A Northwest Arkansas & Missouri tech explains
Let’s say you’re mowing the lawn or pulling weeds. You’re looking forward to finishing up your chores so you can head inside and enjoy a nice, cool beverage in your nice, cool home. As you’re working, you glance over at your trusty AC unit, and something looks… unusual. And by “unusual” what we mean is “frozen.”
Alarm bells go off in your head. “Oh. That can’t be good.”
You’re right. It’s not good when your AC unit “freezes up.” But don’t panic! If you see any frosty bits on the refrigerant line (or anywhere else, for that matter), there’s plenty you can do on your own before you call us.
Turn OFF your AC, turn the fan setting to ON, and wait three of four hours. We know, we know: Turning off your AC when it’s sweltering isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. But neither is causing massive (expensive) damage to your AC system, right? So give the poor thing a chance to thaw out.
When your refrigerant line is frozen, your indoor evaporator coil is probably also frozen.
The evaporator coil holds refrigerant, which is a liquid or gas that absorbs heat from warm air. (That’s right; AC units don’t really “add cold” to air; they actually “remove heat”!) If the refrigerant gets too cold, the moisture in the surrounding air freezes.
So, why would refrigerant get too cold? One of two reasons: low airflow over the coils or low amounts of refrigerant. (Spoiler alert: These are the two things you’re going to check in a bit.)
Damage to your HVAC system is costly and time-consuming. So as you’re going about your DIY business, make sure you avoid the following:
When it comes to frozen refrigerant lines, the best-case scenario is you have a blockage somewhere. Here are the places to check:
Despite conventional wisdom, refrigerant doesn’t get “used up.” That means if you’re low on refrigerant, you have a leak.
Ice on your refrigerant line is the #1 sign of a leak, but here are some others to pay attention to:
If you suspect a refrigerant leak, do not attempt to replace it yourself. It’s a toxic chemical that should be handled by Northwest Arkansas & Missouri’s HVAC pros to protect your safety.
If your AC is acting up and none of these quick fixes did the trick, we’re happy to help diagnose, treat, and prevent future problems. Give us a call today!