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How to Unfreeze an Air Conditioner

If you notice ice on your indoor coils, you may wonder, “What causes an air conditioner to freeze?” You may have inadvertently observed the ice as you changed your air filter. You might be dealing with a system that won’t turn on. In either case, it’s important to unfreeze the system so that you can avoid serious damage. In some situations, air conditioner repair may be required.

Causes of Frozen Air Conditioning Equipment

Refrigerant is used to cool the air in your home. The material is pressurized and depressurized to cause the temperature changes necessary for the process. Under pressure, refrigerant gets extremely hot. When it expands, the material becomes cold. The coils and lines in your system provide for this process to take place. Your indoor coils facilitate the expansion and cooling of the material.

If airflow is restricted, the refrigerant doesn’t absorb enough heat from indoor air, causing its temperature to be excessively low. As moisture in the air condenses, it freezes instead of dripping into your drain pan. This can lead to a collection of ice and a frozen coil, creating problems for the entire system. Causes of restricted airflow can include:

  • Dirt accumulation on the evaporator coil
  • Clogged air filter
  • Blower malfunction
  • Blockages in intake or return ducts

Your refrigerant lines and levels can also lead to frozen coils. If there isn’t enough refrigerant, you can experience a problem with ice collecting and freezing the system. A blockage in the lines or a leak can also lead to frozen coils.

What to Do if Your Coils Freeze

Trying to run your air conditioner while the coil is frozen could lead to compressor damage. It’s important to shut your system off to allow time for the ice to defrost. If your filter is dirty, make a replacement. Once the ice is gone, you can turn the system back on and watch for more ice. If you notice issues like lack of cool air or poor airflow in your home when you restart the system, it’s wise to have an air conditioner repair professional evaluate your system.

Preventive AC Maintenance

Some of the most common issues that trigger frozen coils can be addressed through annual AC maintenance. The multi-point inspection and tune-up includes actions like coil cleaning and refrigerant checks. These two points can save you a lot of money on your energy bills while heading off problems like a system freeze-up. Additionally, your technician will inspect blower parts and other system components to evaluate wear or replacement needs. You can often extend the life of your equipment by simply ensuring that it is serviced each year prior to the summer cooling season. Many air conditioner repairs can be avoided because of preliminary cleaning and adjustments.

Experienced Service

Goose Creek, SC, residents will appreciate the quality service and expertise provided by our team at Goose Creek Heating & Air. We provide thorough maintenance and repair solutions for your HVAC system. If you aren’t sure how to deal with your frozen AC coils, contact our customer service representatives for assistance.



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