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 a movie, when they notice that awful sound; drip… drip… drip. They look over to see the household pet licking at a puddle that’s steadily forming on the bathroom floor. Just like that, the mood changes: Concern, stress, and that “how much will this cost?” feeling. How did the leak start?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Not necessarily – the air conditioning equipment may be frozen. This can occur anywhere, from the U.S. 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 U.S. area home. The two main reasons why the evaporator coil may freeze:
- Airflow restriction
- 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 other words, the A/C has morphed into an old-school icebox.
What Might You Do When Your A/C Freezes?
- Turn the A/C completely off at the thermostat, and don’t try to thaw the system by increasing the temperature at the thermostat. Just make sure 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 ensure that they are not blocked 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 lead to a costly repair. When your air conditioner freezes over it can lead to a compressor replacement. Replacing your compressor could cost as much as a downpayment on a high efficiency model. Actually, many homeowners are forced to decide between installing a new system and repairing the damaged one. If you act quickly and call a ACE-certified technician, you have better odds of getting a less expensive job.
Your technician will advise you of the exact cause and how to avoid the issue from repeating 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 most likely freeze again.
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