Frozen Air Conditioner

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Frozen Air Conditioner

It’s quite common for air conditioners to freeze up during the hottest months of the year, yet many homeowners are poorly equipped with the knowledge of what causes a frozen air conditioner and how to unfreeze an air conditioner.

What Causes a Frozen Air Conditioner?

There are three main reasons why your air conditioner may freeze up: 


  1. Blocked air flow
  2. Mechanical problems and/or leaks
  3. A cold summer night

Keep in mind that while your air conditioner is making your home a cooler, more comfortable temperature during the summer, it’s working very hard to do its job. While it shouldn’t be making any loud noises to express the effort it's making, your air conditioner does require a constant flow of air to help prevent humidity from collecting on its coils and causing them to freeze over. Bad air flow—either from clogged filters or blocked vents—can cause your unit to freeze.


Maintenance issues or leaks—such as a bad motor or a leak causing the refrigerant levels to run low—can also cause your unit to freeze up since it’s not able to operate properly. Refrigerant is vital to helping your AC unit regulate its own temperature and keep all internal parts in good condition.


Another cause for a frozen conditioner, although less common, is a sudden drop in temperature overnight. Since air conditioners are calibrated to work within certain thresholds of temperature, a summer night that is unexpectedly cool can potentially cause the unit to freeze up. . 

How to Unfreeze an Air Conditioner

There are lots of preventative measures homeowners can take to keep the AC from freezing, such as changing out the filters regularly, keeping vents clear of obstructions, using a programmable thermostat to prepare for cold nights, and getting regular AC maintenance. Keeping up with repairs is key to helping your AC unit last longer and freeze up less.


If you wake up one summer morning and feel that your AC is running, but the air coming from the unit is warm rather than cold, it’s possible that your unit is frozen. Luckily, you can unfreeze it by turning the unit off and giving it a chance to defrost for a couple of hours. Once it’s thawed, check the air filters and replace if needed. You’ll then want to run just the fan setting to make sure the internal parts have fully dried before turning the unit on again. 


If you keep running into problems with your AC freezing up, it’s best to call in a professional to diagnose the problem and recommend a solution. Consistent freezing over time can permanently damage your unit, so you’ll want to tackle any necessary repairs right away. 

Prevent a Frozen AC With Regular HVAC Maintenance

Many air conditioning issues, including a frozen air conditioner, can be resolved quickly and relatively painlessly with the help of a knowledgeable HVAC repair company. CroppMetcalfe’s 5-Star HVAC Technicians provide expert installation and repair services, plus advice on how to keep your cooling system maintained for prime efficiency, safety, and comfort. Contact us online to schedule service today!




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