How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner

February 23, 2015

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 at home, minding their own business, happily indulging a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when suddenly he/she hears terrible sound; drip... drip... drip. They turn their head to see the cat licking at a puddle that's steadily forming on the dining room floor. Suddenly: Anxiety, stress, and that ”oh brother!” feeling. How did the leak start?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Not necessarily – the central air conditioner is frozen solid. This can occur anywhere, from Albany to Africa, regardless of climate.

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

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

Either way, the ending effect is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil cannot operate to properly disperse the heat, and in essence 'overcools' itself. The result 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 just turned into an old-school icebox.

What Can You Do When Your A/C Freezes?

  1. Turn the system 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.
  2. Confirm that there is nothing restricting the airflow to the system. Replace the furnace or air handler's filter along with any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and ensure that they are not blocked by furniture or drapery.
  3. Call Roland J. Down 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 turn into a pricey repair. When your AC ices over it can lead to a totaled compressor. Replacing your compressor could cost as much as a downpayment on a brand new air conditioner. In fact, many homeowners are forced to decide between installing a new system or repairing the old one. If you act quickly and call a NATE-certified technician, you have better odds of having a less expensive repair.

Your technician will diagnose the situation and how to avoid the issue from occurring in the future. 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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