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A frozen air conditioner may not sound so bad, as it seems to indicate a unit is working really well. However, freezing is actually a sign of a problem with the functioning of an air conditioner and needs to be addressed.

Freezing is a fairly common issue, especially in older units or in those that are past due for routine maintenance. Below is more information about why freezing occurs and how the problem can be corrected by a JR Perkins Heating & Cooling technician.

What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze?
Your home’s central air conditioning system is a complex arrangement of components, consisting of a compressor, condenser, ducts and hundreds of other parts. However, it has one basic job and that’s transferring heat from the interior of your home to the outside air. All functions are secondary to this primary goal.

At the heart of this heat-transfer mechanism is the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is where cold refrigerant collects heat and moisture from the passing air and leaves it cold and dry. In a normally functioning system, the moisture collects as condensate and drains to the outside via a network of pipes.

However, if anything restricts the free exchange of heat from passing air to the coil, the condensate will freeze and prevent the system from working properly. A common problem that can cause freezing is a dirty air conditioning filter. A dirty filter slows down the flow of air past the evaporator coil, and this allows the exterior temperature of the coil to drop below freezing and ice forms as a result.

Ironically, ice formation is bad because it serves as an insulator between passing air and the refrigerant inside the coil. Little or no heat exchange will take place as a result, and the air conditioner will merely recirculate uncooled air.

What to do About a Frozen Air Conditioner?
If your air conditioner has frozen, the first step is to turn off the system for a couple of hours to allow the ice to thaw. Next, replace any unchanged filters with new, clean filters and turn on the system. This should permit air to circulate again past the evaporator coil and keep it from freezing. However, if the system freezes again, be sure to contact JR Perkins Heating & Cooling for help.

JR Perkins is the first heating and air conditioning company in the East Valley servicing Phoenix, specifically Scottsdale. To learn more, please visit our Website at or call (480) 422-4437.

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