It’s easy to joke that an air conditioning unit able to encase itself in ice during a Florida summer should have no problem keeping things cold. Unfortunately, being stuck in the sweltering heat and humidity even for a day is no laughing matter. We’ll go over how to tell if your A/C is frozen and what to do if it freezes.
Will a frozen A/C fix itself?
We’re sorry to break the news to you, but ice on your unit’s coils is indicative of a deeper problem. It won’t just fix itself. But, depending on the severity of the underlying issues, there are some possible causes you can investigate yourself before calling an HVAC professional for repairs.
How to tell if my A/C is frozen
If your A/C is running just fine and achieving your desired temperature set on your thermostat, then you probably don’t have a frozen coil. Ice on components of the air conditioner will cause serious performance issues and your system will blow warmer than normal. In order to actually see the ice, you’ll have to shut off your system and remove the access panel to your evaporator coils. If you’re not feeling up to that, call a trusted A/C company to check it out for you. We do it every day!
How to fix an air conditioner covered in ice
1. Turn it off.
The first thing you should do is immediately shut the air conditioning off and switch off the breaker for your A/C on your electrical panel for good measure. Running with frozen coils can damage your air conditioner and stress its compressor to the point of burning out. Once the A/C is switched off, it’s a matter of waiting for the ice to melt. If you’re located along the beautiful Gulf Coast of Florida like we are, this process goes a little faster but can still take most of the day. You’ll want to let the coils dry completely after the ice melts, too.
2. Check your air filters.
Check your air filters while you’re waiting for that ice to melt. If you find yourself asking, “what air filters?” or “where is my air filter again?” it’s probably been far too long since that filter has been changed. Most air filters should be changed out every 30-90 days. If your filter is visibly clogged with dust, dirt, pet hair, and other debris then it’s likely putting a lot of strain on your air conditioner. Sometimes, this lack of airflow can be enough to suffocate the system and cause ice to build up on the coils. Once your unit is defrosted and the coils are dry, you can try turning the system back on to see if your cool air has been restored.
3. Ask a professional.
If a clogged filter wasn’t the root of your problem, we recommend you call a professional. Issues such as a broken fan motor, leaks in ductwork, refrigerant leaks, and even dirty coils should be tackled by a trained professional. A misstep could cause more damage to your A/C unit or even pose a risk of danger to yourself. Just be sure to turn your A/C off as soon as you can so the ice can start melting because it will have to be completely thawed out for an HVAC technician to start working on it.
The good news is you can have your system off and defrosting before the technician arrives so they can get right to work! Regular air conditioning maintenance can prevent this type of issue from happening the in first place. You can also keep the area around your outdoor unit clean to avoid dirt and debris buildup on the coils. If you have any other questions, don’t worry! Your local A/C company handles frozen air conditioning systems all the time, so just reach out and ask.
Air & Energy is a family-owned and operated company providing air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, and generator services to residents in Manatee County, FL for over 39 years.
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