Summer’s coming (believe it or not) and here's an often cited scenario with the average homeowner: They’re relaxing in their living room, minding their own business, enjoying a bowl of popcorn and watching a movie, when they notice that dreadful sound; drip... drip... drip. They turn their head to see the household pet licking at a puddle that's gradually forming on the kitchen floor. Just like that, the mood changes: Anxiety, stress, and that sinking feeling. Where did the leak come from?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? No – the air conditioning equipment may be frozen. This can occur anywhere, from the Wasatch Front region to Africa, regardless of summer heat.
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 Wasatch Front region area home. Usually there are two factors why the evaporator coil may freeze:
- Airflow restriction
- Insufficient refrigerant
Either way, the outcome is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil does not properly dissipate heat, and in effect 'overcools' itself. The result 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. Yep, the A/C just turned into an old-school icebox.
What Should You Do When Your A/C Freezes?
- Turn the system completely off at the thermostat, and do not increase the thermostat temperature as a way to melt the frost on the coils. Just make sure 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 verify that they are not obstructed by furniture or drapery.
- Call Barlow Service Experts. The air conditioning system needs to be professionally inspected 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 freezes over it can lead to damage to the compressor. Replacing your compressor could easily cost as much as a downpayment on a high efficiency model. Unfortunately, many homeowners are forced to decide between installing a new system vs repairing the damaged unit. If you act quickly and call a NATE-certified technician, you have better odds of having a less expensive emergency. Your technician will diagnose the situation and how to avoid the issue from happening again. If a leak exists (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will probably freeze again.