How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner 

Summer’s coming (believe it or not) and here’s an often cited scenario with the average homeowner: They’re relaxing in their living room, minding their own business, enjoying a bowl of popcorn and watching a movie, when they notice that awful sound; drip… drip… drip. They glance over to see the cat licking at a puddle that’s steadily forming on the kitchen floor. Just like that, the mood changes: Worry, stress, and that ”oh brother!” feeling. How did the leak start?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Nope – the central air conditioner is frozen solid. This can occur anywhere, from Columbus to Thailand, regardless of summer heat. 

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. There are two primary reasons the evaporator coil may freeze: 

  1. Restricted air flow 
  1. Insufficient refrigerant 

Either way, the ending effect is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil cannot operate to properly disperse the heat, and consequently ‘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 short, the A/C just turned 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. 
  • Confirm that there is nothing restricting the airflow to the system. Replace the furnace or air handler’s filter as well as any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and ensure that they are not obstructed by furniture or drapery. 
  • Call Stevenson Service Experts. 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 lead to a pricey repair. When your air conditioner ices over it can lead to a compressor replacement. Replacing your compressor could cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. In fact, many homeowners are forced to choose between installing a new system or repairing the damaged one. If you move fast, follow the instructions, and call a ACE-certified technician, you stand a better chance of having a less expensive repair. 

Your technician will advise you of the exact cause and how to avoid the issue from repeating 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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