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 a typical 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 all of a sudden – that distant dreadful sound; drip... drip... drip. They turn their head to see the household pet licking at a puddle that's gradually forming on the bathroom floor. Just like that, the mood changes: Anxiety, stress, and that sinking feeling. What caused the leak?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Nope – the central air conditioner is frozen solid. This can strike anywhere, from Naples to Timbuktu, regardless of climate.

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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 Naples area home. Usually there are two factors why the evaporator coil may freeze:

  1. Airflow restriction
  2. Low refrigerant

Either way, the outcome is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil does not properly dissipate heat, and consequently '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 other words, the A/C has morphed 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. Check to ensure that the airflow around your system is unrestricted. 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 blocked by furniture or curtains.
  3. Call 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 a pricey repair. When your unit ices over it can lead to damage to the compressor. Replacing your compressor can cost as much as a downpayment on a high efficiency model. In fact, many homeowners are forced to choose between installing a new system or repairing the damaged one. If you act quickly and call a NATE-certified technician, you have better odds of having a less expensive emergency.

Your technician will advise you of the exact cause 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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