How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner 

Summer’s coming (believe it or not) and here’s a typical 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 dreadful sound; drip… drip… drip. They look over to see the dog licking at a puddle that’s steadily forming on the bathroom floor. Just like that, the mood changes: Concern, stress, and that sinking feeling. How did the leak start?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? Nope – it’s the air conditioner of all things. This can happen anywhere, from Winnipeg to Africa, regardless of summer heat.

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 Winnipeg area home. There are two primary reasons the evaporator coil may freeze:

    1. Restricted air flow
    1. Lack of sufficient refrigerant

Either way, the result is that the air conditioner’s evaporator coil will be unable to properly dissipate heat, and in essence ‘overcools’ itself. The impact of this super-cooling is condensation (that’s water formation), and over time ice forms from that condensation as it cools below the freezing point. In other words, the A/C has morphed into an old-school icebox.

What Should You Do When Your A/C Freezes?

    • Turn the system completely off at the thermostat, and do not just move up the temperature on the thermostat. It is important that the A/C system is completely OFF.
    • Check to ensure that the airflow around your system is unrestricted. Replace the furnace or air handler’s filter as well as any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and ensure that they are not impeded by furniture or drapery.

What Does it Cost to Repair?

This can turn into a costly repair. When your air conditioner ices over it can lead to damage to the compressor. Replacing your compressor could easily cost as much as a downpayment on a high efficiency model. In fact, many people are forced to pick between installing a new system and repairing the damaged model. If you act quickly and call a ACE-certified technician, you stand a better chance of having a less expensive repair.

Your technician will quickly analyze the problem and how to avoid the issue from repeating in the future. If a leak exists (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will most likely freeze again.

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