Why is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up in Summer?

By // 2015.08.04

why is my air conditioner freezing up in summerBelieve it or not, one of the biggest issues facing Phoenix homeowners in the hot summer heat is an AC unit that freezes up. This might seem to be a virtual impossibility with average temperatures over 100 degrees daily, but the frozen AC system is a major problem that occurs – primarily due to restricted airflow. Before we answer why is my air conditioner freezing up in summer, it’s important to understand how these units work and what you can do to reduce the chances of an AC unit freezing.

What Causes an AC Unit to Freeze?

Any air conditioning system works by circulating air from the house to the cooling system and back into the home. The restriction of airflow is the major reason why an AC unit will freeze. Without question, the major cause of restricted airflow is dirty filters. According to the US Department of Energy, every home should replace their indoor filters once per month, especially in hot and dusty areas like the Phoenix Valley. It’s also important for home owners to inspect their vents frequently, as a blockage inside their ventilation system can also reduce the flow of air to and from the cooling system and can lead to frozen coils.

Easy to Identify Air Conditioner Freezing Up Symptoms

There are a few warning signs that any homeowner can recognize that will indicate that your AC unit is freezing up or that it has done so already.

Look for the following:
  • A sudden decrease in the performance of your air conditioning unit. This is mainly directed to how efficient the unit works. If you notice that your cooling unit is running longer than it should, this could be a warning sign that it’s struggling to cool the air efficiently.
  • Reduction in airflow from the vents inside your home. If you notice that the AC system is running longer, stand next to one of the vents and see if the airflow is ‘slower’ than usual. This could be a sign of a blocked vent or restricted airflow. As we stated above, these two factors often lead to frozen coils.
  • See if you can notice a lot of condensate draining from the AC unit. Standing water next to an AC unit is a telltale sign that there are multiple problems. However, if you notice that there is extra water dripping from your AC unit; this could be a sign of frozen condensate coils.
  • Warm air blowing from the AC unit. Another simple warning sign that you have a frozen system is if you can feel warm air blowing into your home.

Is Low Refrigerant the Only Freezing Factor?

A major misconception about frozen AC units is that low refrigerant levels or leaking refrigerant levels are the only thing that causes the unit to eventually freeze. As we’ve talked about above, the biggest factor is that the system simply can’t breathe. However, it’s important to realize that all of the symptoms above can also be warning signs of a coolant leak. AC units are designed as closed-loop systems, a loss of refrigerant efficiency can lead to frozen coils as well.

How You Can Reduce Chances of an AC Unit Freezing

There really are only two things you can do to reduce the chance of having your AC system freezing. First, give your AC unit every chance to breathe easy by replacing your indoor filters once per month. Second, call your local HVAC contractor in Phoenix to complete maintenance and service to your AC unit before the summer heat approaches. During this inspection the heating and air conditioning contractor will test for leaks, fill up any lubricants and inspect all phases of operation.

Taking proactive steps to notice the warning signs and fix the problem before it become a major issue are two simple ways that home owners can reduce the potential of their AC unit breaking down when they can least afford it.


Is your AC unit freezing up during the summer? Then call the Hays Cooling & Heating team today for all of your air conditioning and heating needs. It Pays To Call Hays! Call 602-714-8270 today.

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Chris Hays

Chris and Stacia Hays, are the owners of Hays Cooling and Heating; a family owned and operated HVAC company in Phoenix founded in 2001 that services both commercial and residential customers. Chris leads a team of certified technicians who have over 45 years of combined experience and has earned and A+ rating with the BBB and a strong five star rating online. Hays Cooling and Heating focuses on providing support to their customers every step of the way, with exceptional service and competitive prices. If you are looking for top-notch air conditioning and heating service, contact, Chris or Stacia today at (602) 714-8270.

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