How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner

February 23, 2015

Summer’s coming (believe it or not) and here's a typical scenario with the average homeowner: They’re relaxing in their living room, minding their own business, happily indulging a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when they notice that terrible sound; drip... drip... drip. They turn their head 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 sinking feeling. How did the leak start?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? No – the air conditioning equipment may be frozen. This can happen anywhere, from West Palm Beach to Thailand, regardless of weather.

Free HVAC for dummies ebook

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 West Palm Beach area home. The two main reasons why the evaporator coil may freeze:

  1. Restricted air flow
  2. Low 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 net effect of this super-cooling is condensation (that's water formation), and finally 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 Should You Do When Your A/C Freezes?

  1. 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. 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 as well as any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and ensure that they are not blocked by furniture or drapery.
  3. Call Service Experts Heating & 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 lead to a pricey repair. When your unit ices over it can lead to damage to the compressor. Replacing your compressor could cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. Actually, many people are forced to choose between installing a new system and repairing the damaged unit. If you act quickly and call a NATE-certified technician, you have better odds of getting a less expensive job.

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.
Contact Us