How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner 

Summer’s coming (as hard as it is to believe right now) and here’s a common scenario with the average homeowner: They’re at home, minding their own business, enjoying a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when all of a sudden – that distant awful sound; drip… drip… drip. They turn their head to see the dog licking at a puddle that’s steadily forming on the kitchen floor. Suddenly: Worry, stress, and that “how much will this cost?” feeling. Where did the leak come from?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? No – the air conditioning equipment may be frozen. This can strike anywhere, from the U.S. to Thailand, 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. Usually there are two factors why the evaporator coil may freeze: 

  1. The restriction of the system’s airflow 
  1. Lack of sufficient refrigerant 

Either way, the result is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil does not properly disperse the heat, and in essence ‘overcools’ itself. The result of this super-cooling is condensation (that’s water formation), and eventually ice forms from that condensation as it cools below the freezing point. Yep, the A/C just turned into an old-school icebox. 

What Might You Do When Your A/C Freezes? 

  • Turn the unit completely off at the thermostat, and do not increase the thermostat temperature as a way to melt the frost on the coils. It is important that 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 and replace any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and ensure that they are not impeded by furniture or curtains. 
  • 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 can cost as much as a downpayment on a brand new air conditioner. In fact, many homeowners are forced to choose between installing a new system vs repairing the damaged unit. If you move fast, follow the instructions, and call a ACE-certified technician, you stand a better chance of having a less expensive job. 

Your technician will advise you of the exact cause and how to avoid the issue from occurring in the future. If a leak was really the cause (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will probably freeze again. 

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