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 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 their favorite TV show, when all of a sudden – that distant dreadful sound; drip... drip... drip. They glance over to see the household pet licking at a puddle that's steadily forming on the bathroom floor. Just like that, the mood changes: Anxiety, stress, and that “how much will this cost?” feeling. How did the leak start?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? No – the air conditioning equipment may be frozen. This can strike anywhere, from Medina to Thailand, regardless of weather.

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

  1. Airflow restriction
  2. Insufficient refrigerant

Either way, the outcome is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil cannot operate to properly transfer 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. 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 do not just move up the temperature on the thermostat. Just make sure 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 along with any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and verify that they are not impeded by furniture or drapes.
  3. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. The air conditioning system needs to be inspected by an ACE-certified professional 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 an expensive repair. When your unit ices over it can lead to a compressor replacement. Replacing your compressor can cost as much as a downpayment on a brand new air conditioner. Actually, many people are forced to choose between installing a new system vs repairing the old model. If you move fast, follow the instructions, and call a ACE-certified technician, you have better odds of having a less expensive repair.

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