frozen air conditioning unit

How to Defrost an Air Conditioning Unit?

It’s the middle of summer, and suddenly you find your air conditioner is completely frozen. Do you try to fix it yourself or call in a professional? Typically, it’s ok to thaw the system out on your own but if the problem repeats, call a professional. Heartland Heating, Air, and Plumbing explains how to defrost an air conditioning unit and shares the problems that cause a frozen ac unit.

Why Do Air Conditioners Freeze?

When an air conditioner freezes, it can be a very costly and inconvenient problem. Not only does freezing cause the air conditioner to stop working, but it can also damage the unit, leading to an expensive repair bill. When you complete the steps for defrosting your air conditioning unit, you should also look into these causes and take actions to correct them when possible, which can help you prevent future freezing of the system.

One of the most common causes of air conditioners freezing is a lack of airflow. This can be caused by a dirty air filter or blocked vents.

Dirty evaporator coils can also lead to a frozen air conditioner. Dirt and grime covering the surface of the AC coils restrict the process of heat transfer and prevent the AC system from working correctly.

Low refrigerant is another common cause behind an air conditioner freezing. When leaks are present in the system, refrigerant volume and pressure decline and the air conditioner cannot properly operate.

A blocked condensate drain line may also be the reason behind ice buildup in an air conditioner. If the moisture generated throughout the cooling process cannot properly escape the system, it can end up freezing along with the coils, shutting down your cooling system.

How to Defrost an Air Conditioning Unit

When you see your AC’s frozen coils, you’ll want to allow the AC unit to thaw before running it to cool your home. Follow these steps to help thaw your frozen unit:

  1. Shut off the cooling system at the thermostat and leave it off.
  2. At the thermostat, change the fan setting to AUTO instead of ON to constantly blow warm air across the frozen coils.
  3. Give time for the frozen ac unit to thaw out, which may take an hour or even longer.
  4. Restart the cooling system and monitor the coils for repeated freezing.

Do You Need a Professional to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner?

If your air conditioner freezes, always work through the steps to defrost your air conditioning system. While the unit thaws, it’s helpful to look for the underlying source of the freezing and fix it. This may entail changing the air conditioner’s filter and opening any closed vents in the home.

If the air conditioner continues to freeze up after you’ve defrosted the air conditioner unit multiple times, it’s time to seek professional help. An HVAC technician can diagnose and fix underlying issues such as a refrigerant leak.

Call Heartland for Air Conditioner Repair in Murphysboro, IL

If you complete the steps for defrosting your air conditioning unit but the system keeps freezing, don’t continue to defrost it without addressing the underlying cause. Call Heartland Heating, Air, and Plumbing for air conditioner repair to prevent your system from freezing again.