In the heat of the St. Petersburg FL area, air conditioners are an essential part of everyday life. Although these machines do a great job of keeping homes and families comfortable in hot weather, they are also somewhat prone to certain maintenance issues, including ice formation on the coils. Freezing up can be a sign of a simple problem or a more serious issue; either way, don’t delay. Follow these steps to diagnose the source of the problem and get it fixed as soon as possible.
Why is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?
Air conditioners freeze for a number of reasons, but the most common is blocked air flow caused by a dirty filter. When cool air cannot leave the air conditioner efficiently, it builds up inside the machine, lowering the internal temperature and allowing ice to form on the coils. Dirty filters can cause a host of other issues, so in this case the ice is a warning sign pointing to something that should be resolved right away.
Another common cause of ice formation is the outdoor temperature. Especially during the winter, the St. Petersburg area sees plenty of cool nights and warm days; if the air conditioner is left to run overnight, ice may be found on the coils in the morning. Changing air temperatures can be one of the most frustrating causes of this issue because there is little a homeowner can do to control the weather.
Most dangerously of all, freezing up is sometimes caused by a low refrigerant level. Air conditioners use a chemical called Freon to transfer heat out of the home; however, this chemical is not actually consumed during normal operation. Check the Freon gauge and compare the actual refrigerant level to the recommended range; if it is too low, the refrigerant lines are probably leaking.
What To Do If Your Air Conditioner Freezes Up
If the source of the freezing is a dirty air filter, fixing the problem is as simple as replacing or cleaning the air filter as needed. In general, disposable filters should be changed monthly and reusable filters should likewise be cleaned monthly, though the exact need may vary depending on the model and circumstances in the home.
If your air conditioner is freezing due to falling outdoor temperatures, consider shutting the machine off in the evening and turning it back on in the morning. Alternatively, a new thermostat may be able to shut it off automatically during cool parts of the day and night.
Refrigerant leaks absolutely require professional attention to repair. If a low refrigerant level is causing your problem, or if you are unable to find the source of the ice, give Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. a call. We provide maintenance and repair services throughout the St. Petersburg FL area and are familiar with all makes and models. Our air conditioning experts will work with you to deal with the ice problem and keep your essential appliance running well for years to come.