How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner
Summer’s coming (we promise) and here’s a typical scenario with the average homeowner: They’re at home, minding their own business, enjoying a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when they notice that dreadful sound; drip… drip… drip. They look over to see the dog licking at a puddle that’s slowly forming on the kitchen floor. In a flash: Worry, stress, and that “how much will this cost?” feeling. What caused the leak?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? No – the central air conditioner is frozen solid. This can happen anywhere, from Philadelphia to Africa, regardless of climate.
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 Philadelphia area home. Usually there are two factors why the evaporator coil may freeze:
- Restricted air flow
- Lack of sufficient refrigerant
Either way, the result is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil does not properly dissipate 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. In other words, the A/C just turned into an old-school icebox.
What Might You Do When Your A/C Freezes?
- Turn the A/C completely off at the thermostat, and don’t try to thaw the system by increasing the temperature at the thermostat. Just make sure 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 and replace any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and ensure that they are not blocked by furniture or curtains.
- Call Stallion Heating and 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 turn into a costly repair. When your AC freezes over it can lead to damage to the compressor. Replacing your compressor could easily cost as much as a downpayment on a high efficiency model. Unfortunately, many homeowners are forced to choose between installing a new system or repairing the old unit. If you act quickly 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 repeating in the future. If a leak exists (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will most likely freeze again.
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