Air conditioning systems are only effective when they’re functional, so homeowners must ensure that their systems are in working condition. From time to time, AC units freeze, which can completely stop their effectiveness. In this article, we explore how this problem can happen to different kinds of AC and how to fix a frozen AC unit. Fortunately, the problem is not too difficult to work through, so with a little troubleshooting, you can prevent it from breaking your system so that you can keep your home comfortable year-round.
Different Types of AC Units
There are several common types of AC in homes. Depending on the type of system you have, the solutions may be simple. The easiest unit to address is the window unit. These self-contained air conditioners sit on the windowsill between your home and the outside, so they have direct exposure to the warm summer air. Generally, these units’ compact design prevents them from freezing, but the condenser can freeze in exceptional circumstances. If your window unit is frozen, you most likely just need to open the unit and clean the coil.
Box splits are slightly more complicated, but most of the relevant machinery exists inside your home with these units. As a result, you can access the main areas that you’ll need to get into if you want to try to thaw out a frozen unit. With box splits, we recommend removing the filter and detaching the drainage piping. Clean the filter and pipes to remove any obstructions and let the AC unit thaw for several hours. Once any ice has had a chance to melt, then you can re-insert the filter, attach the hoses, and turn the unit on again. At this point, it should be working correctly and is unlikely to re-freeze. If the problem persists, you will need to clean the coil as well.
How to Fix a Frozen AC Unit: Central Air
Central air conditioning is the most complicated kind of system. When you experience problems with this system, you’ll need to search through more parts that are located throughout your home. In some cases, the problem will be beyond your ability to troubleshoot as a homeowner, so you will likely need to speak with a contractor for more effective support. Nevertheless, you can take the following steps when you’re trying to figure out how to fix a frozen AC unit in your home with central air:
- Examine the vents in your home. If they are each producing air, but the air is not cold, then it suggests that the problem is in the machine’s core. If no air is coming out of the vents, then it could either mean that the fan is frozen, or you have a blockage in your vents.
- Determine if the condenser is turning on and off. If the machine sounds like it’s working correctly but is failing to produce cold air, then your air conditioner may have a freon issue. If the machine fails to work properly at all, then the problem is more likely to lie within the condenser or coil.
Central air conditioners are complicated, expensive machines. If you open them up to look at the internal parts, then you may accidentally cause more harm by damaging one of the sensitive components. While there’s no harm in the basic assessments that we’ve outlined for your central air conditioner, we caution against attempting a repair on your own without first contacting and consulting your local HVAC specialist.
The Number One Method How to Fix a Frozen AC Unit
When you’re trying to figure out how to fix a frozen AC unit in your home, the best thing to do is first to turn the system off, let it defrost, and turn it back on. In some cases, this will address the entire issue, and you’ll have saved the time and money needed for a service call. In most instances, though, the unit will re-freeze due to an underlying problem, in which case you should conduct the number one way to fix your frozen AC unit: call an HVAC specialist. These complicated machines have many moving parts, and there are many potential causes behind a frozen AC unit.
Whether your central air system is having a problem with the condenser, coil, ventilation, or freon, the problem may present similarly. A local HVAC company can dispatch a technician with the experience necessary to discern between the many possible causes for your frozen HVAC system. When they get a chance to investigate your system, they’ll diagnose the problem, enact the solution, and get you back up and running without a problem. With the proper maintenance, your AC unit can give you many more years of functionality.