Having frozen air conditioner AC pipe is a common problem experienced with HVAC systems. Is it possible to get an AC line frozen during summer? The answer is: yes! It may be surprising to some, but the freezing effect on your AC pipes isn’t always due to the cold weather.
AC Pipe Frozen: Main Causes
Aside from environmental factors, there are other potential causes for getting your AC line frozen. The most common reason for having an AC pipe frozen is the evaporator coils becoming too cold. An AC’s evaporator is filled with refrigerant to cool the entire HVAC system in your home. The coils absorb the heat from the air and create a cooling effect.
But when this heat exchange is restricted, the evaporator gets less heat, and the coils get too cold, thus producing ice within the coils. The ice eventually accumulates in the refrigerant line. It’s the reason why many of the frozen AC pipe fix solutions are all about restoring the heat exchange process in your AC.
Here are some of the most common reasons why you have an AC line frozen:
Low refrigerant levels
Refrigerant leaking from the evaporator coils
Collapsed air ducts
Dirt accumulating over the coils
A failing blower fan
AC vents are getting blocked
Clogged air filters
Options For DIY Frozen AC Pipe Fix
It will be frustrating to find your AC pipes frozen solid, especially during a hot summer day. You need to use the correct frozen AC pipe fix in such situations. The following are some of the maintenance checks you can conduct yourself to figure out whether you need to call in a professional to resolve the problem:
1. Switch to Fan Mode
The first step to fixing this problem is turning off your AC. Doing so will prevent the pipes from getting any colder. Expect warm air to circulate through your HVAC system. Leave your AC turned off for about three to four hours. After that, if you want to get some airflow inside the house, switch your AC to fan mode, which helps to unfreeze the pipes.
When the pipes have been thawed, you can turn the AC on. Check if it gets frozen again. If it does, it’s a sign that a more severe problem is causing it. In this case, it’s advisable to call for professional service.
2. Inspect the Return/Supply Vent
Another reason why you’re getting your AC pipe frozen is that the return and supply vent is blocked or currently closed. These vents distribute cold air throughout your HVAC system. Open all vents in your home – even those in unoccupied rooms. Opening all return and supply vents will help thaw out your AC’s frozen coils. Keeping the return vents open also boosts the flow of warm air into the evaporator.
3. Change Dirty Air Filters
Your air conditioner’s air filters tend to get clogged over time. When these air filters get clogged and dirty, they can do a lot of damage to your entire HVAC system. Dirty filters also disturb the heat exchange process and contribute to the freezing effect on your evaporator. Inspect the filters, and if they are clogged with dust, it’s time to replace them. If the freezing stops after the filters have been replaced, then you’ve found the root cause of the problem with your AC.
4. Check Refrigerant Levels
You will need a coolant installation kit to inspect the refrigerant level of your air conditioning unit. You can find these kits in any home improvement store. The coolant determines how your AC keeps your home cold. If the coolant is too low or you discover a leak, it’s best to call for professional help.
5. Inspect for Refrigerant Leaks
This frozen AC pipe fix is related to checking your refrigerant levels. How do you know if the refrigerant is leaking? The refrigerant extracts the heat in the air. When your refrigerant levels are low, pressure builds up in the refrigerant lines, which causes ice to build up, thus freezing your AC pipes.
Check for the following symptoms:
Warm air from your vents
Bubbling or hissing sounds
Insanely high power bill next month
When there’s a refrigerant leak, your HVAC works twice as hard to cool your home, thus causing a higher electricity bill.
6. Collapsed Air Duct
Inspect your home’s air ducts. If at least one of them has collapsed, contact an HVAC technician for help. In the case of a collapsed air duct, turn off your HVAC to prevent further damage to your system.
7. Check Your Blower Fan
Your AC won’t extract enough warm air when the blower fan is malfunctioning. It disrupts the balance in the system’s heat exchange, thus causing the AC pipes to freeze. Here are the signs to watch out for:
The fan is spinning too slow
You don’t feel warm air blown outside the unit
Humming sounds from the blower
Trouble starting the AC
Call for professional service if the blower is malfunctioning. There’s very little you can do the DIY way for this problem.
When To Call for Professional Help
There are some measures you can take at home to stop your AC pipes from freezing. However, only trained professionals will be able to fix more severe issues like leaking refrigerants and malfunctioning AC parts. Flatley's Plumbing Express is a family-owned and operated HVAC service company with over 60 years of industry experience. We’re a trusted service provider with an A+ rating with the BBB. Call today, and we’ll get your AC pipes fixed in no time.