What to Do When Your Air Conditioner Unit Is Freezing

What to Do When Your Air Conditioner Unit Is Freezing

You need your air conditioner to be working properly during the summer, especially on the hottest and most humid days. And while your air conditioning unit should obviously be cold, it shouldn’t be so cold that it freezes up and stop blowing out the cold air you need to cool your home. Furthermore, the longer you wait to get your frozen unit fixed, the more costly a repair it will likely be, and more likely it is that your walls and ceiling will be water damaged. So let’s take a closer look at how and why ice buildup in your AC unit happens, and how to resolve it and prevent it from happening again.

There are several reasons your AC unit can freeze up on you: reduced airflow because of a blockage somewhere in the unit, a blockage in the drain line, leaking refrigerant, and a defective thermostat. These are all resolvable issues if they’re dealt with as soon as possible. But waiting to fix a frozen unit can result in compressor failure, which is at best a costly repair, and at worse an even more costly AC unit replacement.

If you see that your air conditioner isn’t working accordingly, examine the indoor unit to see if the coils are frozen. If so, turn the unit off completely. Otherwise, you’re likely to have irreversible compressor damage.

If there is a significant amount of ice on the coils, waiting for a technician to remove the ice might not be the best idea. The ice can melt, resulting in the previously mentioned water damage to your ceilings, walls, and floors. You can safely get rid of the ice yourself by doing one of the following things:

  • Turn on the system fan (turn the thermostat to the “Fan” setting to keep the AC unit off) to melt the ice. Only do this if there is no ice on the fan itself. Keep in mind this could take a few hours.
  • If the fan isn’t working, or if you need to melt the ice faster, you can use a blow dryer.
  • If condensation appears to be dripping outside the drain pan and/or into the ducts, get a wet vac to remove the water and prevent mold growth.

You should also review the state of your air filter. If it’s clogged completely, that could also be the reason your unit is freezing. Blockage reduces the flow of warm air over the coils. Switching out the filter might resolve the issue.

Check the filter for any clogging. If you don’t see any clogs, you can still melt the ice, but don’t turn the AC unit on again until a technician looks at it. It’s possible there’s a refrigerant leak, which you won’t be able to fix, and will result in the unit freezing once more and potentially burning out the compressor.

Once the AC technician looks at your unit, they’ll be able to figure out the source of the freezing problem and fix your unit accordingly. To prevent your AC unit from freezing in the future, be sure to have your AC system examined, cleaned, and tuned up periodically. This allows proper airflow and prevents refrigerant leaks. The coils should be kept clean and free of corrosion.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! If you suspect your AC unit is freezing and you’re looking for a cooling contractor in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, please contact Comfort Xpress. We can help you get your AC unit back in working condition, and you can bask in the wonders of central air.