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, having a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when they notice that terrible sound; drip… drip… drip. They turn their head to see the dog licking at a puddle that’s slowly forming on the dining room floor. Suddenly: Anxiety, stress, and that ”oh brother!” feeling. Where did the leak come from?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Nope – the air conditioning equipment may be frozen. This can strike anywhere, from Philadelphia to Africa, regardless of climate. 

Why Air Conditioners Freeze 

The part of the air conditioner that actually freezes is known as the evaporator coil. This component of the air conditioner transfers (evaporates) heat from the inside to the outside of your Philadelphia area home. The two main reasons why the evaporator coil may freeze: 

  1. Airflow restriction 
  1. Lack of sufficient refrigerant 

Either way, the ending effect is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil cannot operate to properly disperse the heat, and in essence ‘overcools’ itself. The result of this super-cooling is condensation (that’s water formation), and eventually ice forms from that condensation as it cools below the freezing point. In short, the A/C just turned into an old-school icebox. 

What Can You Do When Your A/C Freezes? 

  • Turn the unit completely off at the thermostat, and do not increase the thermostat temperature as a way to melt the frost on the coils. Just make sure the A/C system is completely OFF. 
  • Confirm that there is nothing restricting the airflow to the system. Replace the furnace or air handler’s filter as well as any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and verify that they are not blocked by furniture or drapes. 
  • Call Stallion Heating and 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 turn into a pricey repair. When your air conditioner ices over it can lead to damage to the compressor. Replacing your compressor can cost as much as a downpayment on a new system. Actually, many homeowners are forced to pick between installing a new system or repairing the damaged one. If you move fast, follow the instructions, and call a ACE-certified technician, you have better odds of having a less expensive repair. 

Your technician will quickly analyze the problem 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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