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 sitting in their house, minding their own business, having a bowl of popcorn and watching their favorite TV show, when they notice that dreadful sound; drip… drip… drip. They turn their head to see the dog licking at a puddle that’s gradually forming on the bathroom floor. In a flash: Anxiety, stress, and that sinking feeling. Where did the leak come from?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Not necessarily – the air conditioning equipment may be frozen. This can occur anywhere, from the U.S. to Timbuktu, regardless of summer heat. 

Why Air Conditioners Freeze 

When a central air conditioner freezes up, what actually freezes is the condenser unit’s 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. Airflow restriction 
  1. Lack of sufficient refrigerant 

Either way, the ending effect is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil will be unable to properly disperse the 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 transformed into an old-school icebox. 

What Can You Do When Your A/C Freezes? 

  • Turn the system completely off at the thermostat, and do not just move up the temperature on the thermostat. It is important that the A/C system is completely OFF. 
  • Confirm that there is nothing restricting the airflow to the system. 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 obstructed 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 AC 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. Actually, many people are forced to decide between installing a new system or repairing the damaged one. If you follow the steps above and quickly call a ACE-certified technician, you have better odds of getting a less expensive job. 

Your technician will diagnose the situation and how to avoid the issue from happening again. If a leak was really the cause (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will likely freeze again. 

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