If your RV air conditioner has been freezing up, it’s important to figure out why. Otherwise, you’ll just keep having the same problem over and over again. There are a few possible reasons for this issue, so let’s take a look at each one. Only first you need to defrost the air conditioner.
How To Defrost Your RV Air Conditioner
If your RV air conditioner does freeze up, don’t worry. It’s not permanent damage and you can easily defrost it.
Here’s how to defrost your RV air conditioner:
- Turn off the AC unit and disconnect the power.
- Remove the shroud or panels from around the unit.
- Use a hair dryer or heat gun to thaw the ice on the coils. Be careful not to overheat the coils, as this can damage them.
- Once the coils are thawed, turn on the AC unit and check for proper operation.
RV AC Freezing Up? Most Common Causes
Reason 1: Dirty Air Filter
One possibility is that the air filter is dirty and needs to be replaced. The air filter’s job is to keep dirt and dust from getting into the AC unit. However, over time, the filter can become clogged with debris. This restricts airflow and causes the AC unit to work harder than necessary. As a result, the coils can freeze up.
To clean or replace the air filter, first, turn off the AC unit. Then, locate the filter cover and remove it. The filter will either be located behind the cover or inside the unit itself. If it’s behind the cover, simply pull it out and clean it with soap and water. If it’s inside the unit, you’ll need to use a screwdriver to remove the housing unit. Once you have access to the filter, clean it or replace it with a new one.
Reason 2: Thermostat Set Too Low
Another possibility is that the thermostat is set too low, causing the AC to run longer than necessary and allowing the coils to freeze. To fix this problem, simply raise the thermostat setting by a few degrees. This will cause the AC unit to cycle on and off less often, giving the coils a chance to thaw out.
Reason 3: Low on Freon
It could be that the AC unit is low on Freon and needs to be refilled. Freon is the coolant that helps keep your AC unit cold. If it’s low, the AC unit won’t be able to properly cool the air, causing the coils to freeze.
To check the Freon level, first, turn off the AC unit. Then, locate the Freon line and remove the cap. Next, use a pressure gauge to check the pressure. If it’s below 30 psi, then you’ll need to add more Freon. You can buy Freon at most hardware stores.
Once you’ve added the Freon, turn on the AC unit and check the pressure again. If it’s still low, repeat the process until the pressure is where it should be.
Reason 4: Improperly sized AC unit
If your AC unit is too small for the space it is cooling, it will have to run constantly in order to maintain the set temperature. This constant running puts a lot of strain on the unit, and can cause the coils to freeze up.
The best way to avoid this problem is to make sure you buy an AC unit that is properly sized for the space it will be used in. You can ask a salesperson at the store for help, or look up sizing charts online.
Reason 5: Debris around the AC unit
If there is debris such as leaves or dirt blocking the airflow around the AC unit, it will have to work harder to cool the air.
To fix this problem, simply remove the debris and make sure there is nothing blocking the airflow around the unit.
Reason 6: Damaged coils
If the coils on your AC unit are damaged, they may not be able to properly dissipate heat. This can cause the coils to freeze up.
To fix this problem, you’ll need to replace the damaged coils. You can buy replacement coils at most hardware stores. Once you have the new coils, simply remove the old ones and install the new ones in their place.
Reason 7: Fan problems
If the fan in your AC unit isn’t working properly, it won’t be able to circulate air properly.
To fix this problem, you’ll need to replace the fan. You can buy replacement fans at most hardware stores. Once you have the new fan, simply remove the old one and install the new one in its place.
Reason 8: Ductwork problems
If there are leaks in the ductwork leading to your AC unit, cool air will escape before it has a chance to reach the unit.
To fix this problem, you’ll need to repair or replace the leaky ductwork. You can buy replacement ductwork at most hardware stores. Once you have the new ductwork, simply remove the old one and install the new one in its place.
Reason 9: Restricted airflow
If there is something blocking the airflow to your AC unit, it won’t be able to circulate air properly.
To fix this problem, simply remove the obstruction and make sure there is nothing blocking the airflow to the unit.
Reason 10: Incorrect voltage supply
If the AC unit isn’t getting the correct voltage supply, it won’t be able to function properly.
To fix this problem, you’ll need to check the voltage supply to the unit and make sure it is correct. You can buy a voltage tester at most hardware stores. Once you have the tester, simply plug it into an outlet and touch the probes to the wires leading to the AC unit. If the reading is below 110 volts, you’ll need to increase the voltage supply.
How to prevent your RV AC from freezing up
Now that you know some of the reasons why your RV air conditioner might freeze up, you can take steps to prevent it from happening.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent your RV AC from freezing up:
- Keep the area around the AC unit clean and free of debris.
- Make sure the AC unit has proper ventilation.
- Check the filters monthly and clean or replace them as needed.
- Check the condenser coils monthly and clean them as needed.
- Check the ductwork for leaks and repair or replace as needed.
- Check the voltage supply to the AC unit and make sure it is correct.
By taking these preventive measures, you can help ensure that your RV air conditioner doesn’t freeze up.
If your RV air conditioner stops working in the middle of summer, don't panic. First, check to make sure the unit is properly plugged in and that there is power to the outlet. Next, check the filters and clean or replace them as needed. If the filters are clean and the unit still isn't working, you may need to have a professional service the unit.
It's generally recommended that you have your RV air conditioner serviced once a year. This will help ensure that it is running properly and that any potential problems are caught early.
The cost of repairing or replacing a frozen RV air conditioner will vary depending on the extent of the damage. If the unit just needs to be thawed out, you may be able to do this yourself. However, if the coils are damaged, you'll need to have them replaced. This can be an expensive repair.
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