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 relaxing in their living room, minding their own business, happily indulging a bowl of popcorn and watching their favorite TV show, when they notice that terrible sound; drip... drip... drip. They look over to see the household pet licking at a puddle that's slowly forming on the bathroom floor. Suddenly: Worry, stress, and that ”oh brother!” feeling. Where did the leak come from?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Not necessarily – the air conditioning equipment may be frozen. This can strike anywhere, from Fort Worth to Thailand, regardless of summer heat.

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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 Fort Worth area home. There are two primary reasons the evaporator coil may freeze:

  1. Airflow restriction
  2. Low refrigerant

Either way, the outcome is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil does not properly transfer heat, and in essence 'overcools' itself. The result of this super-cooling is condensation (that's water formation), and finally ice forms from that condensation as it cools below the freezing point. Yep, the A/C just turned 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 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 verify that they are not blocked by furniture or curtains.
  3. Call Calverley Service Experts. 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 a costly repair. When your air conditioner freezes over it can lead to a compressor replacement. Replacing your compressor can cost as much as a downpayment on a brand new air conditioner. Actually, many homeowners are forced to choose between installing a new system vs repairing the old model. If you act quickly 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 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 likely freeze again.
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