A frozen air conditioner seems to defy reason. It’s around 100 degrees outside. You walk outside, and your air conditioner is full of ice.
How is that possible? It’s actually very common if you live in a hot locale like Jacksonville.
If your AC isn’t working up to par, freezing is a very likely culprit. An air conditioner uses some rather interesting technology to pull heat out of your home and replace it with cool air. But as with any technology, sometimes things can go wrong.
This leads to AC freezing. Let’s explore how to identify this common issue and what to do to fix it.
AC’s don’t often freeze all at once. At first, you notice your AC is staying on longer. It’s having to work harder to get to the desired temperature. If you place your hand over/under the vent, the air coming out feels warmer than the room when the AC’s on.
The temperature in the room is slowly rising. This likely means that ice is building up in your evaporator coils.
On top of the comfort issue this causes, the AC may be taking damage as well as your electric bill.
If the current conditions persist, then you’ll need an AC repair within a day or less. It will freeze up and won’t work at all.
If you identify this before the freezing has completely taken over, you may be able to thaw your AC.
Try shutting the AC down at night and running portable fans or stay with a friend if it’s too uncomfortable.
For best results, shut it off from the breaker box to make sure it’s completely off. It can take up to 24 hours to thaw an AC. But if you caught it early, you might be able to thaw it in 12 hours or so.
Never try to scrape off ice. You’ll damage the coils and components.
If any water is standing under the unit after thawing, drain it. After 12 or so hours, test the AC to see if it’s working more efficiently.
If the AC keeps freezing, then there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. The AC may need to be cleaned. This should only be done by a professional. You may have an airflow issue or leak.
If the AC completely freezes up and stops working, then it could take days to thaw without the thawing equipment and expertise of a professional HVAC technician. It’s best to give one a call.
Proper maintenance of the AC unit and the area around it can prevent almost all AC freezes. Keep shrubs and trees away from the unit. Don’t allow leaves or grass to accumulate around it.
The AC should be cleaned by a professional at least once a year to keep it from freezing without soaking and damaging electrical components.
Is your AC in need of repair? Avoid a full freeze by thawing it before it completely stops. Keep the area clean and get regular maintenance to avoid most freezes. If it keeps happening or stops, it’s time to get help from a professional.
Stay cool this summer by preventing and addressing a freezing AC.