How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner

February 23, 2015

Summer’s coming (we promise) and here's an often cited scenario with the average homeowner: They’re at home, minding their own business, enjoying a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when all of a sudden – that distant terrible sound; drip... drip... drip. They look over to see the dog licking at a puddle that's steadily forming on the kitchen floor. Suddenly: Concern, stress, and that ”oh brother!” feeling. Where did the leak come from?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Nope – the air conditioning equipment may be frozen. This can happen anywhere, from London to Timbuktu, regardless of summer heat.

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

  1. Airflow restriction
  2. Low refrigerant

Either way, the result is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil will be unable to properly dissipate heat, and consequently '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 other words, the A/C has morphed 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. Check to ensure that the airflow around your system is unrestricted. 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 obstructed by furniture or curtains.
  3. Call Roy Inch & Sons 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 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 high efficiency model. Unfortunately, many people are forced to choose between installing a new system vs repairing the old one. If you follow the steps above and quickly call a NATE-certified technician, you stand a better chance of getting a less expensive job.

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 most likely freeze again.
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