How to Handle a Frozen A/C Unit
Discovering that you have a frozen A/C is frustrating, but there’s no need to panic. Simply shut the A/C off at the thermostat, then switch the fan setting to “on” so air movement can help thaw the coil. As the ice buildup melts, the runoff can easily overflow the condensate pan, so empty it frequently to avoid any water damage.
While your frozen A/C unit thaws, you can check into the following possible causes to determine if you need the help of an HVAC pro:
Insufficient Airflow Over the Coil
When airflow across the coil slows or stops, the evaporator unit can get too cold and frost up until its completely encased in ice. A lack of proper airflow can be due to:
- Dirty air filter. If you’ve neglected regular filter changes, a clogged air filter may be the culprit. Simply replacing the filter may be the cure, but be sure to let the coil thaw completely before restarting your A/C.
- Closed/blocked registers. If you’ve closed some registers, or others are blocked by furniture or other household items, airflow through the system can decline. Opening/clearing all the registers may solve the icing problem, so you can turn the A/C back on once it has defrosted.
- Bad fan motor. If the blower fan is malfunctioning or has failed, airflow across the coil can slow or stop. If you suspect a problem with the fan motor, it’s time to call in an experienced HVAC technician.
Dirt Buildup on the Coil
The coil needs to be cleaned periodically, because a buildup of dust and debris will impair heat transfer and eventually cause a freeze up. Your HVAC pro can clean the coil and service your cooling system at the same time.
Loss of Refrigerant
If none of the above issues are apparent, your A/C may be losing refrigerant due to a leak. Your HVAC technician will need to find and fix the leak source, then recharge the refrigerant to restore your A/C’s cooling power.
For expert help handling a frozen A/C unit in your Orlando-area home, contact us today at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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