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Why Is My AC Unit Frozen?


The cold nights of South Carolina during February can be punishing. They can make your teeth chatter and your knees knock. They can make your skin dry and your hair brittle. They can cause your nose to run and sneeze. Lastly, they can also wreak havoc on your air conditioner. Winter is a time when people struggle with frozen HVAC units, where it seems as though Jack Frost himself has touched your treasured system. However, this does not mean that you’re powerless. Forewarned is forearmed, and the more you know about HVAC units freezing, the better prepared you are to take preventive steps.

Know the Reasons.

There are several reasons why an AC unit may freeze. Firstly, an AC unit needs to pump out warm air from the home to keep the coils warm. When the cold weather prevents the unit from performing this function, the coils freeze because condensed water in the system freezes before it is properly drained. Clogged air filters and closed air registers can also impede airflow, leading to a fast accumulation of frozen vapor.

Other causes are low refrigerants and restrictions on the fan’s movement. Low refrigerant levels make the coils too cold, while a faulty fan prevents air from moving. Alternatively, a broken thermostat or a general AC drainage problem can also lead to a frozen unit.

What You Can Do About It.

Proactive prevention is always the best remedy, so by ensuring that your air filters are clean, your fans have a free range of movement, and your registers remain open, you can prevent a frozen AC unit.

However, if you were not proactive and the unit does freeze, to address the situation, you must first identify the problem. In order to do this, you’ll need to defrost your unit first. This can be done by finding your electrical breaker box and turning off the power to your HVAC unit. Allow 24 hours for the system to thaw. Avoid clearing out ice by hand because this can damage the components and moving parts of the unit. If further assistance is needed, use a hairdryer set on the low heat setting to accelerate the defrosting process.

Next, remove any standing water that may have pooled around the equipment. Then you can check the filters, fan blades, and coils. Use a soft brush to gently remove any dust or debris from the cooling fins.

If the cause of the issue is still unclear, you may want to call a professional technician.

How A-1 Comfort Systems Can Help.

We’re a highly experienced and respected air conditioning contractor located in Florence, SC. We know a lot about the effects of South Carolina winters, and we know even more about your HVAC unit. If your system is frozen and you’re unable to remedy the situation, give us a call. We’re here for all your HVAC needs so that you can enjoy the perfect air temperature this winter, and all year round!

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