We may live in Florida, but that doesn’t mean that your air conditioning system can’t freeze up. If you’re currently dealing with a frozen air handler, it’s important to know what caused this part of your system to freeze over so you can remedy the situation.
Fortunately, for Florida homeowners, a frozen air handler is often an easy and inexpensive fix. Read on to learn why this happens and what you can do about it.
3 Reasons Why Your Air Handler is Frozen
Air handlers freeze for a variety of reasons. Here are the most common culprits:
1. Clogged Air Filters
The air filter within your air conditioning system has a big job to do. This small component filters debris from within your air conditioning system before it can be dispersed throughout your home. However, air filters accumulate debris quickly and need to be changed on a regular basis.
Waiting too long to change your air filter impedes the flow of air produced by your air conditioner. As a result, your air handler can freeze.
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2. Dirty Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coils within your air conditioning system work to remove excess moisture so your home isn’t humid indoors. Just like the air filter, the evaporator coils within your air conditioning system can get bogged down with debris. This can impede airflow, which can cause your air handler to freeze over.
3. Refrigerant Leak
Refrigerant is required to keep your home cool and comfortable, but if there is a refrigerant leak within your system, your air conditioner will have difficulty getting your home to the desired temperature.
Sometimes, the lines through which the refrigerant travels can leak due to age or damage and cause various issues. Not only can this cause your air handler to freeze, but a leak can expose you and your family to the harmful effects of refrigerant.
If you ever suspect a refrigerant leak, call your local HVAC technicians.
How to Stop Your AC From Freezing Up
If your air conditioner has stopped working due to a frozen air handler, you might be able to address the issue yourself before calling an HVAC professional for help.
First, you’ll need to let your air conditioning system thaw. Turn off your air conditioning system at the electrical breaker and let your system rest until the ice thaws completely (note: this may take up to a full day).
If you’d rather not wait for the ice to thaw by itself, you can also turn your air conditioning system off but turn the blower on.
Running your air conditioning system while the air handler is frozen can place strain on the compressor, which can damage your system, so be sure to keep it turned off. Never try to remove the ice yourself by hand because this can damage the system too.
Once the ice has completely thawed, carefully dry the coils. If the blower isn’t turned on, restore power to your system and set the thermostat to power the blower or fan only. After drying the coils, your system may operate as normal, but keep an eye out for any ice formation.
How to Stop Your AC From Freezing Up
No one wants to deal with a frozen air handler, but with a few simple steps, you can keep your air conditioning system running efficiently, reduce the risk of your air handler freezing over, and save energy. Here’s what you can do:
- Clean or change the air filter regularly (we recommend once per month)
- Clean the evaporator coils regularly or schedule a professional cleaning once a year
- Check the refrigerant levels regularly
- Schedule professional tune-ups with your local HVAC company
Call Complete Air Mechanical for AC Repair Service
If your air handler is frozen and you’d rather leave it to the professionals, Complete Air Mechanical can help. We offer emergency air conditioning repairs and can get your air conditioning running efficiently and fast.