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Frozen AC Coil: Why It Happens, What to Do About It


One of the most common and perplexing issues homeowners encounter when trying to cool their homes is a frozen AC coil. This problem not only hampers an AC’s efficiency but can also lead to costly HVAC repair in Colorado Springs if not addressed promptly. 

We’ll explore why a frozen AC coil occurs, how to identify it, and what steps you should take to resolve the issue.

Why Does the AC Coil Freeze?

The evaporator coil in your air conditioning absorbs heat from your home’s air and works with the condenser coil to expel this heat outside. However, when the evaporator coil freezes, it can no longer perform its function effectively, leading to a drop in cooling performance and potential damage to the system.

There are several reasons why an AC coil might freeze:

Insufficient Airflow

  • Clogged air filters: One of the most common causes of restricted airflow is a clogged air filter. When the filter is dirty, it obstructs the flow of air over the evaporator coil, leading to a drop in temperature and eventual freezing.
  • Blocked vents and ducts: Objects or debris blocking the air vents and ducts can also restrict airflow, contributing to a frozen coil.
  • Blower fan issues: If the blower fan isn’t working correctly, it won’t circulate enough air over the coil, causing it to freeze.

Low Refrigerant Levels

A leak in the refrigerant line reduces the amount of refrigerant available to absorb heat, causing the evaporator coil to freeze. This is a serious issue that requires professional attention to fix.

Dirty Coils

Over time, dirt and grime can accumulate on the evaporator coil, insulating it and preventing it from absorbing heat effectively. Regular maintenance can prevent this buildup and keep your AC running smoothly.

High Altitude Effects

In Colorado, the high altitude can affect the performance of your HVAC system. The lower air pressure can cause the evaporator coil to work harder to cool the air, increasing the risk of freezing.

What to Do About a Frozen AC Coil

If you notice that your AC coil is frozen, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent further damage to your system. Here are the steps you should follow:

  • Turn off the AC: Turn off your air conditioner to stop the freezing process and prevent potential damage to the compressor. Letting the system continue to run can exacerbate the issue.
  • Check the air filter: Check the air filter and replace it if it’s dirty. A clean air filter can improve airflow and help thaw the coil.
  • Check the thermostat: Make sure the thermostat is set to an appropriate temperature. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, consider replacing it.
  • Defrost the Coil: Turn on the fan mode on your thermostat to help thaw the ice on the coil. This process may take a few hours.

Call the Professionals

If the coil continues to freeze or you suspect a refrigerant leak, it’s crucial to call a professional HVAC technician. At Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning, our experts are equipped to diagnose and fix the underlying issues causing the frozen coil. Whether it’s repairing a refrigerant leak, fixing blower fan problems, or addressing high altitude impacts, we’ll ensure your system is back to optimal performance.

Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning serves Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. Contact us for all your AC repair needs. 

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