Updating Your HVAC Unit

Air Conditioners And Icicles: What Do You Do?

On a hot summer day, ice may seem like a way to get relief from the smoldering weather. However, if your air conditioner starts to sprout icicles, you have a real problem. When your unit freezes up, you need to take immediate action.


Your air conditioning system is dependent on the action of a refrigerant. This substance is responsible for transferring the heat from inside to outside your house. If your unit starts to wear down, it can develop leaks, lowering the level of refrigerant and leading to your air conditioner failing to work properly. This deficit means the coils containing the refrigerant can get too cold and develop ice, literally freezing the system and ironically making your home hot and nearly unlivable.

When this situation develops, you should call your HVAC professional for an evaluation. They can tell you if the unit is worth fixing or whether you would be better off replacing the unit. Simply adding more refrigerant will only be a temporary fix and may only restore service for days or even hours. 

Air Flow Problems

The coils on your air conditioner may freeze if the air flow is blocked in some way. When your unit does become iced over, you need to make certain that nothing is covering the registers, such as your curtains. You also need to make sure that the filters are not clogged. Replace them if necessary. If that move does not correct the problem, you need to call your HVAC expert.

Outside Temperatures 

Although most people turn off the air conditioners when the temperatures cool off, others continue to run them. If you keep your unit on when the temperature is 62 degrees or below, you run the risk of a pressure drop that can make your unit freeze up. If you like things super cool in your house, consider using a fan instead of the air conditioner in the early spring and late fall to spare your AC unit.

Ice on an operating air conditioner is never a good sign. It signals a problem that needs to be quickly addressed so as not to cause permanent damage. If your unit freezes up, turn it off immediately so that it can thaw out. You can check for air flow blockage, but in most instances, you will need to contact your HVAC professional for an evaluation or visit http://www.smedleyservice.com. Often, they will be able to fix the problem rather quickly.