While any problem with your cooling system needs prompt attention, frozen evaporator coils deserve top priority since all cooling stops when the coils freeze. Serious and costly mechanical problems may result, the worst of which is a burned out compressor. The evaporator coils sit in the indoor blower compartment and carry the chilled refrigerant that cools your home by absorbing heat from the air.
Common Problems That Cause Frozen Coils
- A dirty air filter: When the air filter is clogged, not as much air goes into the air handler and over the evaporator coils. Slowing the air blowing over the coil causes the humidity to condense and freeze on the coils. Some air conditioners have switches that turn the system off when the coil starts to freeze, but not all. If you notice that the air conditioner continues to run and your home is getting warmer, the coils could have frozen.After turning the system off at the thermostat, check the air filter. If the air filter appears fairly clean, you may have a buildup of dust on the evaporator coils that accumulated over time. Unless you have easy access to the coils, you’ll need an HVAC professional to clean them.
- Low refrigerant: Whenever the refrigerant level inside the A/C is too low, it can cause frozen evaporator coils. Checking refrigerant levels, running down leaks and adding more requires a licensed HVAC contractor. HVAC refrigerant is a controlled chemical and only licensed contractors can handle it.
- Reduced airflow: Dirt can build on the blower inside the A/C’s air handler, slowing the airflow over the evaporator coils enough to make it freeze. Turn the thermostat to off, as well as the circuit breaker. Look inside the air handler for excessive amounts of dust and carefully remove it with a soft cloth.
All these causes of frozen evaporator coils are preventable with annual professional HVAC maintenance. To learn more, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We’ve provided top-notch HVAC services for homeowners in Grand Traverse County and the surrounding areas for more than three decades.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about frozen evaporator coils and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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