How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner
Summer’s coming (as hard as it is to believe right now) and here’s a common 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 suddenly he/she hears awful sound; drip… drip… drip. They glance over to see the household pet licking at a puddle that’s slowly forming on the dining room floor. Suddenly: Anxiety, stress, and that sinking feeling. Where did the leak come from?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Not necessarily – it’s the air conditioner of all things. This can occur anywhere, from the U.S. to Timbuktu, regardless of weather.
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 the U.S. area home. There are two primary reasons the evaporator coil may freeze:
- The restriction of the system’s airflow
- Insufficient refrigerant
Either way, the ending effect is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil will be unable to properly transfer heat, and in essence ‘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 other words, the A/C transformed into an old-school icebox.
What Might You Do When Your A/C Freezes?
- Turn the unit 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.
- Check to ensure that the airflow around your system is unrestricted. Replace the furnace or air handler’s filter as well as any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and confirm that they are not impeded by furniture or curtains.
- Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. The air conditioning system needs to be serviced by a professional that is ACE-certified 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 a costly repair. When your unit freezes over it can lead to damage to the compressor. Replacing your compressor can cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. In fact, many homeowners are forced to decide between installing a new system and repairing the damaged model. If you act quickly and call a ACE-certified technician, you have better odds of getting a less expensive job.
Your technician will advise you of the exact cause and how to avoid the issue from happening again. 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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