How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner

February 23, 2015

Summer’s coming (as hard as it is to believe right now) and here's an often cited scenario with the average homeowner: They’re relaxing in their living room, minding their own business, happily indulging a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when suddenly he/she hears terrible 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: Concern, stress, and that ”oh brother!” feeling. What caused the leak?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Not necessarily – it's the air conditioner of all things. This can happen anywhere, from Girard to Timbuktu, regardless of weather.

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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 Girard area home. The two main reasons why the evaporator coil may freeze:

  1. The restriction of the system’s airflow
  2. 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 impact of this super-cooling is condensation (that's water formation), and finally ice forms from that condensation as it cools below the freezing point. In short, the A/C transformed into an old-school icebox.

What Can You Do When Your A/C Freezes?

  1. Turn the system completely off at the thermostat, and don’t try to thaw the system by increasing the temperature at the thermostat. It is important that the A/C system is completely OFF.
  2. Confirm that there is nothing restricting the airflow to the system. Replace the furnace or air handler's filter as well as any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and ensure that they are not obstructed by furniture or curtains.
  3. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. 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 lead to a costly repair. When your AC ices over it can lead to a compressor replacement. Replacing your compressor could cost as much as a downpayment on a brand new air conditioner. In fact, many people are forced to pick between installing a new system vs repairing the old unit. If you move fast, follow the instructions, and call a ACE-certified technician, you stand a better chance of having a less expensive repair.

Your technician will diagnose the situation and how to avoid the issue from repeating in the future. 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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