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ac unit frozen pipe outside with visible refrigerant line

Feeling the heat in Florida’s hot summer? Is your air conditioning unit refusing to blow cool air when you need it most?

When this happens, you might step outside and discover that your outside air conditioner pipe has frozen over. Oh no!

We want to get you back on track to comfort. In this blog post, we explore the main symptoms of a frozen AC pipe and the causes behind this issue. (And don’t worry – it might even be a quick fix. We’ll go into some simple solutions for your air conditioner troubles!)

Signs that Your AC is Having Trouble: Warm Air & More

When your air conditioning system has problems, there are often red flags to warn you that something is up. The same goes for a frozen AC pipe, too.

frozen condenser unit outside

There are three major indicators that your AC pipes are struggling. First, you may notice that even though your system is pushing cold air into the home, the temperature inside isn’t getting cool enough to reach the thermostat setting.

The next problem that you’ll find is that there’s enough warm air flowing into the house that your home is heating up. When you put your hand up to the air vents, it’ll be blowing heat instead! That’s when your system will start to ice over.

You might notice ice buildup on different system parts from the get-go. When the outside AC line finally freezes over, your system will start blowing hot air.

What Can Cause Your Air Conditioner’s Refrigerant Line to Freeze?

There are two main reasons for a frozen AC pipe.

Poor Airflow Over the Evaporator Coil

Your evaporator coil holds refrigerants like Freon or Puron. When warm air passes over the evaporator coils, refrigerant extracts heat from it. The refrigerant inside the evaporator coils releases that heat through the outside condenser’s refrigerant coils. This causes a cooling effect. (Check this out to dive deeper into how it all works.)

When something interferes with this, the air conditioner line fluid drops below freezing, the evaporator coil tubing gets too cold, and the cold refrigerant lines cause moisture to freeze to it.

What’s Blocking the Flow? Behind the Frozen AC Lines

There are a few common reasons why you might be experiencing poor airflow over the evaporator coils:

  • Dirty Air Filter: Have your been changing your air filters every month? If not, a dirty filter might be the culprit! A clogged air filter will restrict air flow throughout your system.
  • Dirty Evaporator Coil: Without regular maintenance, your evaporator coil will get coated in dirt, grime, dust, and more – blocking the warm air coming in from the house. Ice formation and frozen ac pipe may mean that your system needs cleaning.
  • Bad Blower Fan: All that cooled air has to circulate somehow! A broken or failing blower motor will create low airflow into and out of your AC system.
  • Closed Supply Vents: Check your vents! Closing supply vents in unused rooms won’t help with your electricity bills. It will just cause issues with your system. All the vents in your home should be open and uncovered. A blocked or closed supply vent can cause your AC unit to freeze.
  • Closed Return Vents: The same goes for your return vent. Blocking the return vent means restricted airflow into your air handler, which will make your unit malfunction.
  • Leaky Air Ducts: Leaking or collapsed air duct problems are no good. Your HVAC system will pump the cold into the attic or ceiling when there is duct damage. preventing the air from circulating.

Refrigerant Leak

HVAC systems use refrigerating fluid like Freon or Puron to cool your space. Your refrigerant levels should never decrease (it’s a closed system, after all) – unless there are refrigerant leaks.

condenser and green freon container

Low refrigerant levels will cause the rest of the remaining refrigerant to become colder as the pressure inside decreases, and less heat will be removed from your house. This can cause poor AC system performance, a hot home, and higher electric bills.

You’ll need a professional assessment to determine if you have a refrigerant leak that’s leading to problems from low refrigerant. Your air conditioning won’t get back on track until an air conditioning repair identifies the source of the leaking refrigerant, fixes the leak, and refills your system.

What to Do When Your Outside Air Conditioner Pipe Freezes

Many times, a frozen AC pipe outside means trouble for homeowners (and bad cooling for the summertime). If you’ve noticed that your system is icing over, then it’s time to call your local HVAC pros – Cool Rays AC! We offer quick, affordable AC repairs (plus fast diagnoses) from trained, licensed, and insured AC experts. Call today to schedule your service call with the best AC service under the sun!

Cool Rays AC Logo with black outline

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