How To Unfreeze AC Unit
During the hot summer months, having a frozen air conditioner is hard to imagine. Unfortunately, this situation can happen for multiple reasons. Your air conditioner has to work extremely hard to keep your family cool during the hottest months of the year, so you need to make sure that your unit is well-maintained and ready for the task. Our team at Parker’s Heating and Air is standing by to help with your air conditioning troubles.
Identifying Freezing Issues
Freezing can happen in multiple places within your unit, so the first step is locating the source of the problem. Even with the heat, your indoor and outdoor units are both susceptible to freezing. The most common signs of freezing include your unit blowing warm air, puddles beneath the unit, and ice on the exterior of the unit.
Check Your Air Filter–We cannot emphasize the importance of changing air filters enough. We recommend checking your filter once a month and changing it at least every three months. A dirty air filter will limit the air flow within your unit, which could cause a freeze. Furthermore, a dirty filter will impact your air quality and the efficiency of your unit. When your unit is overworked trying to push air through a clogged filter, the temperatures within your unit will not be properly regulated. Changing an air filter is a simple step that makes a significant difference in the longevity of your unit.
Try The Fan–If your unit is blowing warm air, try shutting off your air conditioning and switching the fan from “auto” to “on.” The fan will help defrost your unit by blowing warm air over the frozen coils inside your unit. After the unit is completely defrosted, click the fan back to the “auto” setting and allow for an hour to see if the unit will get back to your desired temperature without freezing again. Even if you are able to defrost the unit using the fan, your unit will likely need professional help if a filter change does not resolve the problem.
Check The Evaporator Coil–After you have defrosted your unit with the fan, try cleaning your evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is an essential component of your HVAC system. The coil helps capture the heat within your home and transfer it outside with the help of refrigerant. When the coil freezes, it will not be able to complete the transfer of the heat or utilize the refrigerant properly. Every model varies, but most units allow you to access the coil if you open the front panel. If your coil is frozen, shut off the HVAC unit and allow it to thaw before attempting to clean it. The coil can be cleaned by combining dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle with water and spraying it. Let the cleaning solution sit for a few minutes to loosen any dirt and debris. Afterwards, use a soft bristle brush to break up the buildup on the coil. If you are uncomfortable with handling your frozen coil, our team at Parker’s Heating and Air is happy to help.
Look For Puddles–If you notice a significant amount of water or water damage beneath your unit, there is likely an interior part that is frozen. An AC unit will collect condensation, but the evaporator coil should collect the warmth and moisture and transfer it outside. Beyond a possible evaporator coil issue, a leak beneath your unit could be indicating a problem with your unit’s condensate drain or a clog or crack in the output drain. An output drain repair is very simple and affordable to fix. When you see a puddle, calling in the professionals is the best plan to ensure the issue is resolved properly.
Pay Attention to Signs of a Refrigerant Leak–Refrigerant works with your evaporator coil to transfer heat outside. Once the heat is transferred outside, the refrigerant is recycled back into your unit. When there is a refrigerant leak, you will have higher utility bills, poor cooling, longer cooling cycles, ice on your evaporator coil, an odd odor, and/or hissing sounds. Refrigerant leaks definitely require professional attention. If any of those factors apply to your unit, give us a call. It is important to note that some older HVAC units can emit toxic chemicals if they have a refrigerant leak, so act quickly if you have an older system.
Regardless of what the cause of your freeze may be, our team at Parker’s Heating and Air can help. We can identify the source of the problem and provide a timely solution to restore your comfort.