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 typical scenario with the average homeowner: They’re sitting in their house, minding their own business, happily indulging a bowl of popcorn and watching a movie, when suddenly he/she hears 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? No – the air conditioning equipment may be frozen. This can strike anywhere, from Pierre to Africa, regardless of weather.

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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 disperse the heat, and in essence 'overcools' itself. The impact of this super-cooling is condensation (that's water formation), and eventually ice forms from that condensation as it cools below the freezing point. In short, the A/C transformed into an old-school icebox.

What Might You Do When Your A/C Freezes?

  1. Turn the A/C completely off at the thermostat, and do not just move up the temperature on 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 curtains.
  3. Call Peitz Service Experts. 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 easily cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. Actually, many homeowners are forced to decide 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 diagnose the situation and how to avoid the issue from occurring in the future. 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.
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