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There’s Ice on My Air Conditioner Outside. What Should I Do?

Ice buildup on mechanical equipment is probably not the first thing on your mind in the middle of a hot Georgia summer, but if ice builds up on or inside your air conditioner, it can become a real problem. If ignored, ice buildup can lead to a costly air conditioning repair as well as unwanted discomfort for your family, or employees and customers.

What Causes Air Conditioners to Freeze?

The two main reasons why your air conditioner might freeze are problems with your refrigerant, and the evaporator coil is too cold. When the refrigerant level is low, the refrigerant expands too much in the coil and lowers the temperature to below freezing. A dirty evaporator coil can restrict the air flow in your AC unit; this interferes with the coil’s ability to transfer heat, and the coil becomes too cold. There are other reasons why your air conditioner might freeze:

  • Restricted air flow due to clogged or leaky ductwork, dirty filters or closed registers
  • The outside temperature is below 62 degrees
  • Mechanical failure due to kinked refrigerant lines, a blocked drainage system or a broken fan or fan motor

What Should You Do When Your Air Conditioner Freezes?

When you notice ice on your AC unit, turn off the system. Don’t try to thaw the evaporator coil by turning up the setting on your thermostat. Here’s what else you should do if your AC unit freezes:

  • Clean or replace any clogged or dirty filters.
  • Make sure furniture, drapes and other items aren’t blocking the registers.
  • Call the service pros at Ful-Bro Heating and Air Conditioning. They’ll check the refrigerant level and look for leaks.

To learn more about how to avoid an air conditioning repair due to a frozen AC unit, check out our maintenance services or call 678-369-0500.

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