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Smart Things To Do When Your Air Conditioner Gets Frozen

Oct 23, 2019
Air Conditioning Installation Services

Having an air conditioner at your disposal can be a blessing, you would get by the tough seasons easily. Having the extreme comforts of home is a goal for everyone out there, and filling your house with all the necessities should be a goal too. HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Cooling) units are one of the main necessities for your house.

We cannot even think to survive all the seasons without having proper heating and cooling. Keep in mind though, HVAC unit would be one of the most critical yet expensive investments you would be making for your household. Taking care of them, getting them maintained and serviced properly at the appropriate time and method should be one of the main priorities of homeowners.

Having a HVAC unit comes with it fair share of problems, especially when we talk about air conditioners. One of the most common problems which occurs in these units is the unit getting completely frozen, the internal components cease working when this happens. Although this problem is very much frustrating for the homeowners but it is also not unique as it happens in every household.

When we talk about an air conditioner getting frozen, it does not matter what kind of unit it is. This kind of problem can occur in all of the units, may it be a window air conditioner or a central one. When we discuss this issue, it is to be noted that the causes for this problem are also the solutions, if we tend to get around these issues. This issue of the air conditioner getting frozen up should never be ignored, because if we prolong it can be detrimental for your air conditioner in the long run. This problem could also render the unit useless if it keeps on freezing.

In order to be fully prepared for this issue, we firstly need to know why exactly our air conditioners get frozen up in the first place. Knowledge about the problem makes it easier for us to tackle it effectively.

How Do Air Conditioners Get Frozen- The Physics Effect

Before we actually tackle the problem of air conditioners getting frozen, we need to fully know why this happens. For this we need to dive into a bit of physics, and hot the different molecules work inside an air conditioner. According to a famous physics theory, if any kind of gas expands both its volume and temperature would be decreased but it is compressed and controlled then its volume and temperature would increase.

We often perceive temperatures inside an air conditioner as just settings without knowing how exactly they manage the cold and hot air. It is a matter of molecules and their movement speed, if they are moving around rapidly then the temperature would be hot but if they are slow enough then they would simulate cold temperature. If we apply this same concept to our air conditioners then we can easily perceive how the temperature changes. Air conditioners have the components which put this theory into play, the evaporator coils inside your unit expands and increase the reach of the refrigerant inside of it, when this happens the coil cools down rapidly, absorbing some of the essence of the refrigerant. When these cooled down coils come in contact with your internal air, the refrigerant quickly absorbs down all the hot air. 

After this, the outside unit which is the compressor, comes into play. The hot air that your refrigerant just pulled into the system is then transferred to the outside unit where it is compressed and pushed out into the environment. During the same process, the air is also transformed into cold air and distributed into the internal environment. This physics theory is used for effect in your air conditioners, with this is how the functions of an air conditioner comes into play.

Now that we know about how the air conditioners actually work, we can discuss why they freeze up in the first place.

Lack Of Air Flow Could Be The Problem

Air conditioners basically work by conversion of air, if that process is happening properly then they won’t be able to function. The main design of air conditioners is to drop the temperature of the house in link with the thermostat installed outside your house. When the link is made between the thermostat and the air conditioner, hot air is absorbed by the unit and then converted into cold air by compression and evaporator coils. What if there isn’t enough air flow into the system to function properly, what happens then?

If our air conditioners are not blowing the right amount of air inside then this function of conversion and compression cannot happen. The unit won’t be able to absorb the heat from the environment thus cooling will not take place. When this issue prolongs, the temperature of the evaporator coils would severely drop and they would get frozen. That is one of the reasons why your air conditioner would get frozen.

Without The Proper Function Of Refrigerant 

Refrigerants inside your air conditioners are one of the main reason why you get cold air from your unit. Their main function is to cool down the hot air absorbed from the internal environment. If there is a very low pressure inside your unit due to some settings then there would be more expansion between the molecules. Putting the same physics theory into effect, when this happens the temperature would severely drop and could lead to coils getting frozen. When this occurs, the moisture which had to be pulled into the unit would then be frozen in place and would not be processed.

This ultimately leads to the unit being frozen and unable to function.

Technical Failures and Improper Temperatures Could Be The Problem

Air conditioners are mainly designed to operate under a very specific range of temperature, too low could freeze up your unit’s coils. In order to avoid this problem, always consult with your HVAC technicians for the best range of temperature.

Technology cannot be always trusted, there are always mechanical and technical issues involved which are beyond our knowledge and could render our units useless. Inside a perfectly working air conditioner, a blower fan or an air filter could stopping working in an instant. It could even happen without any kind of reason, so we must consult with our technicians about the proper guidelines for using air conditioners.

Now that we know the main reasons for our air conditioners getting frozen, let us discuss in detail, what we could do in order to solve this issue. Although keep in mind, some of these problems can be solved by yourself without any kind of assistance. It would be advised to only call in the technicians when the situation gets out of hand. If you feel that you feel uncomfortable around your air conditioner or it could be hazardous for your health, then definitely call in the technicians.

Check The Air Conditioner’s Filters

One of the main reasons why your air conditioner is getting frozen up would be dirty and clogged up air filters. When air is not properly transported into the system or there are immense foreign dirty particles then this renders the coils inside the unit useless. It rather pumps out unclean and dirty air, if this scenario happens. As this is one of the most common issue for this issue we would suggest you to always use superior level of air filters, and to replace them after 2-3 months precisely. This would keep your unit in proper working order and eliminate the chances of it getting frozen.

Sometimes air conditioners use up different kinds of air filters, such as the electrostatic ones. Be sure to consult with your contractors for which ones would be the best suited for your air conditioners.

Keep An Eye Out For The Evaporator Coils

The main conversion of air revolves around the evaporator coil inside your system. If it is dirty enough then the proper compression won’t take place and there would be severe lack of air flow. This would cause the air conditioner to freeze because of the faulty evaporator coil, other problems could also occur as the moisture would not be processed. This could lead to the situation being dangerous for the family. Always be sure to clean your unit’s evaporator coils, it would nullify the situation.

There Could Be A Problem With The Ductwork

Ductwork is one of the main areas of operation for air conditioners, they make sure that proper air flow is being maintained for the unit. If there is any kind of problem with the passage of air, and that too because of faulty ductwork then your air conditioner could get frozen. We would suggest that you consult with your technicians on any kind of problem with the ductwork.


Air conditioners getting frozen are a very troublesome issue, they can elevate if not taken proper care of. With our extensive guide, we have shown you why exactly they get frozen up in the first place and what you could to solve the impending issue.

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