Air Conditioner Freezing Up Outside
Standby for a small high school physics lesson.
Air conditioner freezing up outside. Your air conditioner blower fan helps get cold air where it needs to go and get the warm air outside. To lower a room’s temperature, an air conditioner draws warm air and directs it to the ductwork and evaporator coils, which then move the hot air outside. This can take some time.
Blocked air flow causes freezing up. To prevent your air conditioner from freezing up, turn it off or to the fan setting when outdoor temperatures are lower than indoor temperatures or lower than 60 degrees fahrenheit. Before you do so, though, you need to turn off the ac so that the frost or ice that has formed upon it can melt.
When this happens, try to run the air conditioner using fan mode or simply use the outside air to ventilate your room. Another possible cause is when you are operating your air conditioner when the outdoor temperature outside the house is low. Low refrigerant levels make the coils too cold, and a faulty fan prevents air from moving.
Air conditioners aren’t meant to run at temperatures below 60, and the cold air blowing over the condensing coils will result in the coils freezing. There is a mechanical failure (kink in refrigerant lines, a blow fan is not running, etc.) Simply put, your unit is freezing up because something is either causing your system to make the coils become colder than normal, or something is preventing the air in your home from transferring the heat in it to the system.
Low outside temperatures can be one cause. As the air cools inside of your air conditioner, it becomes denser and does not travel as well. A freeze up can also be caused by low refrigerant and improper fan operation.
The evaporator coil is the part of your ac system that cools the warm air taken from inside your home. When a filter, vent or ductwork is clogged it can restrict air flow which causes moisture to build up on the coils. Contact an hvac technician to check the charge of your unit and add coolant if needed.
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