How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner

February 23, 2015

Summer’s coming (we promise) and here's a common scenario with the average homeowner: They’re at home, minding their own business, having a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when all of a sudden – that distant awful sound; drip... drip... drip. They turn their head to see the cat licking at a puddle that's slowly forming on the bathroom floor. In a flash: Concern, stress, and that sinking feeling. Where did the leak come from?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Not necessarily – the central air conditioner is frozen solid. This can strike anywhere, from Jackson to Africa, regardless of weather.

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Why Air Conditioners Freeze

When a central air conditioner freezes up, what actually freezes is the condenser unit's evaporator coil. This component of the air conditioner transfers (evaporates) heat from the inside to the outside of your Jackson area home. The two main reasons why the evaporator coil may freeze:

  1. Airflow restriction
  2. Low refrigerant

Either way, the outcome is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil cannot operate to properly dissipate 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. Yep, the A/C has morphed into an old-school icebox.

What Might You Do When Your A/C Freezes?

  1. Turn the system completely off at the thermostat, and do not just move up the temperature on the thermostat. Ensure 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 and replace any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and confirm that they are not blocked by furniture or drapes.
  3. Call Comfortech Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. The air conditioning system needs to be inspected by a NATE-certified professional 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 turn into an expensive repair. When your AC freezes over it can lead to damage to the compressor. Replacing your compressor could easily cost as much as a downpayment on a brand new air conditioner. In fact, many homeowners are forced to pick between installing a new system and repairing the old one. If you act quickly and call a NATE-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 happening again. If a leak is present (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will probably freeze again.
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