With average summer temperatures in the mid-to-high 80s, Pittsburgh doesn't often experience searing hot temperatures. Even so, if you live in Pittsburgh, you enjoy turning on the AC after a long day. Have you ever turned on the AC and felt nothing but warm air? It's disappointing! If your AC unit pushes warm air, it could mean the unit is frozen. Yes, even though it's summer, it happens. Today, we're talking about how to unfreeze a frozen AC unit.
First Things First
If your AC unit blows warm air, first make sure you have the thermostat on the correct setting. It's not uncommon for people to forget to move the thermostat from heat to cool. Really! If you've determined that isn't the issue, look at the outside of the unit. If you see ice or frost on the coils or on the back of a window unit, it's frozen. Time to turn off the AC. Even if it's cooling slightly despite the ice you see forming, turn it off. Be aware that you may or may not be able to see evidence of ice. If the system is frozen, you can't unfreeze it if it's running. If you're not comfortable working on your AC unit yourself, call for local furnace repair.
If Air Flow Is Restricted
One reason an AC unit freezes is because the evaporator gets too cold. This happens if there isn't enough warm, unconditioned air moving over the evaporator coils. Several situations can cause restricted air flow. A clogged or dirty filter is the first thing you should check. A filter check and replacement is an easy fix. Always turn the thermostat from cool to off, then turn on the fan. Leave the fan running for about 3-4 hours. The reason you use the fan setting is to allow warm unconditioned air inside your home to blow on the frozen coils. This speeds up the thawing process. Finally, check the air filter. If it's dirty, replace it. Since you're checking for restricted air flow, go ahead and make sure your return vents aren't blocked. Sometimes furniture, drapes, and even boxes block the vents.
Freezing Caused by Low Refrigerant
Over time, low refrigerant in your AC unit can cause ice buildup on the evaporator coils. If you have low refrigerant levels, you have a refrigerant leak. The most obvious sign of a refrigerant leak is a hissing noise coming from the refrigerant lines. Warm air coming through the vents is another sign. Finally, if your electric bills are going way up, it could indicate a refrigerant leak. You can unfreeze the unit on your own and the instructions are the same as those listed above. But if you think you have a refrigerant leak, call for electric furnace repair in Pittsburgh, PA.
If you've tried these steps and you can't resolve the problem, let Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning help. Call today and we'll come out and troubleshoot your AC unit, furnace, and much more.