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What To Do If My Air Conditioner Freezes

Facebook Frozen Ac Blog Graphic

If you have an air conditioner that’s frozen, don’t panic. In many cases, you may be able to defrost the AC unit yourself and get things back up and running again.

#1 – Shut the Unit OFF!  You should ALWAYS avoid running your AC if you think your unit is frozen because it can place strain on the compressor. Let’s just say the compressor is the most expensive part of an AC unit, so you don’t want to damage it. That could lead to a costly repair.

You can cut power completely to your unit in the electrical panel, or you can turn the unit off at the thermostat. If you turn it off at the thermostat, another helpful tip is to then turn on the blower or fan only. This will help to thaw the evaporator coils faster.

#2 – Start Thawing

You need to thaw your AC before anything else. Even if you have a service professional like Frisbees coming out to look at the unit, techs can’t work on a unit that is frozen. The amount of time it takes to thaw an AC unit depends on how much ice build-up there may be. It could take 1-2 hours or it could take overnight. Please don’t be tempted to chip away at the ice yourself. Doing this could potentially damage components and lead to further issues. It’s just going to take time!

#3 Do Your Own Inspection

Here are a few easy things you can inspect yourself before you run a test.

  • Check the filter to see if it’s clogged and restricting air flow. Dirty filters can cause an AC system to freeze up. If the filter looks dirty or discolored, change it. We recommend you replace a 1”pleated filter every 1-3 months. If you have an Aprilaire Air Purifier, we recommend every 6 months.
  • Check to see if all supply registers are open in each room. Blocked registers may restrict air flow which can affect the evaporator temperature and cause issues. It’s generally a good idea to never close more than 2-3 supply vents. Restricting too much airflow can cause an AC to freeze up.
  • Make sure your thermostat setting isn’t TOO low. We recommend setting your thermostat between 73°-75°.

#4 Test It

After you’ve taken steps to thaw your AC and performed other inspections, run a test to see if it’s cooling properly again. Restore power (if needed) and turn the thermostat to the cool setting. After a few minutes, you should feel cool air blowing from the vents. If the air is still warm or the system runs for a long time without reaching the desired thermostat setting, there may be additional damage or a refrigerant leak. At that point, we recommend you contact a service professional like Frisbees.

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4009 S. Minnesota Ave.
Sioux Falls SD 57105
Fax: 605.338.5238
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Sat: 8AM-12PM


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