How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner

February 23, 2015

Summer’s coming (we promise) and here's an all-to-familiar scenario with the average homeowner: They’re at home, minding their own business, happily indulging a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when suddenly he/she hears awful sound; drip... drip... drip. They look over to see the household pet licking at a puddle that's slowly forming on the kitchen floor. In a flash: Concern, stress, and that ”oh brother!” 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 Haltom City to Thailand, 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 Haltom City area home. There are two primary reasons the evaporator coil may freeze:

  1. The restriction of the system’s airflow
  2. Lack of sufficient refrigerant

Either way, the outcome is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil cannot operate to properly transfer heat, and consequently 'overcools' itself. The impact 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. Yep, the A/C just turned into an old-school icebox.

What Should You Do When Your A/C Freezes?

  1. Turn the unit completely off at the thermostat, and don’t try to thaw the system by increasing the temperature at the thermostat. Ensure the A/C system is completely OFF.
  2. Do what you can to ensure airflow is not restricted. 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 impeded by furniture or curtains.
  3. Call Stark Services. 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 pricey repair. When your unit freezes over it can lead to a totaled compressor. Replacing your compressor could cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. In fact, many people are forced to decide between installing a new system vs repairing the old model. If you move fast, follow the instructions, and call a NATE-certified technician, you have better odds of having a less expensive repair.

Your technician will advise you of the exact cause and how to avoid the issue from happening again. 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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