It's disheartening to arrive home, expecting cool, rejuvenating air, only to be met by muggy, hot air. If your AC unit has frozen over, this can deprive your home of cold, refreshing air. Here are a few things you need to do when you're facing a frozen air conditioner.
1. Prepare Your Home for Unfreezing the Unit
Before you tackle unfreezing your unit, it's important to take a few minutes to prepare the space surrounding your AC. Generally, when an air conditioner unfreezes, the moisture will collect in the drain pan and exit the unit via the condensate drain line.
When the unit starts to unfreeze, it's possible that the level of moisture on your unit may overwhelm the drain pan. Basically, the water will collect faster than your unit can remove it. If this happens, the water will flow over the drain pan and onto your floor.
Spread a few old towels underneath your AC unit just in case the thawing ice overflows the drain pain. Make sure that you stay nearby when you're thawing your air conditioner to prevent water damage to your floors and walls.
2. Unfreeze Your Air Conditioner
Once you've readied the area around the AC unit, it's time to actually unfreeze the unit. Begin the process by turning off the power to your air conditioner at your circuit breaker. Once the electricity is off, the ice will begin to thaw. To hasten the process, you can keep the blower on your AC unit on.
It can take a full day for your unit to completely thaw. Avoid running your unit while it's thawing, as this can create a layer of fresh ice. It also stresses your unit if you try to run it while it's frozen.
After all the ice has thawed, you can dry the coils with a towel. Running the blower on the AC unit can also expedite the length of time it takes for the coils to dry.
3. Consult an AC Repair Contractor to Identify the Underlying Cause
If your AC unit freezes, there's likely an underlying issue. Contact a residential AC repair contractor to determine what caused your unit to freeze. One possible cause is a dirty air filter. If the filter is dirty, this will impede the flow of air to your unit, causing it to freeze. A fresh filter quickly remedies this issue.
Another possibility is your AC unit leaking refrigerant; if so, this can cause the AC to run too cold and encourage it to freeze.