What makes my AC pipes freeze?
Frozen air conditioner pipes mean one of two problems, restricted air flow or a coolant leak.
Let's talk about the more common issue first, which is restricted air flow. Air conditioners work by having warm or "unconditioned" air being drawn into the system and flowing over what's called an evaporator coil. This coil is basically a spool of refrigerator coils at a temperature of 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit. The warm air prevents the coil from icing up as it flows by. But when that air flow is restricted in some way, the coll can ice over quickly.
Air flow can be reduced by clogged filters, closed vents or collapsed air ducts. Dirt on your evaporator coil or a broken blower fan can also cause things to freeze up. If you find frozen AC pipes, turn the unit off immediately. Then, if your blower fan still works, turn it to the "On" setting and let it blow for three to four hours. This will draw warm air into the unit and allow the pipes to thaw. Then, to keep the problem from coming back, check your air filter to see if it's clogged and make sure that none of the vents are blocked by curtains or household items.
If your blower fan doesn't work or the problem comes back when you turn the AC back on, it's time for a professional HVAC inspection. That's because the other possibility, a coolant leak, isn't something that you should attempt to fix yourself. Coolant is toxic and can only legally be handled by certified professionals.
If you are seeing ice on your AC pipes, or your air conditioner just doesn't seem to be doing the job anymore, call the professionals at The Geiler Company. We can make sure your system is operating at peak efficiency for you and your family.