Maintaining HVAC Systems And What To Do When The A.C Freezes Up

Posted on by Sunrise Mechanical Inc
Common A.C Issues

Best Practices For Maintaining An HVAC System

Even without being a mechanic or a technician, there are simple things to do at home that will prolong the life expectancy of an air conditioner. These are a few tips to help keep an A.C unit working properly all year round so there won’t be any issues during the hottest part of the year. Each of these tips are easy to do and improve the day to day function of an air conditioning unit. But some common HVAC problems do require assistance from professional air conditioner contractors.

Grass Clogs The A.C

Keeping the grass trimmed around an outdoor A.C unit can help it perform properly and prevent mechanical issues. Grass and leaves can clog up the exhaust, blocking the flow of hot air as it comes out of the house causing your machinery to run hotter. This not only wastes energy and puts unnecessary stress on the HVAC pump but it also causes heat buildup which wears the mechanical components and can lead to early breakdown.

Check The HVAC Filters

HVAC’s filters catch airborne particles and keep them from circulating throughout the home. Over time these filters get clogged up with dust, dirt and other material. If the filters are not changed regularly it will restrict airflow and keep the cold air from getting where it is needed. An average filter lasts for about three months. Checking the filters every month or so will ensure that they get changed when necessary. Most filters are available at hardware stores and the process for changing filters is really simple and only takes a few minutes.

Clean HVAC Ducts

The air ducts in a home are the passages that air flows through in order to reach every room. Dust bunnies, spider webs, and other particles and deposits build up in the air ducts over time. This has a similar effect as a clogged filter and can cause health issues in a home. Everything that is in the air ducts is what circulates in the air throughout a home. Breathing in these particles can cause flare-ups with allergies and asthma. It’s also a fire hazard. By using a simple shop vacuum or flexible hose attachment it is fairly simple to clean the inside of these air ducts. The register grilles will need to be removed in order for the inside of the ducts to be cleaned. While these grilles are removed it is a good idea to give them a simple cleaning as well, a wet cloth works just fine. This can be done around the same time that the air filters need to be changed.

Why Air Conditioners Freeze Up

Air conditioners can freeze up for a number of reasons. And having constant repairs done on an A.C unit is nobodies favorite past time. But there are some things to look at for that could help prevent an air conditioning unit from recurring freeze-ups.

Insufficient Air Conditioning Flow

Air Conditioner Freeze UpsIt is common for people to close the air vents when they don’t want the A.C blowing in a certain room. But if too many vents are closed or blocked it can cause the air conditioning unit to freeze up. The vents and return grilles are two different things but both equally important. The vents are where the air is blown out of and the return grilles are where the air gets sucked in from the house. If the return grille is blocked the A.C unit can freeze up in as little as a day or two. Clogged air filters will also restrict airflow. Checking and replacing air filters is one of the best ways to prevent A.C freeze-ups. If the filters are clogged and airflow is restricted the air conditioning unit is likely to freeze up.

Low On A.C Refrigerant

The refrigerant that is used in air conditioners needs to be at a certain pressure level in order for it to work properly. The pressure level and the temperature directly correlate with each other. Freon is the refrigerant used in almost all A.C units and the ideal temperature for that is 38°. When the refrigerant starts to run low the pressure starts to drop which causes the temperature of the Freon to drop. When the temperature drops the moisture in the air will start to freeze upon contact with the coils, creating frost. The more that this ice builds up the worst the performance of the unit will be. And eventually the refrigerant will run out and the ice will melt causing possible water damage to your unit.

Air Conditioner Temperature Is Too Low

A.C units are not meant to be set below certain temperatures. 67° is the lowest recommended temperature that air conditioning should be set to. Any lower than this and it is very likely that the air conditioning unit will begin to freeze up.

A.C Fan Burnt Out

If the blower motor burns out the air conditioning unit can start to freeze over. This is because the Freon running through the coils is very cold and creates condensation which the fan blows to evaporate it. If the motor in this fan burns out then the fan is no longer working and the condensation is no longer evaporating. The longer this condensation collects on the coils the more ice build-up there will be. It is fairly easy to tell if a fan motor has blown, simply reach inside and feel the motor, if it is hot to the touch, more than likely it is burnt out.

Air Conditioning Coils

A clogged evaporator coil can cause an A.C unit to freeze up. These coils are what the Freon runs through and the tubes are very small, so if debris gets inside of them, it is not difficult for it to become clogged.

How to Troubleshoot or Fix the Issue?

Checking these few things can help determine what is causing the issue in the A.C unit. Just because an air conditioner freezes up, does not mean it’s not fixable. Sometimes these issues can be repaired at home and other times they are more complicated issues that require a professional. Like low refrigerant. A special license is required to buy Freon so if the A.C unit is low on refrigerant, it is definitely time to call the HVAC technicians. Call Sunrise Mechanical today.

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