How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner

February 23, 2015

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 Netflix, when suddenly he/she hears awful sound; drip... drip... drip. They glance over to see the cat licking at a puddle that's gradually forming on the dining room floor. Suddenly: Anxiety, stress, and that “how much will this cost?” feeling. How did the leak start?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Nope – the air conditioning equipment may be frozen. This can strike anywhere, from Orlando to Africa, regardless of climate.

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Why Air Conditioners Freeze

The evaporator coil is the component of a central A/C unit that actually freezes. This component of the air conditioner transfers (evaporates) heat from the inside to the outside of your Orlando area home. There are two primary reasons the evaporator coil may freeze:

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

Either way, the ending effect is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil will be unable to properly dissipate heat, and consequently 'overcools' itself. The impact 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 short, the A/C just turned into an old-school icebox.

What Should You Do When Your A/C Freezes?

  1. Turn the A/C 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 and replace any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and confirm that they are not impeded by furniture or drapery.
  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 become an expensive repair. When your AC ices over it can lead to a compressor replacement. Replacing your compressor could easily cost as much as a downpayment on a high efficiency model. Actually, many people are forced to choose between installing a new system and repairing the damaged unit. If you act quickly and call a NATE-certified technician, you have better odds of getting a less expensive emergency.

Your technician will quickly analyze the problem and how to avoid the issue from repeating in the future. If a leak exists (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will probably freeze again.
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