How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

If you see ice on your indoor or outdoor unit, it is a clear sign that there is something wrong with your AC unit.

The worst part is if you keep running the AC, you risk damaging the compressor— $1,495+ AC repair (more on that later).

With that being said, follow these steps to unfreeze your AC unit quickly:

1- Turn the thermostat from COOL to OFF

2- Turn the fan setting to ON

3 -Check your filter and replace it if needed. If the filter isn’t dirty, call a professional before turning the AC back on.

Note: These instructions will simply help your AC to unthaw but won’t guarantee the prevention of further damage due to falling ice chunks, water on controls, water damage, etc.

In this article, we will explain the rationale behind each of the steps above. We will also provide help tips that will prevent expensive water damage, or a busted AC unit.

Your AC is freezing up for a reason, and simply thawing out the unit won’t fix the root problem. If you want to solve the problem at the core, we can help. Just contact us.

Step 1: Turn the thermostat from COOL to OFF

With ice being on the AC unit this means the refrigerant, the liquid that cools your home’s air, is much colder than it should be. If that cold refrigerant is sent to the outdoor unit, it could kill your compressor. The compressor should only receive refrigerant in the form of a superheated gas – NOT a cold liquid!

Here’s the bottom line: Turning the thermostat from COOL to OFF stops your AC from continuously sending cold refrigerant to your outside unit (where your compressor is located).

During a healthy operation, your compressor should only receive refrigerant in the form of a superheated gas—NOT a cold liquid.

Do you want more in-depth information about why your AC is freezing up in the first place? Come check out our blog, “Why Is My Air Conditioner Refrigerant Line Covered in Ice?”.

Step 2: Turn the fan setting to ON

By turning the fan on it forces your AC’s indoor fan to blow warm air non-stop over your AC’s frozen coils. This will help the ice thaw faster.

Tip: Do not turn your fan setting to AUTO. This setting only runs the blower motor during a cooling cycle. Furthermore, you just turned the thermostat from COOLING to OFF, so your AC won’t be going through any cooling cycles.

Your AC blower motor pulls in warm air from inside your home, and blows it over the refrigerant coils that make up the evaporator.

How long will it take for your AC unit to thaw?

It can take up to an 1 hour or 24 hours to unfreeze your air conditioner. It all depends on the extent of the ice buildup.

As you’re waiting for the unit to thaw, you should keep an eye out for:

An overflowing drain pan. If you can access your indoor AC unit, you may want to put some towels on the floor surrounding the unit. This will help prevent water damage if the melting ice overflows the drain pan and leaks onto the floor.

A clogged condensate drain. As the ice on your evaporator coil thaws, the water will drip into a condensate drain pan, and then flow outside via a condensate drain line (a white PVC pipe). Sometimes dirt picked up along the way can form a clog in that drain line and cause water to backup and overflow. If you think you have a clog, please follow these steps in this blog to clear the condensate drain line.

Step 3: Check your air filter and replace it if needed

The most common culprit behind a frozen AC is a dirty or clogged air filter, so check your air filter as you wait for the unit to thaw out.

Pro tip: Check your filter as soon as you turn the thermostat to OFF. The longer you wait, the more likely the ice will melt onto your air filter and create a dirty puddle.

If your air filter looks identical to the filter below, then change it out for a new filter immediately.

Believe it or not a thin layer of dust or dirt on your air filter can cause major AC problems, so change it out even if the filter isn’t quite as clogged as the one above.

A dirty air filter suffocates your air conditioner. Also when your air conditioner doesn’t get enough warm air flowing over your evaporator coil, the refrigerant inside will colder and colder. Remember: very cold refrigerant coils + moisture in the air = ice.

Do you need help finding your air filter? If so check out our blog, “Where Is My Air Conditioner Filter?”.

You replaced your dirty filter, so now what?

Since you just replaced a dirty filter you will continue to wait until your AC has completely thawed out. Once your AC is unfrozen go ahead and turn the AC back on and run the air normally, but keep a close eye on the unit for the next couple of days.

More than likely, the dirty filter was the problem, but to be sure that there isn’t another issue watch for any ice returning on the AC lines. If you notice any ice forming or notice other AC problems, call a professional to inspect and diagnose your unit.

Step 4: Don’t have a dirty filter? Call a professional right away.

A dirty air filter isn’t the only problem that can cause a frozen AC, but it’s the only problem that you can solve on your own!

If you checked your air filter and it is completely clean, you have a more serious AC problem regarding:

-A refrigerant leak

-Dirt on the evaporator coil

-A weak or bad blower motor

-Stuck or closed expansion valve

Any other number of AC problems you see ice on your indoor or outdoor unit, it’s a clear sign that something’s wrong with your AC unit.

Please do not ignore this problem, or you’ll continuously deal with a frozen AC and you will end up paying over $3,000 for a damaged compressor.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Running your air conditioner with a frozen component can seriously damage your system, but that doesn’t mean you always have to wait for a technician to come and defrost your frozen A/C unit.

Start with a Gentle Approach

The safest way to defrost your air conditioner is to let nature take care of the ice. Turn off your system from the control panel, then shut off power to the system at the breaker in your home’s electrical panel. Then just wait and let the ice thaw. Don’t try to pry the ice off with your hands or a sharp object. You’ll risk damaging the components or worse, injuring yourself.Depending on how much ice there is, it could take up to 24 hours to melt. Periodically check for standing water that might have pooled under your indoor evaporator coil and mop up any you find. If there’s a lot of ice, put down some towels.

Try a Little Heat

If just a little ice has formed on your evaporator coil, you can defrost it faster using a hair dryer turned on to the lowest setting. Hold the hair dryer at least 12 inches from the coil. Too much heat can crack an evaporator coil, so use caution if you decide to go this route.After all the ice has melted, dry the system out by turning it on to “fan only” mode. This circulates air that will dry up any lingering moisture.Before you turn the system on again, though, take steps to correct the problem that caused your frozen A/C unit in the first place. That might mean replacing a dirty air filter, cleaning the evaporator coil or removing debris from the outdoor unit.If your air conditioner keeps freezing even though you’re sure the components are clean, the problem could be due to a more serious issue such as a refrigerant leak or mechanical malfunction. In this case, call a technician.If you could use some help defrosting your frozen A/C unit, contact us at Air Assurance anywhere around Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioners and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

We’re On Call 24/7 to react promptly to your ac, heating, and plumbing emergencies.

Home » Frequently Asked Questions » How to Unfreeze an Air Conditioner

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

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.

Call 888-628-5890 Today or Book Online for Heating and Cooling Service!

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.

Contact Us for HVAC Service in Las Vegas NV

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.

Got HVAC or AC Problems? Call 888-628-5890 or Schedule Service Online!

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.

Here’s a problem you likely never anticipated: Ice on your HVAC in the middle of summer. It’s actually more common than you think!

When we’re running our AC units more often and at colder temperatures, they’re more likely to freeze up. If you notice something wrong with your AC, especially visible ice crystals, it’s time to take action. We’re here to help you defrost and get back to normal cooling ASAP.

How will I know if my AC is frozen?

Other than visible ice on any part of your HVAC unit, the next most obvious sign of a frozen AC unit is a lack of cool air. If you put your hand in front of your supply vents and you sense warm air coming out, you probably have ice somewhere in the system.

You may also notice a hissing sound coming from the unit. If that’s the case, take steps immediately to prevent further damage. Your wallet will thank you later.

How to Defrost a Frozen AC Unit

Your AC will take anywhere from an hour to more than a day to completely defrost. It’s important to catch it early to prevent further damage to your unit—and, of course, so you’re without cool air for the shortest amount of time possible.

Here’s your step-by-step defrosting guide.

Step 1: Turn OFF your AC.

We know, we know: It’s hot. But frozen AC parts are bad news for the most expensive piece of your HVAC unit—the compressor. To avoid lasting damage and a hefty bill, turn your thermostat from COOL to OFF. This will start the defrosting process.

Step 2: Switch the fan to ON.

Turning the HVAC fan to ON will force it to blow warm air over any frozen coils—which will speed up the defrost process. Make sure it’s actually set to ON and not to AUTO. Automatic settings cause the fan to cycle—starting and stopping over and over again. You want continuous, non-stop airflow over the frozen areas.

Step 3: Find the source.

Now it’s time for some investigative work. What caused your AC to freeze up in the first place? There are a few common culprits:

Dirty Air Filter

Clogged-up air filters essentially suffocate your HVAC unit. When warm air is restricted from the coils in your unit, the coils get too cold and eventually ice over. Replace air filters at least once a month to prevent an icy surprise.

Dirty Evaporator Coils

If your coils are dirty, the same process occurs. Dirt and grime covering the evaporator coils causes air restriction the same way dust does in your filter.

Leaking Refrigerant

If you spot a leak anywhere, that’s probably the cause of your ice problem. Low refrigerant levels cause drops in pressure, allowing moisture in the air to freeze around your HVAC coils.

Despite what many homeowners may think, refrigerant doesn’t simply get “used up.” It doesn’t decrease over time, and it doesn’t evaporate during AC use. So if you’re low on refrigerant, there’s no doubt you have a leak.

Note: Refrigerant is a hazardous chemical that should only be handled by licensed pros. Give us a call if you think you have a leak.

Problem Parts and Other Issues

A collapsed duct, weak blower, or closed valves might be causing your HVAC to freeze. AC units are also complex machines with a lot of other pieces and parts. Our Columbia HVAC pros can help to diagnose these less obvious problems.

Step 4: Monitor the situation.

As your HVAC unit thaws out, you might encounter some collateral damage. Overflowing drain pans and clogged condensation drains are a risk when this much water is coming off your AC. Put down some towels around the unit and watch for additional leaks to prevent water damage.

Once your HVAC is completely clear of ice and all parts are dry, you can turn your AC back on. Monitor the unit for continued problems over the next several hours to a few days.

Step 5: Call us!

If changing the air filter solved your ice problem, you’re in luck! Now it’s time to keep your unit in top shape throughout the summer. Getting regular preventative maintenance and inspections can help catch issues early and prevent your AC (and your wallet) from freezing up.

Unfortunately replacing the air filter is the only thing you can do yourself. So if that didn’t work, it’s time to call us. All other issues are best diagnosed and treated by our team of Columbia HVAC professionals. We’re happy to help!

It is not a pleasant feeling when you reach home after a long hot day to relax and find your air conditioning unit blasting out hot air. When the capacity of your air conditioner reduces, this problem may occur. Be sure to check if the air conditioning unit is frozen before troubleshooting it.

If you find that your unit is frozen, then it could be the reason why you are not experiencing any cool air. You should immediately defrost the air conditioner so that there will be no further damage to the compressor unit of the system. If the compressor is damaged you should call for ac repair in Janesville, WI which will cost you time and money.

Follow these steps to unfreeze your air conditioning unit yourself.

  • Turn the thermostat off!

When your air conditioner is frozen, you will find that the refrigerant temperature is lower than usual. If the air conditioning unit is working properly without any problems, then it usually sends hot refrigerant gas to the compressor and not the refrigerant in a liquid state.

By turning the power off while switching the circuit breaker settings off, you are restricting this flow of liquid to the compressor which will prevent severe damages to the AC unit. If the compressor goes bad, you might even need an ac replacement in Janesville, WI.

Additionally, it is crucial to turn the power off before you work on the unit because you are dealing with water and electrical components which is never a good combination.

  • Turn on the fan and let the unit thaw

Now you have to simply turn the fan in your room on and wait for the air conditioner unit to thaw. It usually takes from 12 – 24 hours based on the extent of the buildup, the efficiency of the fan, and the size of your air conditioning unit.

When you are waiting for the air conditioner to thaw, it is vital to keep an eye on the condensate pan and drain pipe. As the air conditioner thaws, the water that is melted will now be collected in the drain pan and moved through the condensate pan to be discarded outdoors.

Since this could mean a lot of water moving towards the drainpipe, it may not be able to handle the quantity of water and start overflowing. Have some towels around the pan to prevent the water from spilling in your room.

However, if the pan still overflows, follow these steps to solve the problem.

  1. Get a wet/dry vacuum and find the main drain line that is outside of your home.
  2. Now connect the vacuum to the drain line securely.
  3. Finally, run the vacuum for 3 minutes to clear the blockages in the pipe.

With regular ac tune-ups in Janesville, you can prevent the problem before it arises in the first place. To schedule a service, contact us at (608) 362-4090. We provide 24/7 emergency services.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

On a hot sunny afternoon when you want to relax in the cool environment of your home, you realize that your air conditioner won’t work. Why? Because it has frozen. What a bummer. Your only option now is to open the windows at home and pray like crazy that a cool breeze is blowing outside. Nine times out of ten, you won’t be that lucky. The next step would be to call your HVAC company and ask them to send somebody ASAP. The good news is that a frozen AC is not the end of the world. The bad news is that it will still take some time to resolve the problem. You can defrost a frozen AC unit, so take a deep breath and relax. Gather your patience because a frozen AC will take a little long to defrost.

What Is A Frozen AC Unit?

Don’t be confused by the term “frozen AC unit”. It does not mean that your air conditioner will become encased in a block of ice. When the flow of air is insufficient, it makes the temperature of the coils drop below freezing. The moisture present in the air then gathers on top of these coils and increases the ice buildup on your air conditioner. This is what is known as a frozen AC.

What To Do When The AC Freezes

1. Turn The Thermostat OFF – Ice formation on the air conditioner is an indication of the refrigerant being extremely cold. You need to stop the flow of this excessively cold refrigerant as it can kill your compressor. Why is that so? It is so because the AC compressor can only handle the refrigerant in the form of superheated gas. Normally, the thermostat is on the “COOL” setting. You need to turn it “OFF”. Turning it “OFF” will stop your AC from repeatedly sending cold refrigerant to the outdoor unit.

2. Switch The Fan To ON Position – Do not make the mistake of turning the AC fan setting to AUTO. This is because in “AUTO” setting the blower motor runs only during a cooling cycle. Since you have turned the thermostat from COOLING to OFF, your air conditioner will not go through any cooling cycles. The fan setting should be ON so that it pulls warm air from inside the home and forces it to blow non-stop over the frozen coils of the AC. This helps the ice thaw faster.

This two-step process will ensure that your frozen AC thaws or defrosts quickly and adequately. However, if you want to speed up the process a little more by lending a helping hand, you can use a hairdryer on low heat to blow additional warm air. Once the AC is completely free of ice, clean up the water puddles around the unit.

Frozen AC – How Long Does It Take To Defrost?

Depending on the extent of ice buildup on your AC, it can take anywhere between an hour to a day to defrost completely. While you are waiting for your AC to defrost, you need to pay attention to these two things –

1. Drain Pan Overflowing – As the ice melts it may overflow in the drain pan and leak onto the floor causing puddles. Spreading towels on the floor around the AC unit will help keep your floor dry.

2. Clogged Condensate Drain – When the ice on the evaporator coil thaws, it turns into water. This water drips into a condensate drain pan. From here the water flows outside through a condensate drain line. At times, the water picks up dirt along the way and clogs the drain line. A clogged drain pipe can cause the water to back up and overflow. You need to be on the lookout for such an occurrence and unclog the condensate drain to keep dripping water to a minimum.

What Causes The AC to Freeze?

The main reason behind a frozen AC is dirty air filters. In fact, there could be a number of other reasons as well, but this is the only one which you can deal with on your own. If changing the air filter does not solve the problem, you need to call the experts to take care of it.

When the air filter is dirty, it smothers the air conditioner. As a result, the warm air cannot flow freely over the evaporator coil. In turn, the refrigerant becomes colder than usual, and so the coils also turn excessively cold. When the moisture present in the air comes in contact with the too cold coils, it transforms into ice. Therefore, you need to make sure that the air filters are clean and free of dirt.

If you have changed the air filter and yet there is no respite, it means that the root of the problem is somewhere else. The most probable reasons could be a faulty blower motor, refrigerant leak, a stuck expansion valve, collapsed duct or something else altogether. These problems need expert handling, and so your best option is to contact your local HVAC company.

Conclusion

Now that you have read this post, you are well aware of how to safely defrost a frozen AC unit. When the AC is frozen, remember how long it will take to defrost will depend on the ice that has built up on the coils. You cannot rush the matter. All you can do is to ensure that the root of the problem is tackled. Ignoring your AC problems will not make them go away. In fact, that will just compound the issue. The best course of action is to address each issue as soon as it arises. There are many things that you can do yourself and yet there are many which are out of your scope. You need to be able to identify what you can do and what you can’t. If things seem overwhelming, you can always contact your local HVAC technician.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Your air conditioner may need to be defrosted if you are noticing that it is not working as efficiently as it should. This is something that you are able to do yourself, but if you have never done this before, you might be wondering how long the defrosting process will take.

Air conditioners take between 2 and 24 hours to defrost. The exact amount of time cannot be predicted, but the following factors can give you a better idea of how long it will take:

  • Size of unit
  • The extent of ice buildup
  • Temperature outside

If you have more questions regarding the time it takes for a central AC to defrost, don’t fret. In this guide, we’ll discuss more about these factors, how they affect the defrosting process, and what other safety considerations there are. Just keep reading!

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Factors That Affect Defrosting Time

Unit Size

The size of your unit will affect how long the defrosting process takes. A smaller unit may take 2 hours with minimal ice buildup. You may be able to simply turn your unit off and let it sit for a while. If this is the case, it can be ready to use again in 2-3 hours. If you have a bigger home and a more powerful AC unit, it may take as long as a day to completely thaw.

Extent of Ice Buildup

If your unit has a problem that you have not been able to catch right away, you will have more ice buildup in your air conditioning unit. If the buildup is severe, you can expect it to take longer to completely thaw out. However, if you have been lucky enough to catch the issue quickly, you will most likely have less ice buildup. This may result in a quicker defrosting time.

Outside Temperature

The temperature outside also affects the defrosting times. If it is hotter outside, the AC unit will defrost quicker. If the day is rainy and cool, it may take longer to defrost. A blow dryer on low heat may work on smaller units to help the process along.

It is important to maintain your unit and keep an eye on potential problems so they can be taken care of before they get worse. While defrosting your unit is a good way to solve the problem of ice buildup, you may find that you have a more serious issue. You will need the help of a professional if you have ignored a problem that has been going on for a while.

Common Questions

If you have never had to defrost your unit before, you may have some questions as you go through the process. We’ve brought you the answers to some common questions that other homeowners have had regarding their AC units.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

What Causes A Central Air Conditioning Unit To Freeze Up?

Your central air conditioning unit can freeze up for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes include:

Poor Drainage

When the drain system within the unit is faulty, it causes the water to pool inside. When this occurs, there is a greater chance that you will have ice buildup. It is a good idea to have someone check the unit if you notice this is occurring. While defrosting your unit will temporarily fix this issue, you will want to consult a professional if this keeps happening.

Dirt And Pet Hair Buildup

If you do not regularly clean your unit’s fan and air filter, you may have a buildup of pet hair and dirt. This can cause ice buildup and create future problems.

Restriction Of Airflow

The return air grille connects to the ductwork inside your home to allow airflow into the air conditioning system. If the return grill is blocked, it can cause the evaporator coil to freeze. The coil is meant to absorb heat from the air. If there is no airflow, it will cause ice buildup.

Refrigerant Levels

Your unit should always have the recommended amount of refrigerant. Not enough can cause your unit to blow hot air. Too much refrigerant can cause your unit to run too cold and result in a buildup of ice.

AC Setting

The ideal temperature for your AC unit is 78 degrees. This helps to keep your home and loved ones cool while also saving energy. Anything lower has the potential to cause issues with your central AC unit.

Can You Pour Hot Water Onto A Frozen AC?

The simple answer is: no! This is a piece of electrical equipment. Pouring water of any temperature onto it can cause shortages and even an electrical fire! Stay safe and do not attempt to do this. If you do not want to attempt to fix your frozen unit yourself, consult the help of a certified technician.

How Do You Know If The Central Air Conditioner Is Frozen?

Sometimes you may be able to hear the “crackling” of ice inside of the unit. To be certain, it is recommended to unplug the AC and disconnect the breaker that it is connected to. Look for ice on the outside of it and open the panel, as per instructions, to look inside for ice. If you do see ice, set the unit to “fan” for several hours. After that has occurred, reset it to the desired temperature and see if it blows cold air. If it is back to normal, the issue was freezing water.

Is A Frozen AC Unit Dangerous?

A frozen air conditioner can cause issues, for sure. You want to act immediately so that you do not lose the whole unit. First, either unplug it or set it to the “fan” setting. This way, it does not continue to freeze. At this point, you want to look for some of the issues listed above in this article. If you let it run without solving the problem, it will eventually break down completely.

Summary

As you have read, there are many factors that determine why a unit has ice buildup and how long it will take to defrost. Keep in mind that frequent ice buildup may indicate a more significant issue. While defrosting your unit is an acceptable temporary solution, it will not fix a more serious problem.

Be sure to contact a professional if you suspect that your unit requires more skilled maintenance. It is recommended not to try and fix anything yourself. Call the HVAC experts and let them do their work!

Before you go, be sure to check out these other articles that may be of interest:

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

This summer is extremely hot, but ironically that means it’s the time of year when your air conditioner coils are most likely to freeze. What do you do now?

Don’t freeze up! Let us talk you through how to thaw everything out without incurring long-term problems for your air conditioner.

How do I know if the coils are frozen?

If your air conditioner isn’t running very well, you have no way of knowing without looking to see whether frozen coils are the problem. You’re no psychic! (Although, it would be nice to see every HVAC problem coming …) So, check for these key signs that your evaporator coils are frozen:

First, go outside and check if you can see any ice around your coolant lines. If you’re wondering, “where are the coolant lines?” … the coolant lines, or refrigerant lines, are the copper tubes covered with rubber insulation that connect your outdoor air conditioning unit to the evaporator coils, which are inside. You should see these tubes at the back of your A/C unit.

Then, go back inside and go into your closet or your attic – or wherever your air handler is located. (The air handler is the large metal box you’ll be looking at when you change your filter.) The evaporator coils are a triangular-shaped apparatus at the bottom of the air handler.

What exactly does that mean for you? Well, if you see moisture/condensation at the bottom of the air handler, or anywhere on the outside of the air handler, that’s a major sign of frozen evaporator coils. You might even be able to hear water dripping from inside!

Now what do I do?

Whether you’ve confirmed for certain that you have frozen evaporator coils, or you just suspect it, you need to turn off your A/C. Then, your coils should be able to defrost, taking up to 24 hours to thaw out. You can also safely dry out the coils with a hair dryer. However, chances are you’re going to be running into this problem over and over again this summer, if you don’t understand why your evaporator coils are freezing!

The coils are naturally supposed to be at an almost freezing temperature, so that they can successfully cool your air. But large amounts of ice aren’t supposed to form on them. If this is happening, the reason is usually a problem with your air flow.

That’s why you should contact us today to investigate why your evaporator coils are freezing up. This way, you’ll be able to get your air conditioner repaired ASAP! We’re happy to serve anyone in the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan area who is experiencing problems with their air conditioner. Call us now at (248) 986-1506 or contact us online .

Here’s a problem you likely never thought you would experience: Ice on your HVAC in the middle of the summer heat. Don’t worry though, it’s actually much more common than you think! Very cold refrigerant coils + moisture in the air = ice.

When you’re running your AC unit more often and at colder temperatures, like you do in the middle of summer, they’re more likely to freeze up. If you notice something wrong with your AC, especially visible ice, it’s time to take action. We’re here to help you get the problem solved.

Other than visible ice on any part of your HVAC unit, the next most obvious sign of a frozen AC unit is a lack of cool air. If you put your hand in front of your supply vents and you sense warm air coming out, you probably have ice somewhere in the system.

You may also notice a hissing sound coming from the unit. If that’s the case, take steps immediately to prevent further damage. Your wallet will thank you later.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Your air conditioner might take anywhere from an hour to more than a day to completely defrost. It’s important to catch it early to prevent further damage to your unit—and, of course, so you’re without cool air for the shortest amount of time possible.

Here’s your step-by-step defrosting guide.

1st Step: Turn Your HVAC Unit Off.

  • Even if it’s sweltering outside, you still need to turn OFF your air conditioner! Running a frozen air conditioner will wear out parts much faster, and could overheat your unit. Worn parts are bad news for the most expensive piece of your HVAC unit—the compressor. To avoid lasting damage and a hefty bill, turn your air conditioner thermostat located inside from COOL to OFF. This will start the defrosting process.

2nd Step: Switch Your Thermostat Fan to ON.

  • Turning the HVAC fan to ON will force it to blow warm air over any frozen coils—which will speed up the defrost process. Make sure it’s actually set to ON and not to AUTO. Automatic settings cause the fan to cycle—starting and stopping over and over again. You want continuous, non-stop airflow over the frozen areas. There is an option on your indoor thermostat to do this.

3rd Step: Locate the Source of the Problem.

Now it’s time for some investigative work. What caused your air conditioner to freeze up in the first place? There are a few common culprits:

Dirty Air Filter

  • Clogged-up air filters will essentially suffocate your air conditioner unit. When warm air is restricted from the coils in your unit, the coils get too cold and eventually ice over. Replace air filters at least once a month to prevent an icy surprise.

Dirty Evaporator Coils

  • If your coils are pretty dirty, the same process always occurs. Dirt, dust debris and grime covering the evaporator coils causes massive air restriction the same way dust will in your air filter.

Leaking Refrigerant

  • If you spot a refrigerant leak anywhere, that’s probably going to be the main cause of your ice problem. Low refrigerant levels cause drops in pressure, allowing moisture in the air to freeze around your HVAC coils.
  • Despite what many homeowners may think, refrigerant doesn’t simply get “used up.” It doesn’t decrease over time, and it doesn’t evaporate during AC use. So if you’re low on refrigerant, there’s absolutely no doubt you have a leak.
  • Note: Refrigerant is an extremely hazardous chemical that should only be handled by licensed HVAC technicians. Give us a call if you think you have a leak.

Problem Parts and Other Issues

  • A collapsed duct, weak blower, or closed valves might be causing your air conditioner to freeze. Air conditioner units are very complex machines with a lot of other pieces and parts. Our Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith River Valley & Southwest Missouri HVAC pros can help to diagnose these less obvious problems.

4th Step: Keep a Close Eye on Your Air Conditioner.

  • As your air conditioner unit thaws completely out, you might run into some additional damage. Drain pans that have overflowed and clogged condensation drains are a large risk when this much water is coming off your air conditioner. Place some towels around the unit and watch for any additional leaks to prevent water damage.

Once your air conditioner unit is completely clear of all ice and all parts are dry, you can turn your A/C back on. Keep a close eye on the unit for any continued problems over the next several hours to a few days.

One question we are often asked is: , “Can I pour hot water on frozen air conditioner”? The answer is “Yes”. Pouring hot water will melt the ice faster and in turn, thaw your AC faster. In fact, the water does not need to be extremely hot, even warm water or running water will work to thaw the ice.

5th Step: Call us at Paschal Air, Plumbing, & Electric!

  • If changing the air filter solved your ice problem, you’re in luck! Now it’s time to keep your unit in top shape throughout the summer. Getting regular preventative maintenance and inspections can help catch issues early and prevent your air conditioner (and your wallet) from freezing up.

Unfortunately however, replacing the air filter is the only thing you can do yourself. So if that didn’t work, it’s time to call Paschal. All other issues are best diagnosed and treated by our team of Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith River Valley & Southwest Missouri HVAC professionals. We’re happy to help!

Table of Contents

The safest way to defrost your air conditioner is to let nature take care of the ice. Turn off your system from the control panel, then shut off power to the system at the breaker in your home’s electrical panel. Then just wait and let the ice thaw. Don’t try to pry the ice off with your hands or a sharp object.

How long does it take to thaw a frozen air conditioner?

How long will it take for your AC unit to thaw? It can take up to an 1 hour or 24 hours to unfreeze your air conditioner.

What do you do when your air conditioner freezes up?

The first thing you need to do is turn off the air conditioner and let it defrost. After it’s had sufficient time to thaw (1-3 hours), turn on just the fan for about an hour. Use this time to change your air filter. You can check out our article on how and when to change your AC filters.

How do you unfreeze an outside AC unit?

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.

How do you melt ice in air conditioner?

To de-ice your air conditioner: Turn off the air conditioner. Turn off power switches. Allow your air conditioner to thaw out. Check your unit to verify the coils have thawed thoroughly. Check to see if there is pooled water or condensation. Turn the power back on at the breaker. Turn the air conditioner back on.

Can you pour hot water on a frozen AC unit?

One question we are often asked is: , “Can I pour hot water on frozen air conditioner”? The answer is “Yes”. Pouring hot water will melt the ice faster and in turn, thaw your AC faster. In fact, the water does not need to be extremely hot, even warm water or running water will work to thaw the ice.

Why is my AC not blowing out cold air?

Leaking or Low Refrigerant If your central AC is not blowing cold air, the refrigerant may be the problem. The unit could be running low and need additional refrigerant added. The most likely cause of this is a leak. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, you should contact an HVAC professional right away.

Can your AC freeze in the summer?

Unfortunately, it’s possible for your air conditioner to become overworked, and actually restrict the airflow to your home. As toasty as it may be outside, your air conditioner can actually become frozen. If this has happened to your air conditioner, don’t panic.

Can a dirty air filter cause AC to freeze?

A Clogged Air Filter Can Cause AC Leakage As the refrigerant evaporates within the indoor condenser unit, the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air blowing over that coil. However, if the air filter is too clogged up, warm air is restricted, which can actually cause the coil to freeze. This is a two-fold problem.

Can I turn on heat to defrost AC?

Turning the HVAC fan to ON will force it to blow warm air over any frozen coils—which will speed up the defrost process. Make sure it’s actually set to ON and not to AUTO. Automatic settings cause the fan to cycle—starting and stopping over and over again.

How do you defrost air conditioner coils?

Give the Frozen Evaporator Coils Time to Thaw For your first step, turn the air conditioning system off and give the frozen evaporator coils a chance to thaw out. You can do this by shutting the unit off at the circuit breaker. Left to its own devices, it could take up to 24 hours for the coils to thaw completely.

Will frozen AC fix itself?

Air conditioners freezing over is actually a common problem. Sometimes a frozen AC requires professional help, but you may be able to repair it yourself depending on the cause of the freeze.

Can I use a hair dryer to defrost my AC?

Try a Little Heat If just a little ice has formed on your evaporator coil, you can defrost it faster using a hair dryer turned on to the lowest setting. Hold the hair dryer at least 12 inches from the coil. Too much heat can crack an evaporator coil, so use caution if you decide to go this route.

Can I spray my AC unit with water while running?

Hose smaller debris off the unit – It is perfectly okay to spray your air conditioner down with water.

How do I know if my AC is thawed?

Is My Air Conditioner Frozen? 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.

Why does my outside AC unit have ice on it?

Ice can form on your air conditioner when the temperature in the condenser evaporator coil falls below freezing. This often happens because of low refrigerant, or a refrigerant leak. It can also happen due to dirty coils, a broken fan, faulty wiring, or clogged air filters.

Should I turn AC off if not cooling?

If your ac is still not cooling there is one more thing you need to do. This is very important. TURN IT OFF and call your HVAC service provider to assist you. We always tell our customers to turn off an ac that is not cooling properly.

Why is my house still hot with AC on?

Air leaks and poor insulation are a common cause for making your house feel hot, even when the AC is working, as they can allow the air your air conditioner has worked so hard to cool to escape, leaving your house hot. Humidity can interfere with your thermostat’s ability to track temperatures and also traps heat.

What is a “defrost cycle?”

In heating mode a heat pump extracts heat from outside air and transfers it to inside your home to warm it. When the ambient temperature outside gets very cold, the moisture in the air freezes on the outdoor unit’s heat exchanger as the fan blows the air across it. A defrost cycle is simply the system recognizing that ice has formed or begun to form and automatically fixes this.

Why does my unit have to do a defrost cycle?

Any ice that builds up on the outside heat exchanger reduces the airflow across it, which will affect the efficiency, sometimes reducing it dramatically. In extreme cases this can also cause damage to the outdoor unit.

How do I tell if my unit is in the defrost cycle?

Inside you will notice the unit will temporarily stop heating, the indoor fan will stop and depending on the model, there will usually be some form of visual indication on the unit, such as a light or a blinking “run” light. Outside, the outdoor fan will also have stopped and the compressor will be running.

How often will my system go into defrost mode?

There are a number of factors that influence how often a unit will go into the defrost mode, including:

  • The outdoor temperature and humidity
  • The amount of heating load the system is trying to deliver
  • The condition of the heat pump

There are timers built into the computer control of the system that restrict how often defrosting can occur. Generally, a unit must run for a minimum of about 35 minutes after starting up before completing its first defrost. From there, defrosts should occur no more often than approximately every 40 minutes.

How long does the defrosting take?

Either of two factors can bring the unit out of a defrost cycle. Firstly, if the sensors on the outdoor section detect the heat exchanger’s temperature has risen enough, the unit will stop defrosting. Secondly, if the sensors do not stop the cycle beforehand, the maximum time a system will be in the defrost cycle is around 10 minutes. It is important not to stop the defrost cycle because the system will run inefficiently and could cause harm to the whole system.

My unit is defrosting frequently and isn’t delivering enough heat–what could be wrong?

Regular defrosting, or a lack of heat could be caused by a number of factors. A recently developed problem may be an indication of a fault and require maintenance. You can perform some basic maintenance yourself by cleaning the filters on your indoor unit and making sure the outdoor section is clear of foliage or debris, keeping the heat exchanger unblocked. If this doesn’t remedy the problem, your heat pump may need serviced.

Is there any way I can help to reduce defrosting?

There certainly is. Keep your system well maintained by having seasonal maintenance checks performed. Cleaning or changing your filters regularly is an easy, proactive measure you can take to keep your heater running smoothly.

Have you noticed that your air conditioner isn’t pulling heavy-duty work the way it used to? The air blowing out of the vent isn’t as cold as it used to be? It can be highly frustrating to experience rising temperatures indoors in the middle of the summer, then go outside and discover a frozen air conditioning refrigerant line .

Does this sound familiar? Read on to learn why an AC unit’s pipes may freeze, why you should take this problem seriously, and when it’s time for AC repair when you have a frozen air conditioner.

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Catch Air Conditioner Problems Early

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Sometimes, we ignore possible HVAC problems until they become too serious to brush aside. Pay attention to red flags in your HVAC system’s function, and you might avoid more complex and costly issues later on.

With ice buildup in the system, the first troubling sign is usually that the temperature inside your home doesn’t reach the thermostat setting. It may begin gradually and get worse over time.

Often, you will notice first that the upstairs areas of your home are warmer than they used to be, no matter how you adjust the thermostat .

If you suspect your air conditioner unit works less efficiently than before, try placing your hand over a supply register . Does the air that comes out feel warm? If so, the reason for the problem might relate to the evaporator.

Turn off the air conditioner and check the manufacturer’s instruction manual for a diagram that will help you access the evaporator. Look for frozen coils or any parts with a layer of ice on them.

If you notice any ice , it probably means that the cold liquid refrigerant flowing in your AC system is colder than 32 degrees F (or 0 degrees Celsius), which causes any moisture to freeze.

Icy buildup accounts for many State College AC repairs. Ice initially appears on the indoor cooling coil. It can then work its way outside and generate frost on the refrigerant line. Ice can then move along the refrigerant line to the outdoor condenser unit where you might discover a frozen AC compressor. Frosty buildup can be caused by many different things, so pinpointing and treating the source of the problem can be challenging.

Why Does Ice Collect on AC Units?

Frozen compressors, icy coils, and frosty refrigerant lines are all a product of evaporator coils that are too cold. Nearby moisture in warm air condenses on the cooling coils and freezes. That can make the compressor run hot and burn out. The compressor could also freeze up. If it does, indoor air will feel warmer than it should. The compressor is the most expensive component of your air conditioner. It pays to schedule AC repairs promptly.

What Can Cause a Frozen Compressor?

  • A clogged air filter that’s limiting the amount of air that’s moving over the cooling coil.
  • Insufficient refrigerant or too much refrigerant that are causing icy buildup while destroying your compressor.
  • A broken blower motor that’s not funneling warm air over the cooling coil.
  • A broken expansion valve that’s not properly controlling how much refrigerant enters the cooling coil.
  • A blocked condensate drain line that’s causing water to collect in one place where it can easily freeze.
  • A dirty evaporator coil that’s blocking the flow of air as it travels across the cooling coil.

Icy air conditioners need prompt attention. Triangle Heating & Cooling is on the job 24/7 to assist you with emergency service. Call us at (814) 355-7653 for speedy AC repairs.

You may be surprised that it’s not uncommon for your AC line to freeze in Florida, even in the hot summer. HVAC problems can occur for any number of reasons, but in most cases there are a few common reasons why your AC line is frozen.

We’ll offer a few quick fixes in this article, but it’s important to get your AC system properly diagnosed by an HVAC technician. A frozen AC line is a symptom of a bigger problem. Left unsolved, it can lead to a more expensive HVAC repair down the road.

If your AC line is frozen right now and you are looking for the fastest solution, then turn off your AC immediately and set the thermostat to FAN mode. Once you’ve done that, come back and learn some steps you can take to investigate the reason your AC system is freezing in the first place.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Schedule A Diagnosis From
A Certified HVAC Technician

Now that you’ve turned off your AC and have the fan running, let’s talk for a second about the cause of the problem.

What Causes Your Air Unit To Be Frozen

The main reason why your AC lines are freezing is because your evaporator coils are getting too cold.

The evaporator coil is filled with refrigerant which cools the air in your HVAC system. When things are working properly the evaporator absorbs the heat from your air and provides a cooling effect.

However, when there is a problem with your AC system, the heat exchange process can be restricted causing your evaporator coil to absorb less heat and produce ice on the coils. The ice can eventually accumulate on the refrigerant line.

Some common reasons that cause your AC lines to freeze are:
  • Refrigerant leaks from evaporator coils
  • Accumulation of dirt over the coils
  • Blocked AC vents
  • Clogged air filters
  • Blower fan failure
  • Collapsed air ducts
  • Low refrigerant levels

Simple and Quick Ways To Eliminate AC Freezing

If your refrigerant lines are really frozen, it is time to wake up your inner mechanic and do a little troubleshooting yourself. Below are some solutions that you can try to fix your air conditioner.

While these things can help resolve the issue temporarily, if ice continues to accumulate on your air conditioning system, then you need to contact a professional HVAC company to diagnose the root cause.

1. Turn Off Your Air Conditioner and Switch To Fan Mode

This will give your air conditioner time to cool off while having warm air from your home circulating through the system. You can restart your system after waiting for 3-4 hours. If your air conditioner freezes when you turn it back on, then turn it off immediately and contact Pro-Tech for air conditioning service.

2. Check For A Dirty Air Filter

Clogged air filters can do a lot of damage to your HVAC system and can cause air conditioner freezing. Check your filter and change it if it appears dirty. A clogged filter reduces airflow which could be the root of the problem.

3. Check out for any blocked or closed return/supply vent

Supply vents are the vents that distribute cool air inside your house. Any closed supply vent can restrict the air flowing through your air conditioner and causing problems in the heat exchange process. Therefore, it is better if you open all the vents even in the unused rooms to thaw the frozen coils. Doing the same with the return vents will increase the flow of warm air over evaporator coils.

Serious Problems That Need Additional Investigation

If the DIY solutions do not help you out you need to call a professional air conditioning company to service your system. There are likely additional problems that you won’t be able to resolve without the help of a professional.

Refrigerant leak

There may be a refrigerant leak present in your AC lines causing pressure levels to drop. Refrigerant is the liquid that extracts heat from your room and blows it out via the outdoor compressor. When the refrigerant levels are low, the pressure inside of your refrigerant lines gets out of whack, causing ice to accumulate. To know if there’s a refrigerant leak present in your air conditioning unit, look out for the following:

  • Warm air coming from the vents
  • Your unit making a hissing or bubbling sound
  • Higher electricity bills due to increased load on the air conditioner

Blower Motor Not Working Properly

If the blower motor is not working as it should, it will prevent the fan from drawing enough warm air inside the unit, causing the lines to accumulate ice. Check out for these to know if there’s a problem with the motor.

  • Blower fan spinning slower than usual
  • Having trouble while starting
  • Producing a humming sound
  • Blowing no warm air outside

Torn or Collapsed Air Duct

When the air duct is collapsed, the flow of warm air to your evaporator coil is interrupted. As a result, your air conditioner’s refrigerant lines freeze due to decreased temperature.

If your air conditioner is frozen due to the above-mentioned reasons, your unit needs to be serviced by an expert. No matter what you do, do not allow your system to continue running with ice accumulating on the refrigerant coils. Try the tips in this article and call for help if the problem keeps occurring.

Home » AC Frozen? Here’s How Long It’ll Take to Defrost

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

  • grandeairsolutions
  • July 14, 2021

Here’s a problem you likely never anticipated: Ice on your HVAC in the middle of summer. It’s actually more common than you think!

When we’re running our AC units more often and at colder temperatures, they’re more likely to freeze up. If you notice something wrong with your AC, especially visible ice crystals, it’s time to take action. We’re here to help you defrost and get back to normal cooling ASAP.

How will I know if my AC is frozen?

Other than visible ice on any part of your HVAC unit, the next most obvious sign of a frozen AC unit is a lack of cool air. If you put your hand in front of your supply vents and you sense warm air coming out, you probably have ice somewhere in the system.

You may also notice a hissing sound coming from the unit. If that’s the case, take steps immediately to prevent further damage. Your wallet will thank you later.

How to Defrost a Frozen AC Unit

Your AC will take anywhere from an hour to more than a day to completely defrost. It’s important to catch it early to prevent further damage to your unit—and, of course, so you’re without cool air for the shortest amount of time possible.

Here’s your step-by-step defrosting guide:

Step 1: Turn OFF your AC

We know, we know: It’s hot. But frozen AC parts are bad news for the most expensive piece of your HVAC unit—the compressor. To avoid lasting damage and a hefty bill, turn your thermostat from COOL to OFF. This will start the defrosting process.

Step 2: Switch the fan to ON

Turning the HVAC fan to ON will force it to blow warm air over any frozen coils—which will speed up the defrost process. Make sure it’s actually set to ON and not to AUTO. Automatic settings cause the fan to cycle—starting and stopping over and over again. You want continuous, non-stop airflow over the frozen areas.

Step 3: Find the source

Now it’s time for some investigative work. What caused your AC to freeze up in the first place? There are a few common culprits:

  • Dirty Air Filter: Clogged-up air filters essentially suffocate your HVAC unit. When warm air is restricted from the coils in your unit, the coils get too cold and eventually ice over. Replace air filters at least once a month to prevent an icy surprise.
  • Dirty Evaporator Coils: If your coils are dirty, the same process occurs. Dirt and grime covering the evaporator coils cause air restriction the same way dust does in your filter.
  • Leaking Refrigerant: If you spot a leak anywhere, that’s probably the cause of your ice problem. Low refrigerant levels cause drops in pressure, allowing moisture in the air to freeze around your HVAC coils.
    Despite what many homeowners may think, refrigerant doesn’t simply get “used up.” It doesn’t decrease over time, and it doesn’t evaporate during AC use. So if you’re low on refrigerant, there’s no doubt you have a leak.
    Note: Refrigerant is a hazardous chemical that should only be handled by licensed pros. Give us a call if you think you have a leak.
  • Problem Parts and Other Issues: A collapsed duct, weak blower, or closed valves might be causing your HVAC to freeze. AC units are also complex machines with a lot of other pieces and parts. Our Austin HVAC pros can help to diagnose these less obvious problems.

Step 4: Monitor the situation

As your HVAC unit thaws out, you might encounter some collateral damage. Overflowing drain pans and clogged condensation drains are a risk when this much water is coming off your AC. Put down some towels around the unit and watch for additional leaks to prevent water damage.

Once your HVAC is completely clear of ice and all parts are dry, you can turn your AC back on. Monitor the unit for continued problems over the next several hours to a few days.

Step 5: Call us!

If changing the air filter solved your ice problem, you’re in luck! Now it’s time to keep your unit in top shape throughout the summer. Getting regular preventative maintenance and inspections can help catch issues early and prevent your AC (and your wallet) from freezing up.

Unfortunately replacing the air filter is the only thing you can do yourself. So if that didn’t work, it’s time to call us. All other issues are best diagnosed and treated by our team of Austin HVAC professionals. We’re happy to help!

When the cold winter weather hits, it pays to have an energy-efficient heating system. One of the best options for those who live in mild environments is a heat pump. Instead of burning fuel to create heat, these systems simply transfer heat from the air or ground outside into your home.

Why Does My Heat Pump Freeze Up?

To understand why your heat pump freezes up, you first need to know how it runs. Your heat pump utilizes a substance known as refrigerant. This substance moves the heat from the air or ground outside into your home via the condenser coils. To do this, the refrigerant needs to be around 20 degrees colder than the air outside of your home.

When the air outside starts to dip down around 20 to 40 degrees, it can cause the moisture on the exterior components of your heat pump to freeze. Increases in relative humidity also play a role in how quickly your heat pump freezes up.

The Defrost Cycle

All heat pumps are designed to have a defrost cycle. Whenever your system senses that it’s starting to freeze up, it will switch to the defrost cycle. During this cycle, the heat transferred from outside is essentially retransferred to the condenser coils in your outside unit.

This works to melt the ice that has formed over the condenser coils. This process typically takes around 30 minutes. During this time, you’ll notice steam coming from your outdoor compressor unit. That’s completely normal as the ice has melted off.

Tips For Defrosting Your Heat Pump

Every now and then, your heat pump may not switch over to the defrost cycle. Or, it may experience another malfunction that causes unwanted ice buildup on your exterior HVAC unit. You can manually defrost your unit in just a few simple steps.

To get started, you’ll want to turn off your heat pump at the circuit breaker. Next, use your garden house to spray the heat pump with water to melt the ice. Avoid attempting to chip or hammer the ice away, as you could cause damage to the unit. Once the ice has melted, turn your heat pump back on at the circuit breaker.

If there is still some ice present on your unit, you’ll want to turn your unit to ‘Fan’ mode. Let it run in this mode until all the ice melts away. It’s always a good idea to assess why your system froze over in the first place. One common culprit that many homeowners find is an ineffective gutter that spills excess water onto the exterior heat pump unit. Fixing the faulty gutter can prevent this problem from happening again.

Contact Us Today

If you’re still experiencing problems with your heat pump, it’s best to call in our HVAC professional at Master Mechanical. They can assist in determining the root cause of why your heat pump keeps freezing up and why your defrost cycle isn’t working.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Wondering Why Your AC Coils are Frozen?

AC coils can freeze any time of year—and that can be a major problem for your home’s heating and cooling system. Whether winter is fast-approaching or spring is finally here, it’s always a good time to check in on your AC. By spotting issues early—and by integrating preventative maintenance into your annual routine—you’ll keep your AC coils in good, working order, while ensuring your indoor spaces are always cool and comfortable.

What Causes an AC Coil to Freeze?

AC coils freeze for a variety of reasons—the most common, though, is lack of airflow. Dirty air filters or problems with your duct work can cause weak airflow, which hinders your equipment and its ability to keep coils warm and running properly. Temperatures drop and the AC coils freeze.

Refrigerant leaks and a wide variety of mechanical issues can also result in frozen coils. The cooling process, for example, creates condensation that can pool on the coils and freeze if it isn’t drained properly. The ice insulates the coil and interrupts the heat transfer process.

Signs of a Frozen AC Coil

Regardless of how AC coils freeze, the end result is usually the same: your AC system can’t effectively cool your home. Plus, you’ll probably run up your utility bill desperately trying to achieve a comfortable indoor climate.
Unsure if you have a frozen coil? Here are some signs to watch for

AC unit runs but doesn’t emit cold air

Ice is visible on the indoor or outdoor coils

Visible extra moisture/condensation around your AC system or home

Troubleshooting Frozen AC Coils

1. Ensure the air filter is new and clean. Clogged air filters restrict airflow, causing the equipment cool and freeze.

2. Turn off the thermostat setting and turn the fan on. This process pushes air over the indoor air coil, potentially unfreezing it. Check back in several hours.

3. If your heating and cooling system has a heat pump, turn on defrost mode. Your AC unit may also have instructions for de-icing.

How Do I Fix a Frozen AC Coil?

If you’ve followed these DIY steps above and still aren’t feeling any cool, it’s time to call Choate’s HVAC. During your free inspection, we’ll assess your system and make a recommendation for repairs. Whether it’s a quick professional coil cleaning to remove dirt and grime, correcting refrigerant leaks, repairing ductwork or eliminating clogs in the drain pan and lines, we’ll get to the bottom of your coil freezing fast, and get your space cool and comfortable.

If your AC unit isn’t emitting cool air or your system is due for annual maintenance, get in touch today to schedule a consultation. If you haven’t turned on your AC system in a while, it’s a good idea to start it up and test it before the summer heat hits.

There are few things more disappointing than finally making it home after a long, hot day in the sun and discovering that your AC is on the fritz. One of the most common air conditioning malfunctions is for a unit to freeze up. Don’t let its name fool you, when your AC freezes, you and your home are left in the heat. You can either open up all of your windows and hope for a breeze, or follow these three steps to getting your air conditioner up and running again.

1. Check your filter

A dirty filter could be the underlying cause of this sweaty debacle you now find yourself in. Locate your return vent, unscrew the cover and check your filter. If it’s dirty, simply replace it. It’s an easy process and new filters can be found at almost any home improvement store.

2. Thaw out your AC

To thaw out your AC, you need to take two easy steps. First, switch your thermostat to OFF and your fan to ON. This will start defrosting your A-Coil, found inside your home. Give your unit a few hours to fully defrost. If you want to escape the heat for those few hours, head to your local movie theater. High temperatures and air-conditioned movie theaters are what gave birth to the summer blockbuster. You can take a page out of your great-great-grandparents’ book and escape the heat at the movies.

The second step is to locate your air handler and the frozen coil. Due to all of the melting and dripping about to take place, it’s a smart idea to inspect your condensate pan. If it isn’t draining properly, you could wind up with a lot of water damage on your hands. If it is draining properly, you can treat your home to cool and fresh-smelling air by dropping a few condensate pan-cleaning tablets into your pan. This will help in preventing any build up over time and eliminate any odors.

3. Start ‘er up!

After allowing your AC reasonable thawing period, switch your thermostat back to COOL. If the air comes out cooler than room temperature, your AC is up and running again.

It’s always smart, however, to call a local AC company, let them know what happened and have someone come out to inspect your unit. If the system is freezing (especially if it’s happening over and over), that’s usually a sign that something is wrong.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

When your air conditioner is working properly and efficiently, it should not produce any sound louder than a low hum. If you hear a strange, distracting buzz from your AC unit, that’s usually an indication that something is wrong.

There are several issues that can lead to a buzzing sound from your AC unit. While some are simple, others may be quite serious, requiring an immediate call for professional air conditioning repair services.

Check out these 5 common reasons why your AC is making a loud buzzing sound:

1. Condenser fan motor issue

When your AC unit is turned on, the condenser fan blows air from the outside unit. If the fan blades are not turning but the inside blower is working fine, the compressor motor may emit a loud buzzing noise. Loose parts, a malfunctioning fan, or debris inside the unit can all prevent the blade from turning. In this case, we suggest calling an HVAC professional to trace down the problem.

2. Loose ac parts

Your AC system is made up of many moving parts and occasionally, the components can vibrate so much that they come loose. Even tiny parts can sometimes affect the performance and efficiency of your AC, and can also lead to more expensive issues over time. Are you wondering how long you might have before this becomes a complete AC breakdown? A reputable HVAC technician can identify and correct the issue.

3. Frozen ac unit

An air conditioner that runs continuously for long periods of time can freeze up, creating a loud buzzing noise. If this happens with your unit, turn off the AC immediately and allow the unit time to thaw. Try again after a few hours of thaw time. Refrigerant leaks may also lead to frozen coils. If this happens again, don’t delay scheduling air conditioning repair services immediately.

4. Damage to the isolation foot

The AC compressor is almost always mounted on the base of the AC unit. It sits on a small rubber foot, also called isolation foot. Over time, the rubber on the isolation foot can crack or deteriorate. This results in the compressor being unbalanced–producing a buzzing noise when operating.

5. Compressor malfunction

Your air conditioning unit’s compressor works to pressurize and cool the refrigerant. A buzzing sound may indicate that the compressor is not working properly, or that there’s an electrical problem. Contact a reputable HVAC contractor for professional air conditioning repair services to have your system properly diagnosed and fixed.

Now that temperatures are heating up, we are starting to see an increased number of calls from homeowners with air conditioner freezing as their problem. We usually get the call after the homeowner goes outside to see why their AC is not cooling and discovers that the outside unit of their air conditioner freezing up into a solid block of ice. Regardless of the type of air conditioner, most cases of air conditioner freezing can be attributed to a handful of causes.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Insufficient Air Flow

If there is not enough air flowing through your air conditioning system, your evaporator coil will eventually freeze up and cause your AC unit to freeze up and stop working. The most common cause of this is a dirty air filter. Dirt can also collect on the evaporator coil itself causing it to become clogged. This typically happens if the AC system was allowed to run without a filter or if the filter used was extremely dirty, too small for the system, or of poor quality. Air flow problems can also be caused by a faulty fan or closed or blocked ducts and vents.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Low Refrigerant

If you find yourself having to add refrigerant to your air conditioner once or twice a season, it is a safe bet that you have a leak somewhere within the system. Leaks can develop as parts vibrate or rub together over time or when joints or fittings become loose. A leak can cause the pressure within the evaporator coil to drop. Moisture then collects and freezes on the coil. The ice continues to build from the inside to the outside of your air conditioner until it can no longer function.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Air Temperature

The outdoor air temperature needs to be within a certain range in order for an air conditioner to run effectively. Even an AC that is in perfect working order may not run well if the outside air temperature is too low. When the AC is allowed to run when outside temperature is too cool, the pressure inside the system can drop and cause home AC freezing up. This is a common problem here in Colorado, especially during late spring and early summer when daytime temperatures can be quite warm but the nights are still very cool.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Defective Blower Motor

Your air conditioner may freeze up if the blower motor is not running along with the rest of the system. One sign that you may have a defective blower motor is that the outside portion of your air conditioner will run, but the indoor portion of the system does not work at all.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Stuck Contactor

A small part on the outside portion of your air conditioner called a contactor can become stuck. This allows the outside unit to run continuously so that it will eventually freeze up. You can see if this is the problem by turning your air conditioner off at the thermostat. If the outside unit continues to run even when the thermostat is off, you most likely have a contactor that is stuck. The only way to turn off the system in this situation is to shut it off at the circuit breaker.

Contact Us For AC Repair

How To Prevent Your AC From Freezing

Most causes of air conditioner freezes can be prevented with basic maintenance and regular tune-ups. We recommend that homeowners in Loveland, Fort Collins, Longmont and the surrounding areas change the filter in the air conditioner on a regular basis. Depending on the type of filter that you have, filters should be changed every one to three months. You may want to do this more frequently if you have had recent construction in your home or have pets since these can increase the amount of particulates in the air. You should also consider turning off your air conditioner and opening up your windows if the nighttime temperature is forecasted to drop below 60°F.

At Swan, we also offer local residents an affordable AC tune-up package. Our technicians will clean, inspect, and test more than 20 of your air conditioner’s operating and safety features to ensure that your AC runs reliably and efficiently for years to come.

What To Do If Your AC Freezes

If your air conditioner keeps freezing up, you should turn it off immediately. Not only does continuing to run your AC not do any good, but it can cause substantial damage to the system. Other than checking for a dirty air filter, diagnosing and repairing the problem should be left to an HVAC professional. Trying to clean, replace, or repair any of the other components yourself can cause further damage and even void your manufacturer’s warranty.

Dealing with a frozen AC also requires a certain amount of patience. Just like an iceberg, the ice that you see on the outside of your AC unit is just a part of the problem. If there is ice that you can see, then the inside of your air conditioner is a solid block of ice that can take several hours to melt even in the heat of summer. Once you are able to turn on your air conditioner, it can take several more hours for the inside of your home to reach a comfortable temperature.

At Swan Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., your family’s comfort is our number one priority. Call today to schedule your annual AC tune-up. Our professional and highly-trained HVAC technicians are also available 24 hours a day for all of your emergency air conditioning repair needs.

About Swan Heating & Air Conditioning

SWAN Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. was founded over 10 years ago, with over 50,000 satisfied customers, and is proud to provide home-owners in Northern Colorado with a full range of residential HVAC repair services.

Commonly HVAC Problems and Solutions Air conditioner or Heat Pump with ice on it in summer

It is possible even common to see ice on your heat pump or air conditioner in the summer. Boer Brothers Heating and Cooling sees a hundred of them a summer. But it means something in your system isn’t well. We use the word system because that is really what we are dealing with. There is an outside unit, an inside unit, some copper tubing which connects them and a system of air delivery conduits called ducts (not ducks). Ice on your system is a symptom which could mean many things. Some of these issues homeowners can fix themselves and save some time and coin, and some that do require one of those smiling guys in the blue shirts.

Step one is to turn off the system. “What? but it is 90 degrees in the house already.” Exactly, the system isn’t doing its job. The ice on the unit makes it impossible for the heat transfer to happen so it causes loss of cooling. One typical response is to turn the thermostat temperature down but usually this just exasperates the issues. Even in a working system we suggest leaving the thermostat at 70 or above. It reduces that chance of the unit sweating into the ductwork and freezing up the unit.

If you are interested in doing a little initial detective work check these things before calling in a service provider.

Is the thermostat set too low? (try turning off the unit for a few hours and then restart it after raising the thermostat to above 70 degrees)

Even if there is an issue this will usually get you a few hours of cooling as the ice slowly builds back up.

Do you have a dirty air filter

It is easy to forget to change those suckers. Every 30 days they should be changed. More often during pollen season or if you have had some type of dirt creating event in your home, like construction or the grand kids visiting over the Easter Holiday. A dirty filter doesn’t allow enough air flow. Air flow is moved across the coils to transfer heat. No air flow no heat transfer. This creates ice.

Closed Vents

Same issue, no air no heat transfer.

Running air conditioner with windows or doors open

One of the great things about air conditioning is that it takes humidity our of the air. The 10-20 degrees of cooling is nice but the lower humidity is really the key to a livable space here in the south. Leaving the windows open introduces lots of humidity into the space. The cooler temperatures of the indoor space forces the moisture out of the air because warmer air can hold more moisture than cooler air.

If you’ve defrosted your system, checked your air filter and turned the AC back on without improvements in your system’s operation, then you need to check with a professional. It may take some time for ice to form again, making it important to continue to monitor your coil for a few days. If you detect ice, you should make that call for professional diagnostics. Be sure to turn your system off again to avoid damage.

Issues that require a pro

Low refrigerant charge

Without enough refrigerant that heat transfer doesn’t happen efficiently enough. This can cause the unit to ice up. The refrigerant circuit is closed, none should be escaping so if it is low, your system is either losing some gas or it never was properly charged. You will need to have your refrigerant level measured the piping system checked for leaks and repaired if necessary and then recharged to the proper levels.

Refrigerant Restriction

The same problem can happen if somewhere in your piping system there is a blockage. Again we will need to check for the restriction and replace the piping where it exists or the replace the capillary tube.

Bad Fan Motor or Fan Relay

If your fan is not working or the electronics that run the fan are not providing power to it than there is not airflow. The heat transfer doesn’t happen and again ice can build up. The fan or the relay or both may need to be replaced

Thermostat Issues

Issues with the defrost cycle which is controlled by the thermostat can lead to ice accumulation. The thermostat may need to be replaced.

Dirty Indoor Coil

A very dirty indoor coil can also create issues with heat transfer

Nothing works harder to keep you cool during the warm months than your air conditioner. Sometimes, however, your air conditioner might get a little too cool, causing the system not to function properly. One of the most common components in an AC unit that freezes is the evaporator coil. But what is an evaporator coil, and why does it freeze? And is there anything you can do about it?

What is an evaporator coil?

The evaporator coil of your air conditioner is one of the primary components in the heat exchange process, which allows your system to heat and cool your home. As your AC unit pulls in the warm air from your home, it passes this air over the evaporator coils. The coils contain liquid refrigerant that turns into gas once it interacts with warm air particles. This process works to quickly cool the air, which the blower fan then sends throughout your home. In simpler terms, the coils hold the cold refrigerant and remove the heat from the air as it passes over them. For heating, the process is essentially reversed, creating heat from the air and pushing it into your home instead of removing it.

6 Causes of a Frozen Evaporator Coil

1. Lack of Airflow

As stated above, the evaporator coils work by absorbing heat from the air. But if they don’t have enough heat to absorb, the condensation on the coils can freeze. Low airflow can be caused by dozens of problems within the AC system, such as a malfunctioning blower fan, dirty air filters, or even damaged ductwork.

2. Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter creates the same airflow problem mentioned above, preventing the evaporator coils from absorbing the necessary amount of heat from the air to function properly. Dirty air filters can also can spread dirt and clog up other parts of your system, including the coils themselves.

3. Dirty Evaporator Coils

If your evaporator coils collect too much dirt or debris, the heat exchange process can become obstructed. Dirty coils will be unable to properly absorb the heat from the air, causing the condensation to become too cold and freeze.

4. Refrigerant Problems

Ironic though it may seem, having low refrigerant in your system can actually lead to frozen evaporator coils. Low refrigerant causes the system to overwork, which can lead to the condensation on the coils freezing. AC units work on a closed system, meaning that refrigerant doesn’t simply run out. Therefore, if you have low refrigerant, the problem is either a refrigerant leak in your system or an insufficient charge.

5. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Low

Similar to how the coils freeze when there is restricted airflow, they can also freeze if the air temperature is too low that your system is trying to cool. Since the coils work by absorbing heat from the air, lack of such heat can lead to the condensation on the coils freezing over.

6. Clogged Drainpipe

Condensation forming on the evaporator coils is a natural part of how they function. However, if the drain pipe is clogged or otherwise hindered, too much condensation may develop on the coils, which can then freeze.

How to Fix a Frozen Evaporator Coil

While many evaporator coil problems will require professional inspection and repair, there are some things you can do on your own.

Thaw the Coils

The first thing you should do is to let the coils thaw by turning the AC system off. Depending on the particular situation, the coils could take up 24 hours to thaw on their own. You can also speed this process up by turning the system to “fan only.” This setting allows warm air to blow over the coils without the refrigerant cycle. If there is a significant amount of ice, you’ll want to have materials available to catch the water so that it doesn’t harm other parts of the system — or simply make a mess.

Check the Air Filter

If you notice that the air filter is clogged or dirty, that might be the cause of the problem. Simply install a new filter, wait for the system to thaw completely, and resume function. If problems persist, call a professional.

Clean the Coils

While this may be a task better suited for a professional technician, you can clean the evaporator coils yourself if you are a confident DIY-er.

Step 1. Turn the AC system completely off, preferably at the panel and the breaker.

Step 2. Locate the coils. They will be housed in the air handler near the blower fan. You may need to consult the manual or other resources if you are having trouble finding them.

Step 3. Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of warm water and regular household cleaning detergent.

Step 4. Spray the solution and let it sit for up to 10 minutes.

Step 5. Gently wipe away the debris from the coils with a soft cloth.

Call a Professional

While there are several remedies you can perform on your own to alleviate frozen evaporator coils, you may not be aware of other issues going on with your AC unit. Trusting the job to a licensed professional not only gives you the peace of mind that the work is done correctly, but also you can be confident knowing that they will catch any surrounding issues as well.

How Preventative Maintenance Can Help

While regular wear and tear is part of any AC unit’s lifespan, preventative maintenance is one of the most effective ways to ensure your system is working properly. This includes changing your air filters regularly (every 60-90 days, as a general guide) as well as having a professional technician inspect and tuneup your system — at least annually, but we recommend having this done before the summer and before the winter months each year.

If You Need to AC Repairs, We Can Help

At Complete Air Mechanical, we have experienced HVAC professionals who can inspect and repair your air conditioner. We provide services in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties, and we offer financing options.

Call us at (407) 915-0144 and let us make your home comfortable.

Give us a call today to speak with one of our dedicated team members, or schedule an appointment online by clicking the button below!

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Our team at Comfortable Design regularly gets calls about frozen heat pumps. Though common, a heat pump freeze-up usually means your system’s components are not working correctly. Sometimes you can fix it yourself. But often times, you will need to call a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional, like us, as the problem may require a part replacement or complex repair.

Heat Pump Brain Freeze

To help sort things out, here are the six usual suspects causing heat pumps to freeze up:

1. Clogged Air Filter

When air filters are left to collect particles for too long, they become clogged. This hinders airflow, trapping moisture. Dust, pet dander, and smoke are just a few examples of things that can clog your filter.

The National Air Filter Association (NAFA) recommends changing your system’s filter as soon as it is loaded with dust and debris. How quickly your filter becomes clogged depends on many factors in your home. At Comfortable Design, we recommend switching to a new filter minimally every three months.

Try replacing your air filter, then running your unit’s heat setting to melt the ice. If this does not clear the problem, contact one of our trained experts to come out to help.

2. Low or Empty Refrigerant

If your heat pump is low on refrigerant, it may be leaking. This can be from of a weakened solder joint, a failed valve, or unsecured fittings. Also, when a component rubs against the refrigerant tank over time, it could eventually puncture it, leading to a freeze-up.

When the pipes start rattling, play it safe and power down your heat pump. Then contact one of our HVAC professionals for immediate inspection.

3. Filthy Evaporator Coil

Refrigerant flows through your heat pump’s evaporator coil. It transports heat into your Wrightsville home during cool weather and pulls it out during hot weather. When the coil becomes dirty, its ability to transfer heat is impaired. Compromised airflow can lead to a freeze-up.

If you notice ice on your coils, power down your heat pump. Then gently pour warm water over the coils to melt the ice. If your coils freeze back up, call one of our HVAC team members.

4. Faulty Blower Motor

If your blower motor is not up to speed, it can wreak havoc on your system, leading to a freeze-up.

The fan may start and stop intermittently, run at a reduced spinning cycle, or not run at all. If this is the case, have someone from Comfortable Design replace it.

5. Dirty Fan Blades

When the blower’s fan blades are dirty, this compromises the system’s airflow and exhaust output. Moisture may become trapped and turn into ice. If this happens, give us a call to correct it, as the fan blades are quite delicate.

6. Wintertime Neglect

Depending on your heat pump model and your Pennsylvania home’s geographic location, some air-source heat pumps (ASHPs) do not always operate efficiently in colder temperatures. Check with one of our experts if this is an issue for your heat pump.

Also, the unit should be completely level with the ground; any tilting can cause moisture to get trapped and become frozen. Again, talk to our HVAC professionals if you believe your heat pump is not level.

Finally, your unit should be away from gutter flow, as this can cause ice formation. During the winter, always check for ice accumulation around or on your unit, and clear it to prevent further issues.

Contact Us With Any Heat Pump Issues

Experiencing a frozen heat pump? Our Comfortable Design team of experienced HVAC professionals is just around the corner in Wrightsville, PA, to assist you. Call us today at 717-252-2078 or request service online if you need a repair or are interested in upgrading your current system.

January 18, 2019

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

So, your heat pump switches to “AUX heat” when it’s in heating mode—and you’re wondering if it’s normal.

First off, AUX heat refers to your heat pump’s auxiliary (backup) heat source. Auxiliary heat kicks on when your heat pump can’t produce enough heat to warm your home by itself.

AUX heat mode is normal when:

  1. The temperature outside is below freezing
  2. Your thermostat is calling for a high temperature increase (2–4°F)
  3. The heat pump is in defrost mode

Before we get more into when your heat pump should run in AUX heat mode, let’s go over how a heat pump heats your home.

Is your heat pump in auxiliary mode when none of the 3 situations above apply? That usually indicates malfunction, which likely means your heat pump needs a repair.

Call us at (512) 396-8183 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll send a tech right over.

How a heat pump works

To heat your home, a heat pump works like an air conditioner in reverse: it extracts heat from the air outside and sends it into your house.

Because heat pumps only transfer heat (not generate it like a furnace), they’re a highly efficient form of heating.

We cover heat pump operation in more detail in our blog, “Heat Pump vs Conventional Air Conditioner in San Marcos, TX”.

How does auxiliary heating differ from normal heat pump heating?

The answer depends on what kind of auxiliary heating your system uses. Most San Marcos homes have 1 of 2 types of auxiliary heating:

  1. Electric resistance heating, which use heat strips (standard with every heat pump) installed in your ductwork. This type of heating is highly inefficient.
  2. Gas furnace. Called a “dual-fuel system”, the gas furnace kicks on when the heat pump can no longer efficiently pull heat from the cold air outside. Dual-fuel systems are much more efficient and keep you more comfortable than electric resistance heating.

Note that auxiliary heating is not the same thing emergency heating (displayed as “EM HEAT” or “EMER” on most thermostats). While auxiliary heating indicates that your heat pump automatically switched from normal to auxiliary heating, emergency heating is a setting that allows you to manually set your system to auxiliary heating.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

You should only use your heat pump’s emergency heating mode when it’s truly an emergency (e.g., your heat pump isn’t working in winter) because manually overriding your system means it won’t run as efficiently as it can—which will result in higher energy bills.

Auxiliary heat is needed when…

The temperature outside is below freezing

Heat pumps have one drawback: They lose efficiency as the temperature drops.

Heat pumps are highly efficient to about 32°F. Below freezing, your heat pump simply can’t draw enough heat from the cold air outside and will kick on its auxiliary heat mode to generate heat for your home.

So, before you call a professional to diagnose a problem, check the outdoor temperature. If it’s an unusually cold day in San Marcos, don’t be surprised to see “AUX heat” on the thermostat.

Your thermostat is calling for a high temperature increase

When the temperature inside your home is more than 2–4°F above your thermostat’s set temperature, the auxiliary heat will turn on. (The actual temperature differential will depend on your heat pump model.)

This happens because your system is trying to generate a lot of heat to warm your home quicker than it would with normal heat pump heating. Once the inside temperature reaches the set thermostat temperature, your system should go back to using normal heat pump heating.

To avoid this problem, we recommend limiting how often you raise the temperature more than 2–4°F.

The heat pump is in defrost mode

Although we don’t get a lot of sub-freezing temperatures in San Marcos, your heat pump could enter what’s called “defrost mode”, which prevents your outdoor unit from freezing over.

In defrost mode, your system will essentially run in cooling mode for a few minutes to allow the coils in the outdoor unit to warm up.

You’ll know your system is in defrost mode if the outdoor fan has stopped circulating and you see puffs of steam coming from the unit. Some models even have a blinking light on the outdoor unit that indicates your unit is in defrost mode.

During defrost mode, your system will use auxiliary heating to heat your home in the meantime. The heat pump should kick back to normal heating mode after a few minutes.

Think your heat pump isn’t working properly? Call a San Marcos tech.

We’ll come diagnose the problem and repair your heat pump. Learn more about what to expect when you hire us on our heat pump repair page.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Do you notice ice on your central air conditioning system? Although this may seem illogical, this is an ordinary issue. Despite it being one of the hottest days of the year, a homeowner may wake up to discover a frozen AC unit. Without the proper training and equipment, you may not know what to do next. To help you restore the flow of cold air in your home, we have summarized various ways to fix a frozen air conditioner. In addition, there are a variety of preventative measures to eliminate this issue in the future.

Table of Contents

Why Is My Air Conditioner Frozen?

Clogged Air Filters

When is the last time you cleaned or replaced your AC filters? Dirty air filters may negatively impact the airflow in your central air conditioning system. As a result, moisture in your system won’t be able to settle on the coils properly. This issue will cause the the coils in your central air conditioning system to become frozen and will negatively impact the efficiency of your system.

How to Fix

If your air conditioner is frozen due to contaminated air filters, you will be required to deactivate the system. This issue is likely caused by hindered airflow. Keep your air conditioner off for 1 to 24 hours to give it time to defrost. Once the system is deactivated, we recommend operating the fan for an hour. While the fan runs, change your air filter according to the directions of your unit model.

You can also visit our site to discover the best ways to clean your air filters according to type. Once your AC filters are replaced, your air conditioner system should work properly. Of course, if you complete these directions and discover that your AC is still not working, contact an expert technician right away!

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hoursRefrigerant Leaks

Are the coils in your air conditioner frozen? A refrigerant leak may cause the pressure in your system to drop, which triggers the refrigerant to expand and freeze. If you’re dealing with a refrigerant leak, this usually indicates a bigger issue.

How to Fix

The best way to fix a frozen air conditioner unit is to seek professional help. Typically, refrigerant leaks are a signal of a bigger issue such as a mechanical failure. You can attempt to fix this issue by refilling the refrigerant in your system. However, this will only temporarily solve the problem. Allow a trained technician to perform an air conditioning repair in Alexandria, VA and receive the best return from your investment.

How to Fix a Frozen Air Conditioner Unit

Contaminated Air Filters

There are many reasons your air conditioner may freeze. The two main causes of frozen ac coils include clogged air filters or a refrigerant leak. If your air filters are dirty, deactivate your system for 24 hours to eliminate the buildup of ice. Next, travel to a local hardware store to purchase a new air filter for your central air conditioning system.

Refrigerant Leaks

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

If your air conditioner is frozen due to a refrigerant leak, this indicates a bigger problem such as mechanical failure and will need to be addressed by a professional HVAC technician. Ultimately, scheduling routine maintenance will extend the life of your air conditioner unit and prevent issues from occurring.

Prevent the Air Conditioner From Freezing in the Future

The best way to prevent a frozen air conditioner is to clean your air conditioner continuously each year. How often you should clean your air conditioner may vary from home to home. Considering your household size, the number of pets owned, type of air filter model, and potential asthma and allergic individuals in your home—you’ll need to replace your air conditioner filters every 60 days to 90 days to prevent frozen air conditioning coils.

To prevent a moisture issue with your air conditioner, it’s important to clean your evaporator coils once a year. Replace air filters frequently (every 60 to 90 days) and even buy air filters in bulk. Clear twigs, dust, and debris from the outdoor unit. These measures will extend the lifespan of your AC unit.

Ultimately, to ensure your frozen air conditioning system is handled properly, contacting your local technician is the safest solution.

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hoursHeating & Air Conditioning Services

Is your AC unit frozen and you don’t know what to do? When your air conditioning unit is causing you trouble, call the team at Snell Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer reliable HVAC services such as air conditioning repair, furnace replacement, heating system maintenance, and air conditioner tune-up. Give our team a call by phone at (703) 543-9649 to receive help with a heating or cooling issue. For reliable technicians that’ll keep your home all summer long, contact us for an appointment today!

Have you ever heard of a situation when your AC gets freezed, if not then try and believe it? Yes, your AC can reach a point where it will get freezed and you will ponder as what to do in such a state. Our article will give you tips to first identify that your AC has frozen and what you should do to prevent it and how can it be fixed.

Is My Air Conditioner Frozen?

Do you see signs of Ice Buildup in your AC

The first and foremost sign that your air conditioner has an ice build-up could be when your thermostat hasn’t reached the desired setting. If your air conditioning unit isn’t functioning properly or isn’t cooling properly then put your hand above one of the supply registers and sense the air coming out of it. If it is blowing warm air instead of cool air, then switch off the AC and open the access panel to the evaporator. Post this you might witness that the coils on the equipment are covered with ice, or there is ice on the panel itself. Another thing could also be that the system’s refrigerant may have dropped below 32 degrees, resulting in frozen AC

What to do in such a case?

A lot many times, you can defrost the air conditioner yourself. Ideally you should not turn on the AC if you think your AC is frozen as it can put pressure on the compressor resulting in bigger loss of the AC unit itself. Find the circuit box and switch the button off which controls power to your air conditioner. Kingroot Now just turn off the system and turn the blower on to help soften the evaporator coils. Don’t remove ice with your hands as it could damage the components. Remove any standing water that may have collected inside the equipment.

Once the water is removed, it’s essential that you dry the coils. Now connect the thermostat control to switch on the blower or fan. You can also use your hair dryer to blow dry the system. Just remember not to put too much pressure of heat on the coils, as it could crack them possibly.

How Do You Fix It?

There could be many reasons for a frozen air conditioner to take place. In the best possible situation, it is advised that you hire a qualified HVAC technician and do not take the plunge of doing it yourself. Sometimes, trying your hand in everything can cause major damage to the AC unit and property. Instead of saving few bucks you will end up spending more.

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How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

Last Updated on 05/07/2021

Ice on and around your air conditioner may initially catch you by surprise – especially in the middle of summer. You may quickly check the inside of your AC and found the coils covered in ice as well. It will not take you long before you understand there is a problem in your air conditioner. Of course, you should call an aircon repair service to fix the problem as soon as possible. However, it would be a good idea to check a few things on your own before you call a technician.

Why does my air conditioner freezing up?

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

There are a number of reasons why an air conditioner freezes up. You need to identify the exact cause in your case. Insufficient air flow is one common cause. If the cool air is obstructed inside your AC, it may make the evaporative coils dirty and excessively cool, causing icing around the coils. Any leaks in the refrigerant lines may also cause freezing up. The low outdoor temperature could be a reason as well, especially when the temperature falls below 60 degrees F.

How Will I Know My AC Froze Up?

It’s easy to tell if your AC has frozen up because there are three clear signs. You might see ice on the unit, feel warm air coming from a vent near it or hear hissing noises that sound like escaping gas. If you notice any of these warning signals, be sure to call an AC technician as soon as possible!

How long will it take for my AC to unfreeze?

Your air conditioner can take anywhere from an hour to even a whole day just for the unit itself. If you catch this early enough before more damage is inflicted on your equipment- then whatever amount of time that takes (an hour or a full 24 hours) could be reduced if caught in time! The blower motor located inside pulls warm air from within the home and blows over refrigerant coils that make up an evaporator.

Can An AC Freeze Because of A Drain Clog?

Your AC might be freezing because of a clogged drain. A condensate line can get blocked, trapping water in the air conditioner and causing your evaporator coil to turn into ice. Drain moisture that freezes will also cause your AC to shut off!

Can My AC Freeze Because Of A Dirty Filter?

A dirty filter can cause your AC to freeze up. Air filters can become dirty over time, leading to poor airflow of the cold air you want. A clogged filter traps that cold inside and may even make ice start forming on your AC’s coils. Once this happens, an otherwise-working machine becomes inoperable due to a buildup of frost.

How do you fix a frozen AC coil?

If you notice ice on your air conditioner, you should take the following steps.

1. Defrost the unit

Simply start by turning off your AC unit. Make sure you place a large tray under the unit to collect the water as the ice melts. You can also run the AC in ‘fan only’ mode to let the ice thaw. Then clean the entire unit with dry clothes.

2. Check the temperature setting

Ice can build up in your AC if you set the temperature too low. Ideally, you should not set the temperature more than 18 degrees lower than the outdoor temperature. So check the temperature and adjust the thermostat settings accordingly.

3. Check for any obstructions

If there is any furniture or other obstructions in front of your air conditioner, consider removing those, so that the unit gets space to release the cool air without any problem.

4. Clean the air filter

You can easily remove the air filter from the unit. Check whether the filter is dirty. It is important to clean the filter and coils regularly. Without regular maintenance, your AC’s air filter may accumulate dust, dirt, and may get clogged, obstructing the air flow inside the system. Clean the filter with water and soap. If required, consider replacing the filter to improve air flow throughout the system.

5. Clean the outside unit

Whether you are using a window AC, a central AC, or a mini-split AC, it will have a large unit installed outside your home. You should check the outdoor unit for any blockage or obstruction in airflow. Sometimes a foreign object may block the air flow or there could be a problem with a dirty filter obstructing normal air circulation. You need to clean the outdoor unit and see whether the problem goes away.

Watch this video if you wish to know more.

The Bottom Line

If the problem persists, consider calling an aircon repair service immediately. An AC technician is the best person to detect the root cause of the problem and provide you with a permanent solution.

September 4, 2020 by Darren Beasley

Storms are never good news. In addition to causing damage to your property, they can also lead to power outages in your area. When the power comes back on but your air conditioner remains inoperable, there’s a set of instructions you can easily follow to restart the system. Here the premier heating repair company in the area, M & M Heating & Air Conditioning Service Co. offers a short, step-by-step guide:

How to safely defrost your air conditioner in 24 hours

1. Switch off your AC system via the thermostat. Just like with a laptop, you’ll need to shut down your air conditioner before you can reset it. You can simply turn it off via your thermostat; just look for the system switch on that device and push it to the OFF position.

2. Turn off the air conditioner at the circuit breaker. After turning the AC off using the thermostat, you’ll need to do it again, but at the circuit breaker this time. Find the switch for your central heating and air conditioning system at the circuit breaker and switch it OFF.

3. Go back to the circuit breaker. Once you’ve fully shut down your air conditioning system, it’s time to turn it back on. Return to the circuit breaker and flip the AC switch back to the ON position.

4. Wait for half an hour. After you’ve turned the system back on, it will take a bit of time for the air conditioner’s internal circuitry to reset. It usually takes about 30 minutes, so sit tight until then.

5. Switch on the AC system at the thermostat. Once half an hour has passed, go back to the thermostat and turn your air conditioner back on. If it resets successfully, this usually means your air conditioning system didn’t suffer any damage due to the power outage. If it still won’t start, you might want to call a trusted local furnace and air conditioning company like M & M Heating & Air Conditioning Service Co. for a thorough inspection and potential repair work.

Look no further than M & M Heating & Air Conditioning Service Co. for the highest quality HVAC solutions. We proudly serve Stockton, CA, and the nearby areas. Call us today at (209) 952-6580 or fill out this contact form to schedule your consultation.

Exact Answer: 24 hours

Whereas it might look counter-intuitive for your ac to freeze during the hottest months of the year, this usually does happen occasionally.

Consequently, you end up frustrated, especially if you were unprepared and may have to deal with the discomfort of staying inside your home, albeit the hot weather.

There, in this article, you will be taken through the steps you need to follow to defrost your frozen ac as well as why this usually happens.

Going forward, you will be better placed to know what to do to have your frozen ac up and running efficiently.

How long will you take to defrost a frozen ac?

The duration your air conditioner takes to defrost depends on the extent that ice has accumulated.

Nevertheless, the period usually lasts between one hour to more than 24 hours. Additionally, as you waiting for your ac to defrost, you need to look out for;

Clogged condensate drain

While the ice on the ice evaporator coil is melting, water starts to drip into the condensate drain pan, and through the condensate drain line, it flows outside.

Occasionally, dirt accumulation along the drain typically forms a clog hence causing the backup and overflow of water.

Overflowing drain pan

If you have access to an indoor AC unit, you may wish to place several towels on the floor around the unit which assists in preventing water damage in case the thawing ice overflows the drain pan and begins leaking on the floor.

Why does defrosting a frozen ac take this long?

Defrosting a frozen ac takes between one to 24 hours because you need to follow all the steps carefully to ensure it gets to work correctly.

Discussed below are the steps you need to follow through this entire process.

Inspect the vent filters

Carefully check the vent filters to confirm whether there is any clog that is restricting the flow of air.

Air conditioners typically freeze due to dirty filters, thus whenever you notice any discoloration or dirt, replace them and observe whether this addresses the issue.

Inspect the fins and coils: Check the cooling fins and coils surrounding the evaporator to confirm if you need to clean them.

If cleaning is necessary, make use of a soft brush to take off any debris or dirt gently.

Check the coolant levels

Low levels of coolant usually affect the pressure within the air conditioner as well as the cooling efficiency thereby resulting in freezing.

Furthermore, to correct or check the refrigerant levels, use a coolant installation kit.

Reset the power

After implementing the necessary steps to defrost and rectify all issues in your frozen ac, carry out tests to examine whether it is being done correctly.

Additionally, if the breaker is switched off, restore the power and then turn on the thermostat until it reaches the cool setting.

Consequently, you need to feel the vent blowing fresh air, and in case there still is an issue, the air will be warm, or the system cycles take long.

Conclusion

Having gone through this article, you now have a better understanding of the duration it takes to defrost your frozen air conditioner.

Moreover, you also know as to why this happens and steps necessary to remedy this issue. Subsequently, you will no longer get to suffer from excess heat while in your home.