How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner 

Summer’s coming (we promise) and here’s a common scenario with the average homeowner: They’re at home, minding their own business, happily indulging a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when they notice that awful sound; drip… drip… drip. They glance over to see the cat licking at a puddle that’s slowly forming on the dining room floor. In a flash: Worry, stress, and that sinking feeling. Where did the leak come from?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Nope – it’s the air conditioner of all things. This can strike anywhere, from Columbus to Africa, regardless of weather. 

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. The two main reasons why the evaporator coil may freeze: 

  1. Airflow restriction 
  1. Lack of sufficient refrigerant 

Either way, the result is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil cannot operate to properly dissipate heat, and in essence ‘overcools’ itself. The result 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 transformed into an old-school icebox. 

What Should You Do When Your A/C Freezes? 

  • Turn the unit 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. 
  • Check to ensure that the airflow around your system is unrestricted. Replace the furnace or air handler’s filter along with any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and ensure that they are not impeded by furniture or drapes. 
  • Call Stevenson Service Experts. 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 turn into a pricey repair. When your unit ices over it can lead to a totaled compressor. Replacing your compressor can cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. In fact, many people are forced to choose between installing a new system and repairing the damaged one. If you follow the steps above and quickly call a ACE-certified technician, you have better odds of getting a less expensive emergency. 

Your technician will diagnose the situation and how to avoid the issue from happening again. If a leak exists (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will likely freeze again. 

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