When I moved into my first place, I couldn't believe how dirty everything was all the time. I found myself dusting and mopping continuously, only to deal with a fresh layer of grime later. After awhile, I realized that the problem was blowing straight out of my air ducts. My ventilation lines were so dirty that it was spreading grime through my house every single time the air clicked on. Fortunately, I called an HVAC contractor who was able to clean my vents to a gleaming shine. I know how big of a difference cleaning up your ventilation system can make, which is why I want to spread the word.
When the lines on your air conditioner freeze up and cause the unit to shut down, you may assume that there is not enough coolant in the system. While low coolant could be a cause of this type of problem, it may not be the direct cause in this situation. Frozen lines can happen for a variety of reasons, which is why it's important to know the causes and the common fixes for them.
Why An Air Conditioner Freezes Up
When you have air conditioning lines that freeze, it could be from issues that range from a leak in the coolant line or a dirty filter. If you've recently changed your air filter and put more coolant into the system, inspect the evaporator coil. This part can become clogged with mold and dirt over time, causing problems with how it operates.
The unit's evaporator coil is located inside the main air handler. It works by removing the heat as air as it passes over the coil. If there are contaminants in the air, they will collect on the coil and potentially cause ice to form on it. It will eventually cause the lines with coolant in them to freeze as well and can cause the entire system to malfunction.
You may notice this problem because the system is producing warm air, but it can also cause a complete air conditioner shut down. You'll need to get a professional air conditioning repair service out to your home to service the unit if you ignore the problem.
How To Thaw Frozen Air Conditioner Lines
Start by shutting down the entire air conditioner system, which can be done at the thermostat or by cutting off the power at your circuit breaker. Get access to where the coil is located by removing the service door on the air handler. It is most likely secured with screws, so have a screw driver ready.
Take a look at the coil and see if there is ice on it. You will most likely see copper tubes that have a frosted layer of ice on them or are completely covered by ice. Place a large towel or plastic tarp beneath the coil, and allow it to thaw.
Once the ice is gone, spray the coil with a solution that is 3 cups water and 1 cup vinegar. The vinegar is a bleach alternative that won't be harsh on the coil. Wipe the coil down with a dry rag, and give the system about 30 minutes until you turn it back on again.
For further assistance, speak with an HVAC technician.