How To Keep HVAC From Freezing Up

How To Keep HVAC From Freezing Up

Winter is here, and with it comes frigid temperatures. While you might enjoy a chill in your house, your HVAC system doesn’t—and it can get damaged if exposed to the cold for too long. 

HVAC systems are designed to function in cooler conditions, so when it gets very cold outside, it can cause your HVAC to freeze up. This can be dangerous and costly.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost of a frozen HVAC repair has increased by over $100 since 1990, with a large spike occurring in 2001.

The average cost of a frozen HVAC repair in 1990 was just under $200. In 2000 and 2001, this number skyrocketed to around $400 before settling down at around $300. Since 2010, the average cost of a frozen HVAC repair has increased steadily each year, with no signs of slowing down.

What is the average cost of a frozen HVAC repair today? Around $500 – more than double what it was just twenty years ago!

But how can you save yourself from those costly HVAC repairs? 


In this article, HVAC professionals in Doylestown, PA, will explain what causes HVAC systems to freeze up in the winter, as well as steps you can take to prevent this.

How to tell if HVAC is frozen?

Frozen HVAC is a serious problem. It can happen to anyone at any time, and it’s one of the most common reasons for HVAC malfunctions. If you don’t know how to spot the signs of frozen HVAC, you could be risking your home.

Wondering, “How can I tell if HVAC coils are frozen?”, Well. Here are some indicators that your HVAC system may be frozen:

Reduced airflow

If the air coming out of your vents feels cold but doesn’t seem to be reaching all corners of the room, you might have a problem with reduced airflow. This could mean that your heating coil or blower motor is clogged with dust or debris or that air ducts need cleaning.

Lack of cooling or heating

If your air conditioner or heater is not providing the desired cooling or heating effect despite being turned on, it may be due to a frozen HVAC system. The ice buildup can interfere with the proper functioning of the unit and limit its ability to cool or heat the air effectively.

Ice or frost on components

If your air conditioner or furnace has any kind of water leaks, they can freeze, causing ice or frost to form on the components. This will make it difficult for your system to function properly during winter.

Water leaks

If you see water coming out of your vents or drains, a leak in your system may lead to mold growth and other serious problems.

Unusual noises

If you’re hearing strange sounds coming from your HVAC system, there could be an issue with the compressor. The compressor is what drives refrigerant through the system to cool and heat the air, so it’s one of the most important components in your HVAC unit. If it’s not working properly, you might hear unusual noises when it kicks on or off.

What Causes Frozen HVAC in Winters?

Wondering, “Why is my HVAC unit frozen in the winter?”

The HVAC system is one of the most important parts of your home. The air that you breathe, the temperature in your house, and the humidity level of your home are all controlled by the HVAC system. This system keeps you comfortable and safe, so keeping it in good working order is important.

If you notice that your HVAC system isn’t working properly, there could be several reasons for “Why is my HVAC line frozen?”. 

Below we will look at seven of the most common causes of frozen HVAC systems.

Low outdoor temperatures

The first is low outdoor temperatures. If the temperature outside is below 40 degrees, it can cause your system to freeze up and stop working. This is because the coolant inside of the system does not like to work at low temperatures and will freeze if left alone for too long.

Insufficient airflow

The second cause of an HVAC failure is insufficient airflow. This happens when there isn’t enough air coming into or out of your home to keep things running smoothly. If you have an older or inefficient system in place, this can occur more often than not because it takes more energy to run them effectively than newer models do. However, even newer systems have trouble getting enough airflow through their vents if they aren’t installed properly or don’t have enough insulation around them for proper circulation around your home’s ductwork system.

Low refrigerant levels

If your HVAC is running but not cooling or heating, one of the first things you should do is check the refrigerant levels. In order to perform this test, you’ll need to remove the cover from your outdoor unit and look at the gauge on top of it. The pressure reading should be around 15 psi for a heat pump (and up to 30 psi for an air conditioner). If it’s lower than that, your system is low on refrigerant—and you’ll need to add more!

Malfunctioning defrost cycle

The defrost cycle is what keeps your air flowing smoothly through your HVAC system. If this cycle malfunctions, there can be a buildup of ice on the compressor and components inside your system. This can lead to expensive HVAC repairs and replacement parts down the line.

Thermostat issues

The thermostat controls the temperature of your home by regulating the amount of energy used by your furnace or air conditioner. It’s important that this mechanism works correctly so it can keep your house at a comfortable temperature all year long. If it isn’t functioning properly, then it could cause problems with your HVAC system.

Dirty or damaged coils

The coils in an HVAC unit are the most important part of your air conditioning. They work by heating up and cooling down, circulating cool or warm air in your home. If the coils get dirty or damaged, they can’t properly do their job. This can lead to reduced energy efficiency and a higher electric bill.

Improper installation

Inadequate or improper installation of the HVAC system can contribute to freezing issues. Incorrect refrigerant charge, incorrect airflow settings, or improper insulation can all affect the system’s ability to function optimally and result in freezing.

What Should You Do When HVAC Exhaust is Blocked?

If you suspect that the exhaust of your HVAC system is blocked, it is important to take immediate action to address the issue. Here’s what you should do when the HVAC exhaust is blocked:

Turn off the HVAC system.

As a safety precaution, turn off the HVAC system immediately. This will prevent further accumulation of potentially harmful gases or damage to the system.

Check for blockage.

Safely inspect the exhaust area to identify and locate the blockage. It could be snow, ice, debris, or any other material obstructing the exhaust vent or pipe.

Clear the blockage.

If it is safe to do so, remove the blockage carefully. Use appropriate tools such as a shovel, broom, or gloved hands to clear away snow, ice, or debris from the exhaust vent or pipe. Take caution not to damage any components or create hazards while clearing the blockage.

Confirm proper airflow.

After clearing the blockage, inspect the exhaust vent or pipe to restore the airflow. Verify that air can freely pass through without any obstructions.

Inspect for damage.

Once the blockage is removed, visually inspect the exhaust system and surrounding components for any signs of damage. Look for cracks, leaks, or other abnormalities that may require professional attention.

Restore power and test.

After confirming that the blockage is cleared and the exhaust system is intact, you can restore power to the HVAC system. Test the system to ensure it functions correctly and produces proper airflow and heating or cooling.

Schedule professional inspection.

Even if you have resolved the blockage issue, scheduling an HVAC inspection with a qualified HVAC technician in Doylestown is advisable. They can thoroughly assess the system, check for any underlying issues or damage caused by the blockage, and perform any necessary repairs or maintenance to ensure the HVAC system operates safely and efficiently.

How long does it take frozen HVAC to defrost?

The answer depends on the size of your HVAC unit, how long it’s been in the freezer, and how much ice you have inside.

If you’ve got a smaller unit that’s been in the freezer for less than 24 hours, you can expect it to defrost in about 30 minutes. If your unit is larger and has been frozen for longer than 24 hours, it could take up to an hour or more to defrost completely.

The size of your unit will determine how long it takes to defrost because larger units take longer to heat up and cool down than smaller ones do. The more ice that is inside of your unit will also slow down the process of defrosts because there’s more mass that needs to be heated up or cooled down before it’s ready for use again!

10 Tips for Keeping HVAC from Freezing Up in Winters

The winter months are upon us, and if you’re like most homeowners, that means your HVAC systems are working overtime to keep you warm and comfortable. 

If you take care of your HVAC system during the cold months, it will last longer and give you better performance over time. 

Here are some tips for Winter HVAC Preventive Maintenance:

Maintain proper airflow.

One of the most important things you can do to keep your HVAC system from freezing up during the winter is to maintain proper airflow. This means keeping vents and registers clear and adjusting them to allow for maximum airflow. The more air circulates through your HVAC system, the less likely it is that ice will build up in the coils that heat and cool your home.

Make sure there’s no water on the roof.

Another way to keep your HVAC system from freezing up is to ensure no water is on the roof. When water freezes on a roof, it expands and can cause ice dams on your roof—which can cause leaks into your home’s attic or basement. If you notice that there are ice dams forming on your roof, call a professional immediately! They can help prevent further damage by clearing any ice dams around your home’s gutter system before they worsen!

Insulate exposed pipes. 

Exposed pipes are a common source of air leaks in homes, and they can get very cold in the winter! If you want to prevent your system from freezing up, make sure all exposed pipes are properly insulated.

Seal air leaks. 

Air leaks can be a major problem in any building—and they’re even worse when they happen in your HVAC system. When you seal an air leak, you prevent out-of-control airflow through your system, which helps keep it running smoothly and efficiently.

Schedule regular maintenance. 

Your HVAC system is a big investment, so keeping it running smoothly for years to come is important. Schedule regular maintenance checks with a professional and ensure all the parts work properly. This will save you money and headaches down the road!

Maintain proper thermostat settings. 

The temperature in your home can significantly impact how well your HVAC system works over time—so make sure you keep it set at a comfortable level! If necessary (and if possible), invest in an additional zone device that allows you to control different rooms separately without needing multiple thermostats.

Address refrigerant leaks promptly.

The next step toward keeping your HVAC system from freezing up during the winter is addressing refrigerant leaks promptly. This can be done using a leak detection dye or performing regular inspections on your system. A refrigerant leak can lead to reduced efficiency and increased energy costs, which means you’ll want to address them as soon as possible.

Clear snow and ice from the outdoor unit.

In addition to promptly addressing refrigerant leaks, you should clear snow and ice from outdoor units regularly throughout the winter so they don’t freeze over completely! This helps prevent moisture buildup within the unit and will keep your system running smoothly all season long.

Consider insulating ductwork.

Another effective way to prevent the HVAC system from freezing up in winter is to insulate ductwork by wrapping it with fiberglass or foam insulation. This will help keep the cold air inside the ducts, which can help prevent ice from forming on them and causing damage to your HVAC system.

Monitor humidity levels.

It’s important that you monitor the humidity level in your home during winter so that you can keep it at a comfortable level for yourself and your family. Keeping it too high will cause problems with bacteria growth and mold, while keeping it too low can cause your pipes to freeze and burst, leading to water damage throughout your home!

Sign Up for Heating and Air Conditioning Service Agreements in Doylestown, PA, and Keep Your HVAC Systems Up-to-date for All Seasons!

You want to keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient all year long, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money doing it. We get it! Who doesn’t?

That’s why CDO Heating and Air Inc. offer Heating and Air Conditioning Service Agreements in Doylestown, PA—so you can stay cool without breaking the bank. We’ve been providing our customers with the best heating & cooling services for over 25 years. 

Our heating and air conditioning service agreements are designed to keep your HVAC systems up-to-date for all seasons so that you can be confident that your home will be the most comfortable no matter the time of year. And because these agreements are meant to keep your systems running smoothly, they’re also more cost-effective than purchasing new equipment each time something goes wrong.

With our service agreements, you can:

  • Keep your HVAC system running smoothly by getting regular maintenance checks and repairs.
  • Avoid costly repairs by having us check for small problems before they become big ones.
  • Save money on repairs by taking advantage of our preventive maintenance program that includes oil changes and filter replacements and other routine tasks like changing dirty air filters.
  • Reduce the risk of breakdowns during the coldest months of the year (or any other time).
  • Never worry about unexpected repairs or replacements.
  • Reduce your utility bills with regular maintenance.
  • Get repairs done fast when you need them done—we usually come to your home on the same day you call.
  • Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that a professional checks your system regularly.

Moreover, our HVAC technicians are trained in all types of HVAC systems and can provide you with the best advice on how to keep your home comfortable all year long. They also have access to the latest technology so that they can diagnose problems quickly and fix them efficiently. We offer 24-hour emergency service so that if there’s an issue with your system at any time of day or night, we’ll be there fast!

So, if you’d like to sign up for one of our heating and air conditioning service agreements, just give us a call at (267) 481-7787!

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