What To Do If Your Air Conditioner Is Too Cold
It may seem like an oxymoron, but it is actually possible for your air conditioner to be too cold. When a unit starts overcooling itself, it can start to freeze over entirely. This can lead to some serious problems with your home cooling system, from simple underperformance to lasting damage to the air conditioner itself.
When you’re dealing with an air conditioner that keeps freezing over, the first thing you’ll want to do is try to determine the cause of the problem. HVAC systems are complicated machines that live in a delicate balance, and there’s a wide array of things that can throw that delicate balance into disarray. Here are a few of the things to look for when your air conditioner is too cold.
The Weather Is Too Cold
Cold outdoor temperatures become more of an issue as we move from summer into fall and winter, but particularly chilly summer nights are also capable of putting the system on ice. Keep in mind, your air conditioner isn’t actually cooling the air to what you set your thermostat to. In order to reach the desired temperature, it actually needs to cool the air to about 20 degrees below what you want your house to be.
If you leave your thermostat low overnight, you might be making your air conditioner cold enough to cause it to freeze over. An easy way to test this is to just give your HVAC system a break overnight, instead, utilizing fans or opening windows as necessary. If the unit stops freezing over, you might be able to solve the problem without any serious maintenance or repairs.
The contactor is your air conditioner’s eyes and ears in the house. It tells the unit what the room temperature is, helping it regulate cooling without the need for your input. If the contactor becomes blocked, your air conditioner won’t have an accurate reading of the temperature in the house. This can lead to it working overtime, trying to cool the house when it doesn’t really need it. If your air conditioner is too cold, running all day and all night, it can easily freeze over and cause damage to the system. Be sure that your contactor is clear of any debris, and you’ll be able to solve the problem.
Blocked Vents or Faulty Fans
Proper air circulation is vital to the wellbeing of any HVAC system. If your air vents are blocked or you have a broken fan somewhere in the system, your system simply isn’t getting the circulation that it needs to do its job. Your air conditioner works by taking air from inside your house and passing it over the evaporator coils, chilling the air through heat exchange. Without proper airflow over the evaporator coils, this heat exchange can’t happen. If heat exchange isn’t happening, it might be making your air conditioner too cold.
This commonly presents itself as cold spots inside the unit, which, if left unattended, can freeze condensation into solid ice. If you can be sure you are getting enough circulation, you’ll be able to prevent any damaging cold spots.
One of the most common causes of a frozen air conditioner is a dirty filter. Much like your air vents and fans, your air conditioner’s filter is crucial to ensuring air circulation through the unit. A dirty filter can seriously impair the airflow through the system, leading to more than just a frozen air conditioner. If left alone, a dirty air filter will force your air conditioner to overwork itself to maintain the temperature in the home. This can lead to motor burnout, reducing the overall lifespan of your air conditioner.
On top of that, a dirty filter will reduce the air quality in your home over time. Without proper maintenance, even the best filters can’t remove allergens and pollutants from your home. Ideally, the filter should be changed at least once a month. Plenty of homeowners can handle changing their own filters, but if you’re uncomfortable with the idea or need more serious maintenance, don’t hesitate to seek out the help of a trained HVAC technician.
Low Freon Levels
Freon, a product made by The Chemours Company, is the refrigeration agent that makes the entire heat exchange process possible. Despite what you might think, having a low level of Freon can actually make the evaporator coils run too cold. The drop in pressure causes the system to chill uncontrollably, throwing off the delicate internal balance of the air conditioning unit. This drop in temperature leads to condensation forming and then, subsequently, to freezing, turning the coils into solid ice. If you think your system is low on Freon, you’ll definitely want the help of a professional.
Freon is a dangerous chemical that can be harmful to your health, so it’s best left in more practiced hands. A trained HVAC technician can refill the Freon for you, but things might not be as simple as that. If your air conditioning unit continues to freeze even after the Freon has been replenished, it’s possible that you’re looking at a refrigerant leak in the system. When speaking with your technician, be sure to ask them to examine the system and determine if more involved repairs are required.
The Unit Is Too Old
Like many appliances, air conditioners have a finite life span. Even if it was a state-of-the-art unit at the time you purchased it, age will inevitably take its toll. If you’ve tried every solution you can think of and the unit is still freezing over, it may just be time for a new unit. This is especially true if the unit is over 10 years old.
Regular maintenance is crucial to the long-term health of any HVAC system. If your air conditioner is too cold and you’re feeling at a loss for what to do, Entek is here and ready to help. Our trained HVAC technicians have the skills to identify and solve any issues you might be facing, and keep your system running at peak efficacy. Even if you’re not facing any immediate troubles, it’s important to have regular maintenance on your system. So whether you’re in need of an emergency fix or just a checkup, feel free to give us a call.