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What to Do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up

What to Do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up

Living in Florida, it may seem counter-intuitive that your air conditioner can freeze up in the middle of summer—but it can and will when you least expect it. If your air conditioner is freezing up, fear not. Read on to learn what causes your air conditioner to freeze up and how you can fix it.

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If your air conditioner isn’t working because it’s frozen, you can likely fix the issue yourself before calling professional help.

What To Do When AC Freezes

Step 1. Unthaw Your Air Conditioner: The first thing you will need to do is let the ice thaw. Do this by turning your air conditioner off at the electrical breaker. You will likely need to let your system rest for a full day before the ice thaws completely. If you’d rather not wait a day, you can also turn your air conditioning system off but keep the blower on.

It’s important to avoid running your air conditioner while the evaporator coil is frozen as this can put strain on the compressor, which can damage the component. Additionally, do not try to remove the ice yourself by hand because this can damage components.

Step 2. Dry Your Coils: Once the ice has thawed, dry the coils. If you haven’t already turned the blower on, restore the power to your system and set the thermostat to power the blower or fan only. This will help circulate air through the coils and dry them quickly.

Once you’ve dried the coils, your system may operate as normal, but it’s important to find any underlying issues that caused the freeze in the first place.

What Causes An Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?

From a dirty air filter to a refrigerant leak, air conditioners freeze for a variety of reasons, but here are the most common culprits:

1. Dirty Air Filter

When your air filter accumulates an excessive amount of debris, it impedes the flow of air. As a result, your air conditioner can freeze.

Related blog: How Often Should You Change Your Home’s Air Filters?

2. Dirty Evaporator Coils

Over time, the evaporator coils within your air conditioning system can get bogged down with debris. This can impede airflow, leading to (you guessed it) freezing.

3. Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant is necessary to cool your home, but the lines in which refrigerant travels through can leak and cause a variety of issues. Not only can this can your AC to freeze, but a freon leak can expose you to the harmful effects of refrigerant.

How to Prevent Your Air Conditioner From Freezing

Taking small steps to maintain your air conditioning system will keep it running efficiently, reduce your risk of your system freezing up, and save you energy—win-win! Here’s where to start:

Clean or change the air filter on a regular basis. This will prevent clogs and restricted airflow.

Clean the evaporator coils regularly. Dirty coils can block registers, which may restrict airflow and lead to freezing. Learn how to clean your evaporator coils yourself here.

Check the coolant levels regularly. A refrigerant leak can cause your system to freeze up.

Schedule professional tune-ups. Having your local HVAC company perform regular tune-ups will ensure your air conditioning system is functioning efficiently, reducing the chance of freezing.

Need Professional Help With an AC That Keeps Freezing Up?

If your air conditioner keeps freezing up and has left you feeling the heat of the South Florida summer, Sansone can help. We offer emergency AC repairs and can thaw your system and diagnose the underlying cause right away. Call us now to schedule an appointment or do so online.

Broward: (954) 800-2858
Palm Beach: (561) 701-8274
St. Lucie: (772) 879-5656