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How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner Unit in the Summer

How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner Unit in the Summer

A frozen air conditioner system will negatively affect the temperature and humidity levels in your home on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, this is a common problem since a lot of homeowners decide not to schedule an annual air conditioning tune-up appointment with a licensed technician. To help you diagnose the cause of this issue, we have created a summary of the most common signs of a frozen air conditioner along with essential steps that can be taken to prevent the formation of additional ice.

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Find & Inspect the Evaporator Coils

If the temperature in your house is too warm, this may be an indicator of a frozen air conditioner unit. To confirm the temperature, navigate to your programmable thermostat to see if the internal temperature of your house is higher or lower than the preset temperature. We also recommend walking to the closest supply vent in your room to analyze the temperature of incoming air. If the supply vent is pushing warm air into your house, this is a sign of a frozen evaporator coil.

Prior to inspecting the evaporator coil, deactivate your air conditioning system. The evaporator coil is a component that is engineered to extract heat energy from the air in your house. Depending on the system configuration, it may be installed near the furnace or inside the air handler. Next, find the location of your air handler or furnace and detach the panel to gain access to the evaporator coils. If you notice a buildup of moisture or ice on the evaporator coils, this is an indicator that the temperature of the refrigerant is lower than 32 degrees.

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Deactivate the Air Conditioner & Allow the Excess Ice to Melt

If the evaporator coils near your furnace or air handler are frozen, we recommend deactivating your air conditioning system for a couple of hours to allow the excess ice to melt. Do not attempt to activate the system until the moisture and ice have dissipated. Activating the system too early will cause moderate to severe damage to the compressor. In severe cases, it may take up to a day for the ice to melt.

Use a Towel to Eliminate Standing Water & Activate the Air Conditioner 

To speed up the defrosting process, you may decide to activate the fan in your HVAC system to eliminate the frost. We recommend cleaning the excess water near the coils every hour with paper towels or a kitchen towel to prevent damage to the interior components of your furnace. Once the ice and moisture are gone, walk to your thermostat and activate the air conditioning system to confirm it works.

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Use a Soft Towel or Brush to Sanitize the Evaporator Coils

One of the top culprits of a frozen air conditioner unit is contaminated evaporator coils. As your HVAC system becomes older, a thin layer of dirt and dust will begin to accumulate on the exterior of the evaporator coils. To remove dirt from the coils, we recommend using a gentle brush or towel. In addition, you should consider grabbing a bottle of general purpose cleaner to clean the supply and return vents throughout your home. An excess buildup of dirt and dust may be inhibiting the flow of air to the evaporator coils in your air conditioning system.

Inspect the Refrigerant Supply Regularly 

A low supply of refrigerant will negatively affect the efficiency of your central air conditioning system. Due to the low pressure in the system, the temperature of the evaporator coil will drop below freezing. This will cause ice and moisture to form on the exterior of the coil. Do not procrastinate fixing this issue with your HVAC system. 

Immediately call a licensed contractor to refill your refrigerant and fix moderate to severe refrigerant leaks. If the refrigerant supply in your system becomes too low, you may be stuck dealing with the negative consequences of a frozen air conditioner unit.

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Inspect & Replace Dirty Air Filters

Your air conditioner system relies on a steady supply of hot air to prevent the formation of frost on the evaporator coils. If the incoming supply of air is blocked by a clogged air filter, the moisture in the air surrounding the evaporator coils will begin to freeze. An excellent way to prevent a frozen air conditioner unit is to replace monthly or a couple of times per year. Fiberglass air filters should be replaced once a month while premium pleated air filters should be replaced twice a year.

Take a Look At Your Blower Fan

The fan in a central air conditioning system is engineered to distribute hot and humid air to the outdoors. As the warm air from your home is being pushed outside, a supply of cold air is pushed through your air ducts and supply vents to each of your rooms. If the blower fan in your system becomes damaged, the air pressure in your system and house will be impacted.

The fan in your air conditioner may become damaged throughout standard operation due to loose components or foreign objects that gain access to the system such as sticks or leaves. Since a damaged blower fan is not able to regulate moisture inside the air handler. The excess moisture will begin to freeze and cause issues with your central air conditioning system. Frozen refrigerant lines are another common symptom of a malfunctioning blower fan.

Air Conditioner Repair & Install Services in Pennsylvania

The team of licensed technicians at WM Henderson have the skills, knowledge, and equipment to help you with your frozen air conditioner unit. We provide air conditioning repair, installation, and tune-up services to homes in areas of Pennsylvania such as Coatesville, West Chester, Broomall, and Conshohocken. Give us a call by phone at (484)-474-5373 or book an appointment on our website to receive assistance. 

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