How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner

February 23, 2015

Summer’s coming (believe it or not) and here's a typical scenario with the average homeowner: They’re at home, minding their own business, happily indulging a bowl of popcorn and watching their favorite TV show, when all of a sudden – that distant dreadful sound; drip... drip... drip. They look over to see the cat licking at a puddle that's steadily 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? 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

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

  1. Airflow restriction
  2. Insufficient refrigerant

Either way, the result is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil cannot operate to properly disperse the heat, and in effect '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 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 along with any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and ensure that they are not blocked by furniture or curtains.
  3. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. 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 become a pricey repair. When your air conditioner ices over it can lead to a compressor replacement. Replacing your compressor could easily cost as much as a downpayment on a high efficiency model. In fact, many homeowners are forced to decide 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 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 probably freeze again.
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