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 a common scenario with the average homeowner: They’re sitting in their house, minding their own business, enjoying a bowl of popcorn and watching a movie, when they notice that terrible sound; drip... drip... drip. They turn their head to see the household pet licking at a puddle that's gradually forming on the bathroom floor. Suddenly: Worry, stress, and that sinking feeling. What caused the leak?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Not necessarily – it's the air conditioner of all things. This can occur anywhere, from Fort Wayne to Thailand, 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 Fort Wayne area home. Usually there are two factors why the evaporator coil may freeze:

  1. Restricted air flow
  2. Insufficient refrigerant

Either way, the ending effect is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil will be unable to properly dissipate heat, and in essence '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 Might 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 and replace any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and verify that they are not blocked by furniture or drapery.
  3. Call Rolf Griffin 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 a costly repair. When your AC ices over it can lead to a totaled compressor. Replacing your compressor can cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. In fact, many people are forced to decide between installing a new system vs repairing the old one. If you move fast, follow the instructions, and call a NATE-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 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 likely freeze again.
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