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 sitting in their house, minding their own business, enjoying a bowl of popcorn and watching their favorite TV show, when they notice that terrible sound; drip... drip... drip. They glance over to see the cat licking at a puddle that's steadily forming on the bathroom floor. Just like that, the mood changes: Concern, stress, and that sinking feeling. What caused the leak?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Nope – the air conditioning equipment may be frozen. This can strike anywhere, from Pierre to Africa, regardless of climate.

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 Pierre area home. Usually there are two factors why the evaporator coil may freeze:

  1. Airflow restriction
  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 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 other words, the A/C transformed into an old-school icebox.

What Can You Do When Your A/C Freezes?

  1. Turn the A/C 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.
  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 confirm that they are not obstructed by furniture or drapes.
  3. Call Peitz Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. The air conditioning system needs to be serviced by a professional that is NATE-certified 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 freezes over it can lead to damage to the compressor. Replacing your compressor could cost as much as a downpayment on a high efficiency model. Actually, many homeowners are forced to choose between installing a new system vs repairing the damaged unit. If you move fast, follow the instructions, and call a NATE-certified technician, you have better odds of having a less expensive emergency.

Your technician will advise you of the exact cause and how to avoid the issue from happening again. If a leak is present (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will most likely freeze again.
Contact Us