During the hot summer months, the last thing you need is for your air conditioner to stop working.

Should this happen, you may be surprised to find that the reason for your problem is a frozen outdoor unit.

Yes, even when temperatures are approaching triple digits, your condenser can still freeze into a block of ice. Imagine that!

The best way to protect against this is through regular maintenance. For example, before you rely too heavily on your AC this summer, have a professional inspect your system and make suggestions as to anything you can do to improve its efficiency.

3 Reasons for a Frozen AC Condenser

There are many reasons why your AC condenser could freeze up, including but not limited to the following:

1. Blocked Airflow

Simply put, air conditioners must have constant airflow in order to work efficiently. Adding to this, a steady flow of air ensures that humidity doesn’t have the opportunity to settle on the coils.

To protect against this, make sure your air filter is always clean. The best way of doing so is to change it a minimum of every three months.

Fortunately, this is one of the easier problems to fix on your own. All you have to do is turn off your unit, replace your air filter, and then run your system on “fan only” until your condenser thaws out.

2. Refrigerant Leak

A refrigerant leak is much more serious, as this requires the assistance of an experienced service and repair technician.

If there’s a leak — even a small one  — your system will struggle to perform at its peak. Furthermore, once your refrigerant reaches a certain level, it’s more likely to cause your outdoor unit to freeze up.

Tip: you may be able to temporarily fix the leak, if you can find it, but don’t consider this a long-term solution. You should still consult with a repair professional.

3. Cool Nights

Just because the days are hot in Boston doesn’t mean the night will be, too. And that can be a problem for your air conditioning system.

Modern air conditioners are calibrated to operate efficiently within a specific temperature range. Should there be unseasonably cool temperatures during the nighttime hours, it can result in a frozen condenser.

There are many ways to protect against this potential problem, such as by turning your AC off if you know it’ll be cool overnight. You can also use a programmable thermostat to make this easier on yourself.

If you notice that your AC outdoor unit is freezing up, don’t hesitate to contact a professional. Even if it’s still functional for the time being, that’s likely to change in the near future.

At Boston Standard Plumbing, we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you with any AC emergency. Call us at 617-288-2911 at the first sign of trouble. We’ll visit your home right away, diagnose the problem, and inform you of your options.

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