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8 Reasons Your AC Unit Is Freezing Up At Night

why air conditioner freezes up overnight

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat. You toss and turn, trying to find a comfortable position, but it’s impossible. Eventually, you give up and get out of bed, only to discover that the AC unit is frozen solid.

To most people, this scenario seems like a nightmare come true. But if your AC unit has been freezing up lately, don’t worry – you’re not alone. It’s a fairly common problem that can have several different causes. The following are some of the most evident causes why your AC is freezing up at night.

reasons ac unit is freezing up at night

1. The AC unit is low on refrigerant

The evaporator coil normally contains a small amount of liquid refrigerant. As the AC unit runs, this refrigerant evaporates and helps to cool the air. However, if the air conditioner is low on refrigerant, it can cause the coil to freeze up. This will cause the unit to stop working properly, and can also lead to an increase in your energy bills.

girl with refrigerant for her frozen AC unit

2. The AC unit’s condenser coil is dirty

The AC unit’s condenser coil helps to remove heat from the air. However, if this coil becomes dirty, or clogged with debris, it can’t do its job properly. This can cause the AC unit to work harder than necessary, which can lead to freezing.

Usually, you can clean the condenser coil yourself with a brush and some soapy water. However, if it’s very dirty and you’re in Markham, you may need to hire an HVAC professional to clean it for you.

3. A faulty blower motor

In a central cooling system, a blower fan’s main job is to suck warm air into the ducts and then re-distribute cool air throughout your home. As a result, when the blower fan or its motor fails or stops working, the heat transfer process comes to a halt. If the air conditioner is left running, the water vapors around the evaporator coils will freeze. This problem is easily identified and resolved by a skilled AC technician.

4. Low Temperatures Outside

For an air conditioner to work properly, the outside air temperature must be within a specified range. When the air conditioner is turned on when the outside temperature is too cold, the pressure inside the system can drop, causing the home air conditioner to freeze. This is a regular occurrence particularly on the first start-up in the spring when outside temperatures have not yet risen.

5. Thermostat Issues

Sometimes, the problem isn’t with the AC unit itself, but with the thermostat. If the thermostat is set too low, it can cause the air conditioning unit to work harder than necessary and freeze up. Additionally, if the thermostat is located in a spot that’s susceptible to drafts, it can give false readings, causing the AC unit to cycle on and off more than necessary, which can also lead to freezing.

thermostat issues can be why AC freezes at night

6. Improper Installation

Without proper installation, your AC unit will never work properly. One of the most common installation problems is failing to insulate the evaporator coils. These coils are located in the ductwork, and if they’re not properly insulated, they can cause the AC unit to freeze up. Additionally, if the AC unit isn’t level, it can also cause problems. An experienced installer will know how to properly install your AC unit so that it doesn’t freeze up.

7. Worn Out Parts

Like any other machine, an AC unit has many moving parts. Over time, these parts can wear out and break down. When this happens, it can cause the AC unit to freeze up. Replacing worn-out parts is often the best way to fix this problem. Crucial parts such as the compressor, fan motors, and evaporator coils are designed to last for many years. However, other parts such as the filters and gaskets may need to be replaced more frequently. You might just need to replace your air conditioner altogether.

8. Damaged Ductwork

Damaged ductwork can cause the AC unit to work harder than necessary, which puts a strain on the system and can lead to freezing. Additionally, leaky ductwork can cause cool air to escape, making it difficult for the AC unit to maintain a comfortable temperature.

If your AC unit has been freezing up, don’t panic. There are several steps you can take to fix the problem. Start by checking the thermostat and making sure it’s set to the correct temperature. If that doesn’t work, try cleaning the condenser coils. And if all else fails, call City Energy for help. We’re specialists in cooling and air conditioning. With proper care and maintenance, your AC unit will be back to working like new in no time.

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