Your air conditioner's job is to be cold – but what happens when it gets too cold? Your air conditioning compressor can freeze. Ice can accumulate on the coils, and once the coils get too cold, the unit may simply stop functioning until it thaws out. It's important to know what to do when your air conditioner freezes and how to stop this from happening again.
Turn off the unit.
Head over to your thermostat, and turn it to the "off" setting. You need to give the unit enough time to thaw out completely. If you leave it switch on, it will turn off long enough to thaw a little, and then turn back on and freeze itself up again, getting caught in a vicious cycle.
Check the drainage line.
A common cause of a frozen air conditioner is a blocked drainage line. If the line becomes clogged, the water will not drain away from the coils and will instead remain on their surface, freezing into ice. While you're waiting for the air conditioner to thaw out, take a look at the condensation line (it's usually a clear, flexible tube). Make sure it looks clear and that water is dripping out of it. If there is debris caught in it, you can try using a pipe cleaner or long wire to push it out. A bad blockage may require that your HVAC technician remove the line and replace it.
Change your air filter.
Another common cause of a freezing air conditioner is the buildup of dirt and debris on the coils. The dirt holds onto water rather than letting it drain away, and eventually it freezes. Changing your air filter will ensure no more dirt builds up on the coils.
Open all of the vents.
Some homeowners close some of their air vents in an effort to keep certain rooms warmer. This is not always the best thing for your air conditioner, as it can impede the flow of air. If not enough air is flowing past the coils, they are more likely to freeze. Re-opening all of the vents should increase air flow and prevent future freezing.
Once your unit appears to be completely thawed, you can turn it back on again. The actions you have taken in the meantime should ensure it does not freeze again. If it does re-freeze, call your HVAC contractor. There may be a larger problem that is causing a lack of air flow across the coils or a buildup of water in the unit.
For air conditioning service, contact a company such as Jones Air Conditioning & Electric.