How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner

February 23, 2015

Summer’s coming (believe it or not) and here's an often cited scenario with the average homeowner: They’re at home, minding their own business, enjoying a bowl of popcorn and watching a movie, when all of a sudden – that distant dreadful sound; drip... drip... drip. They turn their head to see the cat licking at a puddle that's steadily forming on the kitchen floor. Suddenly: Worry, stress, and that “how much will this cost?” feeling. How did the leak start?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Not necessarily – it's the air conditioner of all things. This can strike anywhere, from Shreveport to Thailand, 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 Shreveport area home. The two main reasons why the evaporator coil may freeze:

  1. Restricted air flow
  2. Lack of sufficient refrigerant

Either way, the outcome is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil does not properly dissipate heat, and consequently 'overcools' itself. The impact 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 transformed into an old-school icebox.

What Can 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. Just make sure 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 and replace any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and confirm that they are not obstructed by furniture or drapes.
  3. Call 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 become a pricey repair. When your air conditioner ices 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 choose between installing a new system and repairing the old unit. If you act quickly and call a NATE-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 occurring in the future. If a leak was really the cause (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will probably freeze again.
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