How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner

February 23, 2015

Summer’s coming (we promise) and here's an all-to-familiar scenario with the average homeowner: They’re at home, minding their own business, enjoying a bowl of popcorn and watching their favorite TV show, when they notice that awful sound; drip... drip... drip. They glance over to see the dog licking at a puddle that's slowly forming on the dining room floor. Suddenly: Worry, stress, and that “how much will this cost?” feeling. What caused the leak?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Not necessarily – it's the air conditioner of all things. This can occur anywhere, from Waldorf 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 Waldorf area home. There are two primary reasons the evaporator coil may freeze:

  1. Restricted air flow
  2. Insufficient refrigerant

Either way, the result is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil will be unable to properly transfer heat, and in effect '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. Yep, the A/C just turned 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. Ensure the A/C system is completely OFF.
  2. Do what you can to ensure airflow is not restricted. 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 obstructed by furniture or drapery.
  3. Call A-PLUS Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. The air conditioning system needs to be inspected by a NATE-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 lead to an expensive repair. When your air conditioner freezes over it can lead to a totaled compressor. Replacing your compressor could easily cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. Actually, many people are forced to decide between installing a new system or repairing the old unit. If you follow the steps above and quickly call a NATE-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 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 probably freeze again.
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