How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner 

Summer’s coming (believe it or not) and here’s a common scenario with the average homeowner: They’re relaxing in their living room, minding their own business, having a bowl of popcorn and watching a movie, when all of a sudden – that distant terrible sound; drip… drip… drip. They look over to see the cat licking at a puddle that’s steadily forming on the dining room floor. Suddenly: Concern, stress, and that “how much will this cost?” feeling. How did the leak start?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Nope – it’s the air conditioner of all things. This can occur anywhere, from Columbus to Thailand, regardless of weather.

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. The restriction of the system’s airflow
    1. Lack of sufficient refrigerant

Either way, the outcome is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil cannot operate to properly disperse the 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. Yep, 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. It is important that the A/C system is completely OFF.
    • Do what you can to ensure airflow is not restricted. 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.

What Does it Cost to Repair?

This can lead to a pricey repair. When your air conditioner ices over it can lead to a totaled compressor. Replacing your compressor could cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. Unfortunately, many homeowners are forced to decide between installing a new system and repairing the old unit. If you act quickly and call a ACE-certified technician, you stand a better chance of getting a less expensive emergency.

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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