Why Do Evaporator Coils Freeze?

Since the basic function of air conditioners to cool down your home, it can be confusing as to why a problem like frozen evaporator coils even exists in the first place. After all, isn't too much cold a good thing when it comes to your air conditioner?

Unfortunately, frozen evaporator coils have the potential to not only restrict your home's cooling abilities but also cause it to stop working entirely. But what causes frozen evaporator coils, and how can you prevent it? If you're experiencing this issue, it's best not to work on it yourself. Instead, call an HVAC company can perform air conditioning repair.

How Do Evaporator Coils Work?

Contrary to popular belief, the air conditioner actually requires warm air in order to create the cold air that you feel inside your home. Inside the evaporator coils is refrigerant, a liquid that is responsible for converting the hot air from the outside into cold air. The more hot air that reaches the evaporator coil, the more cold air your AC unit can pump out into your home. Conversely, if no warm air is able to get to your evaporator coil, then the evaporator coil will eventually freeze up and require a professional air conditioner repair service to have it working again.

What Causes the Evaporator Coils to Stop Working?

Since you need warm air to reach the evaporator coils in order to create the cold air, anything that restricts that airflow can cause your coils to freeze. A coil that is caked in dirt and grime, for instance, will then have a layer of insulation that keeps hot air from reaching the coils. Part of the AC maintenance that most HVAC technicians provide is to clean off these coils regularly to ensure this heat transference continues to take place.

Further out from the coils themselves, a blocked air duct may also be the culprit. If very little air is allowed to reach the coils, it will continue to get colder until they eventually freeze altogether. More simply, a lack of refrigerant inside the condenser coils can also cause them to freeze as well. All it takes in that instance is for the HVAC technician to thaw out the lines, add refrigerant, and the unit should be as good as new. While this may sound simple, it's not a process that homeowners are encouraged to do themselves. Instead, you should call an HVAC company to perform any kind of much-needed air conditioning repair.

For more information about air conditioning repair, contact a local HVAC contractor.