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, happily indulging a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when they notice that terrible sound; drip… drip… drip. They glance over to see the dog licking at a puddle that’s slowly forming on the dining room floor. In a flash: Concern, stress, and that sinking feeling. What caused the leak?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Not necessarily – 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. The two main reasons why the evaporator coil may freeze: 

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

Either way, the ending effect is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil does not properly transfer heat, and in effect ‘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. In other words, 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 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. 
  • Check to ensure that the airflow around your system is unrestricted. Replace the furnace or air handler’s filter and replace any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and verify that they are not obstructed by furniture or curtains. 
  • 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 become an expensive 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 new system. Actually, many people are forced to decide between installing a new system or 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 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 probably freeze again. 

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