Here’s What To Do if Your Home’s AC Freezes

June 9, 2023
AC Repair in Olathe, KS

Modern air conditioning systems do a great job of churning out cold air when we need it with little or no homeowner intervention required. However, there are some situations when your home’s air conditioner requires your attention. One of those situations is when your AC freezes up. This is something that may happen for a variety of reasons. When it does, you’ll notice a steep drop in cold air coming from your home’s vents, and you may notice frost buildup on your AC’s refrigerant lines. Here’s what you’ll need to do to get your AC running normally again.

Turn Off Your AC System

The first thing you need to do as soon as you realize that your AC’s frozen is to turn it off. This is necessary for two reasons. First, forcing your AC to keep trying to cool your home will only make the freezing condition worse. Second, ice buildup on your AC’s evaporator coils will restrict airflow through the system, subjecting it to unnecessary wear and tear.

If you feel that you can do without the AC for a while, turning the system off is all you’ll have to do. In most cases, the coils will unfreeze within 24 hours or so. However, you should take a look at the end of your AC’s condensate line to see that there’s a steady drip of water coming from it. If there isn’t, the line could have a clog, and it might be the reason your AC froze in the first place. If that’s the case, you should call the team here at Mike Bryant Heating & Cooling for help right away.

Turn On Your AC Fan

If your condensate line isn’t clogged, and you don’t want to wait 24 hours for the evaporator coil to defrost, you can speed up the process a bit. All you need to do is to turn on your AC’s blower fan. You can do this from your system’s thermostat. Depending on the model, it may have a physical switch that controls the fan setting, or you might need to drill down into the thermostat’s digital menus.

Turning on the blower motor will, of course, put a little bit of strain on the system while the coils remain frozen. However, it should defrost the coils quickly since the AC isn’t circulating refrigerant and working against the fan. In many cases, doing this will defrost your AC’s coils in about an hour, depending on how badly they’ve frozen.

Use a Hair Dryer or Turn on the Heat

If an hour’s still too much time for you, there’s one more thing you can do to unfreeze your AC’s evaporator coils quickly. If you have access to the indoor unit, you could open the service panel near the coils and use a hair dryer to de-ice them. This will take less than a half-hour in most cases, returning your AC to working condition afterward. Just remember to turn off your AC and its fan before you do this.

If you either don’t have access to the indoor unit or don’t feel comfortable using a hairdryer to defrost the coils, you may have one more option. If your home’s AC shares its ductwork and blower with a furnace or other heater, you can turn on your heat to defrost the evaporator coils. This can melt the ice in as little as 10 minutes, depending on the type of system you’re working with. Of course, you’ll have to remember that doing this will warm up your house in the process, so you should only use this as an option of last resort.

Consult Your Local AC Experts

No matter how you choose to deal with your frozen AC, you should always follow it up with a call to Mike Bryant Heating & Cooling. A frozen air conditioner is a sign that something’s wrong, and you shouldn’t ignore it. That’s especially true when our team of experienced HVAC technicians is only a phone call away. Since 2004, Mike Bryant Heating & Cooling has offered expert HVAC services in and around Olathe, KS. We provide HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services, so no matter what your AC needs to restore it to working order, we can handle it. Plus, we’ve won the Lennox Circle of Excellence award for eight years running, so hiring us means you’re getting a service that meets the highest standards of excellence.

So, if your AC freezes or you experience any other HVAC issues, call Mike Bryant Heating & Cooling right away!

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