It can be a frustrating experience to have your air conditioner icing up. This can happen even during the summer season, leaving you wondering what the cause could be. The freezing can also affect any type of conditioner whether it is a window or central unit. The end result of the freezing up is that the unit will not cool the room properly. In addition to that, the ice can damage the unit if freezing up occurs repeatedly. As such, you need to know the causes of the icing up and how to repair the unit in case of such an eventuality.
Cause of Freezing Up
Your air conditioning unit freezes up as a result of the Joule-Thomson Effect. This is a thermodynamics principle in physics that simply states that when a gas expands while its pressure decreases, the temperature will correspondingly decrease. This happens because the air molecules do not have as much energy while under low pressure, as compared to when they are under high pressure. Therefore, if the air conditioner is working properly, it can have cycles where air is cooled in the unit and released into the room. If there is something wrong, such as low refrigerant levels or some other mechanical problem, the efficiency of the cycle is likely to be broken. Low refrigerant means that when the air conditioner receives hot air, the refrigerant is going to expand at the same pressure levels as if there was enough refrigerant. This causes the refrigerant to freeze up. Another factor could be the external temperature. Check your air conditioning unit to see the recommended external temperature before operating it.
Fixing the Air Conditioner
It is relatively easy to fix a frozen up AC unit. Once you have noted the freezing, the first step should be to turn off the system. This should allow it to defrost before you start mending the unit. You should then check the refrigerant level. If it is adequate, it means the problem could be somewhere else. However, if the refrigerant is low, you should refill it immediately. The mechanical problems could include a restriction in the air filter, dirt in the evaporator coil, and restricted air flow in the ducts. You can easily handle these problems by replacing or cleaning as needed. This should help restore your air conditioner to normal working condition.
However, if you still notice that even after the repairs the unit is still freezing up, you should consider calling professional air conditioning services. There are many that can help figure out the problem and do the repairs for you.