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3 Steps to Take When You Have a Frozen AC Unit

It seems like every summer gets hotter and hotter. So it comes as a great shock if you walk over to your AC unit and see it covered in ice.

Yep, even during the hottest days of the year your AC unit can slip up and freeze over, preventing you from getting the cool air you need. But how do you fix your frozen HVAC when the summer heat doesn’t do a thing?

image - 3 Steps to Take When You Have a Frozen AC Unit
3 Steps to Take When You Have a Frozen AC Unit

Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to break down the top 3 steps to take when you have a frozen AC unit!

But enough talk, right? Let’s get into it!

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Why Frozen AC Units Happen

Before we go into the steps to fix a frozen AC unit, it’s important to understand why this phenomenon occurs. The culprit here is the evaporator coil inside your AC, which on a normal day takes the heat in your house and evaporates it to transfer to the outside.

The problem arises when airflow to the coil gets restricted or if the refrigerant levels in your unit are off.

When this happens, the coil can’t disperse the hear properly and cools too much, leading to it producing a lot of water (through condensation) and then freezing said water, which leads to a frozen AC.

Step 1: Check the Filters

One of the first things you should do is find and check the filters of your AC unit to make sure it’s not too dirty. This is because when air filters get dirty, they clog up and restrict airflow, leading to the aforementioned freezing of the evaporator coil. If you’re lucky, the problem can get solved by swapping to a clean filter.

Step 2: Give Your AC a “Reset”

Another step you’ll want to take is defrosting your AC unit as soon as you can. First, turn your thermostat setting from cool to off. This helps block the cold refrigerant from reaching the outside unit and exacerbating the problem.

After that, you’ll want to switch the fan on so that your evaporator coil gets exposed to a constant stream of hot air, which will help to melt the ice surrounding it. You’ll want to turn it to ON rather than AUTO since auto only operates during the cooling part of the AC “cycle”.

Remember to place towels under your AC unit while this happens to prevent water damage from the melting ice. If you wait to unfreeze your unit, you run the risk of the ice doing damage to the internal systems of your unit.

Step 3: Call in the Professionals

If you turn your AC on after the previous two steps and still experience problems, it’s time to call in some backup for AC repair. This is because, at this point, the problem is getting caused by a serious internal issue (like a collapsed duct) that is very difficult to fix DIY without further damaging the system.

No More Christmas in July

And there you have it! Now that you know the top 3 steps to take when you have a frozen AC unit, you’re ready to prevent your AC unit from thinking it’s wintertime in the summer! And if you need to know more about keeping your home in tip-top shape, come check out more of the posts on our site!