How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner 

Summer’s coming (believe it or not) and here’s an all-to-familiar scenario with the average homeowner: They’re sitting in their house, minding their own business, happily indulging a bowl of popcorn and watching their favorite TV show, when they notice that dreadful sound; drip… drip… drip. They glance over to see the dog licking at a puddle that’s gradually forming on the kitchen floor. Just like that, the mood changes: Anxiety, stress, and that “how much will this cost?” feeling. What caused the leak?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? No – the central air conditioner is frozen solid. This can happen anywhere, from the U.S. to Africa, regardless of climate. 

Why Air Conditioners Freeze 

The part of the air conditioner that actually freezes is known as the evaporator coil. This component of the air conditioner transfers (evaporates) heat from the inside to the outside of your the U.S. area home. There are two primary reasons the evaporator coil may freeze: 

  1. The restriction of the system’s airflow 
  1. Low refrigerant 

Either way, the ending effect is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil will be unable to properly transfer heat, and in effect ‘overcools’ itself. The net effect of this super-cooling is condensation (that’s water formation), and over time ice forms from that condensation as it cools below the freezing point. In short, the A/C has morphed into an old-school icebox. 

What Might You Do When Your A/C Freezes? 

  • Turn the system completely off at the thermostat, and don’t try to thaw the system by increasing the temperature at the thermostat. Ensure the A/C system is completely OFF. 
  • Check to ensure that the airflow around your system is unrestricted. Replace the furnace or air handler’s filter along with any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and confirm that they are not impeded by furniture or drapes. 
  • Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. The air conditioning system needs to be serviced by a professional that is ACE-certified to ensure there are no refrigerant leaks or damage to the equipment. Simply schedule a Performance Inspection or Repair Diagnostic online, or call to talk to a live person right away. 

What Does it Cost to Repair? 

This can turn into a costly repair. When your unit ices over it can lead to damage to the compressor. Replacing your compressor could cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. Actually, many homeowners are forced to pick between installing a new system and repairing the old model. If you move fast, follow the instructions, and call a ACE-certified technician, you have better odds of having a less expensive repair. 

Your technician will advise you of the exact cause and how to avoid the issue from happening again. If a leak is present (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will most likely freeze again. 

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