How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner 

Summer’s coming (we promise) and here’s an often cited 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 they notice that awful sound; drip… drip… drip. They turn their head to see the cat licking at a puddle that’s gradually forming on the kitchen floor. Just like that, the mood changes: Concern, stress, and that sinking feeling. What caused the leak?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Nope – it’s the air conditioner of all things. This can happen anywhere, from Columbus to Africa, regardless of summer heat. 

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

  1. Airflow restriction 
  1. Low refrigerant 

Either way, the ending effect is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil does not properly disperse the heat, and consequently ‘overcools’ itself. The net effect 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? 

  • Turn the system completely off at the thermostat, and do not increase the thermostat temperature as a way to melt the frost on the coils. Ensure the A/C system is completely OFF. 
  • Do what you can to ensure airflow is not restricted. Replace the furnace or air handler’s filter and replace any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and ensure that they are not impeded by furniture or curtains. 
  • Call Stevenson Service Experts. The air conditioning system needs to be serviced by a professional that is ACE-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 turn into a costly repair. When your air conditioner freezes over it can lead to damage to the compressor. Replacing your compressor could cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. Unfortunately, many homeowners are forced to pick between installing a new system vs repairing the old one. If you move fast, follow the instructions, and call a ACE-certified technician, you have better odds of getting a less expensive emergency. 

Your technician will quickly analyze the problem 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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