Many homeowners in Southern Nevada and Arizona rely on air conditioners to cool their homes in the often-unforgiving summers. But if you see ice buildup on your AC, it’s a sign that your air conditioner has frozen over. AC freezing can occur to both indoor and outdoor units.
If this goes unresolved for too long, the repair bill can be about as expensive as buying a new unit, with prices ranging from $1,500 to $3,000. You might feel anxious about fixing your AC as soon as possible by following our expert tips or speaking to a specialist for AC maintenance services.
Thaw Out Your AC
To thaw the ice out, first, you need to turn the AC’s thermostat off and turn the fan on. Leave the fan on for a few hours to allow the unit to fully defrost. In some cases, it may thaw out after an hour. In other, more extreme cases, you may need to leave the fan on for a full 24 hours.
After you have done this, turn the AC’s thermostat back to “cool.” If the air coming out is cooler than room temperature, then it has been fixed. If not, you may want to consider calling a professional. Note that if the unit continues to freeze in the future, this may be an indication that something is wrong, and you’ll want someone to check it out.
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Check the AC’s Air Filter
If you haven’t cleaned the air filter in a while, a buildup can occur that will cause the unit to stop working as efficiently. It doesn’t take much for a filter to get clogged and this is actually one of the main reasons why an air conditioner freezes up in the first place. A thin layer of dirt is all that is necessary to prevent warm air from flowing through the unit.
To get to the filter, take the cover off the AC. You’ll want to do this as soon as you adjust the thermostat because the longer you wait, the more thawed water you’ll have to deal with. Clean the filter by running it under water and then waiting until it is fully dry before putting it back inside the unit. You also simply buy a new filter from your local home improvement store.
Look at the AC’s Condensate Pan
Check to see if the condensate pan is draining properly. If not, you could end up with leaks that lead to water damage. You should be able to tell very quickly if the pan is draining properly. If there is a puddle on the floor under your air conditioner, then the pan is not draining, water is building up, and you are at risk for some serious water damage issues.
If your pan is not leaking before you check it, put some towels on the floor under the unit in case water spills out. You may also want to add some specially formulated cleaning tablets to the pan to prevent future build-up and to eliminate any odors.
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Inspect the AC’s Condensate Drain
With all the moving parts of an air conditioner, another reason it may be freezing up may be due to a clogged condensate drain. As you thaw the ice, the water should drip into the condensate pan and then travel outside by way of a condensate drain, represented by a PVC pipe.
If there’s dirt in the water, this can cause a clog, which then leads to overflow. Overflow leads to water damage, and excess water around the unit leads to freezing.
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How to Tell if Your Air Conditioner Is Frozen
Keeping a frozen air conditioner running could easily damage your compressor, which is extremely expensive and exhausting to repair. A few telltale signs of a frozen AC unit include:
- Your AC system isn’t reaching the desired thermostat setting
- The air blasting from the air registers feels warm
- Your electric bill is higher than usual
- Water leaking around the AC
- Hissing or bubbling noise
- Condensation and moisture around the air handler
- AC coils are encased in ice
- Ice is visible outside the AC unit
To avoid this problem all together, and to not have to frequently inspect your air conditioning unit for signs of being frozen, you’ll want your AC serviced annually.
How Long It Can Take for Your AC Unit to Defrost
It’s common for individuals experiencing a frozen AC issue to wonder how long it takes for their unit to thaw. Well, the thawing process could take up to 24 hours depending on the size of your unit, the extent of the ice buildup, and the efficiency of your blower fan. If the freezing on your air conditioner was just starting, it could clear up faster in an hour or two.
Call an Air Conditioning Repair Specialist at Ambient Edge Now
Sometimes, to no avail, the problem goes unresolved. If you have cleaned your air conditioner’s filter, and your attempt to thaw the frozen unit out did not work, then it may be time to call the professionals at Ambient Edge. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our work. Fill out our online contact form, or call us to get started.