Frozen refrigerant lines are a problem that will occasionally pop up in a dysfunctional air conditioning system. It’s a good idea to pay attention to the outdoor unit of your system by checking on it from time to time to look for signs of freezing. If you do see indications the lines are freezing up, consider reaching out to Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric right away so a member of our expert team can address your air conditioner or heat pump.
While a frozen refrigerant line is a frustrating problem to deal with, it might not be indicative of a major issue in the system. Let’s take a closer look at what causes this problem to occur and what you might be able to do about it.
You don’t need to be a HVAC professional to spot the signs of a frozen refrigerant line. In fact, all you need to do is go outside and look at the coils that line the inside of the unit. Those are the refrigerant lines, and it is their job to carry refrigerant from inside the building to the outdoor unit and back again. The refrigerant inside the lines collects warm air from the inside and brings it to the outside where it is dumped. When working properly, you’ll see nothing on these lines outside of perhaps condensation.
However, when there is an issue, freezing will occur. In that case, you’ll see frost buildup on the lines, and that buildup could become quite significant depending on the underlying issue. It is quite surprising to see ice outdoors in the middle of a hot Texas summer day, but it’s certainly possible when your air conditioner runs into an issue. Get into the habit of taking a quick look at your AC unit from time to time – when walking by – so you can watch for freezing and take the necessary steps if there is a problem.
Potential Causes of Frozen Refrigerant Lines
It is easy to see when an air conditioning unit has frozen refrigerant lines, but it’s much trickier to figure out why that is happening and how to fix it. This is because there are many potential underlying causes that can lead to this outcome, including the following –
- Poor airflow. This just may be the most common cause of freezing lines. If your air conditioner doesn’t have the flow of air it needs, the system isn’t going to work correctly and the lines might freeze up. Often, lacking airflow can be traced to a dirty air filter that isn’t allowing enough air movement through the system. This is the one maintenance point you can probably handle on your own, since it’s easy to swap out an air filter to see if that improves how things are working.
- Blower fan problems. The blower fan in your air conditioning system is responsible for moving air around, but if it is not functioning properly – or at all – the lines can quickly freeze up. It may be that your current blower fan simply needs a quick repair, or the fan might need to be replaced to get everything back on track.
- Not enough refrigerant. If there is not enough refrigerant in the system, freezing lines may be the result. It could be a leak somewhere in your lines, allowing small amounts of refrigerant to gradually escape. Over time, those small losses will add up and you won’t have enough left in the system to keep it from freezing up when in operation.
Get Professional Help Promptly
What you don’t want to do when you find frozen refrigerant lines is ignore the problem. It’s almost certainly not going to get better on its own, and the only thing you can do yourself is swap out the air filter to improve airflow. If that doesn’t do the trick, it will be time to get help from the pros.
Don’t panic if you find that your refrigerant lines are frozen when you check your outdoor air conditioning unit. The best course of action is to get help from a friendly and professional team like that at Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric. Give us a call right away to explain the situation and we will help you decide on the best course of action to get the cool air flowing once again.