Got a Frozen Air Conditioner?

The last thing anyone wants to deal with in the middle of a hot and humid Forney, TX summer is AC problems. When you have to deal with a frozen air conditioner, it can make your once relaxing home a stressful, and uncomfortable environment without the circulation of cool air. Whether it’s a window unit or a traditional AC unit, frozen air conditioners can occur even on the hottest of summer days.

Believe it or not, frozen air conditioners often happen when you’re relying on them the most. Often this is due to the increased demand for cool air to keep your home at a comfortable temperature to escape the heat of the outdoors. 

Why Does Your AC Freeze Up?

Air conditioning units are appliances that contain a variety of mechanical parts working together to maintain a crisp and cool temperature for your home. When one or more of these parts quit functioning properly or are on the verge of needing replacement, it can wreak havoc on your unit and cause potential problems such as freeze-ups.

With coils, pipes, lines, condenser units, and fans all working together to provide you with the cooling you need, even one of these parts wearing down or failure can result in your AC unit not working as it should. If you find that your AC unit is freezing up in the summer, it may be as simple as adjusting your thermostat, whereas other issues may require the skill of a trained HVAC technician.

Dirty Filters and Poor Air Flow

Your AC unit requires a constant flow of air to properly maintain itself. When filters get clogged or dirty, it can hinder the amount of air your unit is receiving which can lead to freeze-ups.

Circulating air helps your air conditioning unit handle the humidity that it pulls from the hot air within your house and without proper airflow, it can cause the refrigerant to expand and get overwhelmed. When this happens, your AC unit can become too cold, leading to potential freeze-ups.

Clogged, Blocked, or Leaking Lines

The proper management of the humidity that your air conditioning unit pulls from the air is crucial in its operation. Clogged, blocked, or leaking drain lines and pipes can cause water to back up and not properly drain.

When water isn’t flowing as it’s supposed to from the unit, it can build up within your AC and lead to it freezing. Things such as the pipe outside your unit allow excess water from the drain pan to exit the unit, while the condenser unit is responsible for pushing water out of your unit if it’s sub-level such as in your basement. 

Any of these lines or pipes can become clogged or broken, leaving the excess water nowhere to drain from inside your unit, leaving you with a frozen air conditioner.

Faulty Fan

Fans are responsible for helping the air circulate both throughout your AC unit, as well as back into your home. When fans begin to break down and fail, it can lead to poor air circulation that helps maintain the refrigerant within your air conditioner.

Having poor air circulation within your AC unit can cause multiple problems, including a frozen air conditioner. The air helps keep the excess humidity that is pulled in the coil at a consistent temperature, with warm air maintaining its liquid form with the refrigerant. When a fan isn’t working, the water can freeze due to the lack of warm air being circulated, causing your AC to freeze up.

How To Unfreeze an Air Conditioner

When it comes to a frozen air conditioner, sometimes the fix is as simple as adjusting your thermostat or turning the fan from auto to on. In most cases, you can unfreeze your air conditioning unit by turning the thermostat off, and the fan on. This allows your unit to pull warm air from within your home into the unit and helps thaw out the coils.

Depending on how extreme your freeze-up is, this process can take anywhere from a few hours, to a day or more to completely thaw your AC unit.

Common Frozen Air Conditioner Questions

Here are a couple of commonly asked questions when it comes to dealing with a frozen air conditioner:

  • Can I pour hot water on a frozen air conditioner?

Yes, pouring even room temperature water or having a steady flow can help expedite the thawing process of your AC unit.

  • How long does it take to thaw a frozen air conditioner?

Depending on the severity of the freeze and the techniques used, AC units can typically thaw out in as little as an hour, with more severe freezes taking up to a day.

Premier HVAC Can Help

At Premier HVAC Services we understand that there are many underlying factors when it comes to AC unit freeze-ups, and we’re here to help the residents of Forney, TX and the surrounding areas resolve, and potentially avoid future frozen air conditioner issues.