furniture or drapes.
  3. Call Bunn’s and Bennett Heating & Air Conditioning. The air conditioning system needs to be inspected by a certified professional to ensure there are no refrigerant leaks or damage to the equipment.

Your Bunn’s and Bennett technician will diagnose the situation and how to avoid the issue from occurring in the future. If a leak is present (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will probably freeze again.

Bunn’s and Bennett is a licensed and insured heating and air conditioning company, serving Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley for more than thirty years. Our awards for service and reliability are numerous, and our goal is to make your home comfortable. Feel free to contact us with any questions at [email protected].  

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