Summer’s coming (as hard as it is to believe right now) and here's a typical scenario with the average homeowner: They’re sitting in their house, minding their own business, happily indulging a bowl of popcorn and watching Netflix, when suddenly he/she hears terrible sound; drip... drip... drip. They look over to see the dog licking at a puddle that's gradually forming on the bathroom floor. In a flash: Anxiety, stress, and that ”oh brother!” feeling. What caused the leak?; water heater, leaky toilet, shower, faucet? No – the central air conditioner is frozen solid. This can strike anywhere, from Long Island to Africa, regardless of summer heat.
Why Air Conditioners Freeze
When a central air conditioner freezes up, what actually freezes is the condenser unit's evaporator coil. This component of the air conditioner transfers (evaporates) heat from the inside to the outside of your Long Island area home. Usually there are two factors why the evaporator coil may freeze:
- The restriction of the system’s airflow
- Insufficient refrigerant
Either way, the result is that the air conditioner's evaporator coil cannot operate to properly disperse the heat, and in essence 'overcools' itself. The impact of this super-cooling is condensation (that's water formation), and eventually ice forms from that condensation as it cools below the freezing point. Yep, the A/C just turned into an old-school icebox.
What Might You Do When Your A/C Freezes?
- Turn the unit completely off at the thermostat, and do not increase the thermostat temperature as a way to melt the frost on the coils. It is important that the A/C system is completely OFF.
- Check to ensure that the airflow around your system is unrestricted. Replace the furnace or air handler's filter and replace any return air filters. Open all the registers completely and confirm that they are not impeded by furniture or drapery.
- Call Matz-Rightway. The air conditioning system needs to be serviced by a professional that is ACE-certified to ensure there are no refrigerant leaks or damage to the equipment. Simply schedule a Performance Inspection or Repair Diagnostic online, or call to talk to a live person right away.
What Does it Cost to Repair?
This can become a pricey repair. When your AC freezes over it can lead to a compressor replacement. Replacing your compressor could cost as much as a downpayment on a brand new air conditioner. Unfortunately, many homeowners are forced to choose between installing a new system and repairing the old unit. If you follow the steps above and quickly call a ACE-certified technician, you stand a better chance of having a less expensive emergency. Your technician will diagnose the situation and how to avoid the issue from repeating in the future. If a leak was really the cause (and that is rare, but possible), the leak has to be repaired or the unit will probably freeze again.