How Do You Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner?

June 19, 2019

Summer can mean nice long vacations and cool drinks by the pool. But during July and August, punishingly high temperatures will do a number on your air conditioner. Chances are, your home’s or business’s HVAC system will be working overtime in an effort to keep everyone cool. But what happens when the AC breaks? Better have an HVAC technician at the ready who offers emergency service!

One of the most common issues is resolving a frozen air conditioner. Bringing in a qualified technician is a smart idea to inspect the entire system and find the root of the problem. After all, you know that you’re going to need your air conditioner functioning at its highest level to make it through this summer without paying through the nose on utility bills.

But some people prefer to attempt to do it themselves. If you’re wondering how to fix a frozen air conditioner in Chalmette, LA, the following steps will get you started.

Signs of coil freeze

An AC coil freeze can be the result of a failure of any part of the HVAC system. One of the leading telltale signs is frost or ice forming on the indoor unit. But for many buildings, the indoor unit isn’t easily accessible. Luckily, there are other ways to tell if freezing coils are the problem:

  • What’s the air flowing through the supply registers like? If it’s warm or there’s a weak air supply, then frozen coils could be at the root of the issue.
  • Frozen AC coils may be to blame for excess moisture. In the case of condensation or leaks in the building, frozen coils could be the culprit.

Why AC coils freeze

If you believe your system is suffering from this problem, you’ll want to know what the root cause is. There are numerous common issues related to frozen AC coils:

  • Refrigerant: The refrigerant is responsible for collecting the heat in the building and pushing it outside. But over time, refrigerant leaks are liable to occur. This means the system will be less efficient, and this can lead to freezing. The refrigerant needs to be adequately supplied and charged correctly, otherwise there could be ice on the coils.
  • Air filters: One of the most important maintenance items for HVAC systems is to ensure the air filters are clear of dirt, grime and debris. Dirty air filters obstruct the flow of air and will make the system less efficient. When the air fails to circulate around the coils, it becomes too cold, leading to the buildup of ice.
  • Thermostat: It’s important to check on the thermostat regularly, as a broken thermostat will sense temperatures incorrectly. This could lead to the AC unit needing to work too hard to keep the system functional. An overworked system is liable to have frozen coils.
  • Condensate lines: These lines remove moisture from the unit. They do so by condensing moisture into water and moving it from the pipes to a drain. However, if the pipes are clogged, especially near the evaporator coils, this can lead to frozen coils.
  • Fans: Another leading cause of frozen AC coils is broken fans. These need to be functioning to push air through the system. Dirty blades or a busted motor will result in improper airflow, leading to a range of problems.

What to do about frozen coils

You may now be wondering: how do you fix a frozen air conditioner in Chalmette, LA? While you might despair and think that a replacement will be necessary, the reality is that this problem can be fixed:

  • Turn off the thermostat: The first step is to get rid of the air conditioner’s frozen condition. Turn the thermostat setting from COOL to OFF. This is important as, if you keep running the system, you’re liable to risk damaging the compressor, which is a very expensive part. By turning the system off, you’re ensuring that the unusually cold refrigerant is not being sent to (and damaging) the compressor. When it’s operating normally, the compressor only receives refrigerant in the form of superheated gas, rather than in its liquid form.
  • Fan: Once the thermostat is off, turn on the fan setting. This will help to circulate warm air over the AC’s frozen coils, making them thaw more quickly. In the case that you don’t feel any airflow when you turn on the system, that means the fan’s belt drive may be broken and causing the frozen coil issue. Then it’s time to call in the HVAC experts to diagnose the problem.
  • Filters: Check the filters and replace if needed. One of the leading causes of frozen coils is poor airflow, which is often the result of filters clogged with debris and dirt. Without proper airflow, refrigerant temperatures plunge because the coil is unable to extract enough heat from the air. If the filter was dirty, replace it and wait until the ice has melted to restart the system. If the filter was clean, you’ll definitely want to call in your trusted AC professionals to inspect the system.

Hopefully this gives you a start on how to fix a frozen air conditioner coil in Chalmette, LA. But the fact is that many problems—especially those involving refrigerant leaks, broken fans and thermostat malfunction—are best addressed by licensed HVAC technicians. Over time, it will pay off to have professionals examine the system and fully address any problems.

That’s where JMB A/C & Heating LLC comes in. We’re proud to offer air conditioning service and heating repairs to all of our clients. Our team of talented technicians specializes in installing air conditioning units and providing air conditioning maintenance for both residential and commercial customers. Plus, we regularly run cleaning specials to keep your unit sparkling and functioning like new.

We at JMB A/C & Heating LLC strive to provide exceptional customer service and professionalism. Ensure your forced air is clean and flowing efficiently to save money on energy bills and remain comfortable during the summer. Call today to learn more about our outstanding services and request a free consultation!

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