How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner 

Summer’s coming (as hard as it is to believe right now) and here’s an often cited scenario with the average homeowner: They’re sitting in their house, minding their own business, happily indulging a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when suddenly he/she hears dreadful sound; drip… drip… drip. They glance over to see the cat licking at a puddle that’s steadily forming on the dining room floor. In a flash: Anxiety, stress, and that ”oh brother!” feeling. What caused the leak?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? No – the central air conditioner is frozen solid. This can happen anywhere, from Columbus to Thailand, regardless of climate. 

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

  1. Airflow restriction 
  1. Insufficient refrigerant 

Either way, the result is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil will be unable to properly disperse the heat, and in essence ‘overcools’ itself. The impact of this super-cooling is condensation (that’s water formation), and eventually ice forms from that condensation as it cools below the freezing point. Yep, the A/C transformed into an old-school icebox. 

What Might You Do When Your A/C Freezes? 

  • Turn the A/C completely off at the thermostat, and do not increase the thermostat temperature as a way to melt the frost on the coils. 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 along with any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and confirm that they are not impeded by furniture or drapes. 
  • Call Stevenson Service Experts. 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 lead to a pricey repair. When your unit freezes over it can lead to a compressor replacement. Replacing your compressor can cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. Unfortunately, many homeowners are forced to choose between installing a new system and repairing the old unit. If you follow the steps above and quickly call a ACE-certified technician, you have better odds of getting a less expensive emergency. 

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

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