How To Unfreeze AC Coils in 7 Steps

image of an outdoor air conditioning unit that has frozen ac coil

As summer arrives, homeowners rely on air conditioners to keep their homes cool and comfortable. However, when your air conditioner malfunctions, your home can quickly become uncomfortably hot, posing a potential risk to some family members.

One of the common issues that can hinder air conditioning systems from functioning correctly is a frozen AC coil, also known as a frozen evaporator coil. Keep reading to learn how to unfreeze AC coils. If you are uncertain or uncomfortable performing the necessary steps, contact a professional HVAC technician to address the frozen AC coil and perform the necessary maintenance.

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Frozen AC Coil: What You Need To Know

Continue reading to learn about AC coils, the causes of air conditioner coil freezing, the associated issues, and the steps to take when encountering this problem.

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What Is an AC Evaporator Coil?

air conditioner condensing coils

The evaporator coil is a part of your air conditioning system that contains refrigerant. It absorbs heat from the air before passing it to the next component of the system. If the evaporator coil freezes, it cannot effectively cool the air circulating throughout your home.

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Signs You Have a Frozen Evaporator Coil

If you suspect your air conditioning unit might have frozen coils, there are some specific signs to look out for to identify this issue. Here is a comprehensive list of these signs:

  • Your AC runs but fails to cool your home effectively
  • Warm air is blowing out instead of cold air
  • There is ice buildup around the coil
  • The temperature reading on your thermostat doesn’t match the indoor temperature
  • Frozen lines and ice accumulation near the outdoor unit
  • Flooding near the drain pan

These problems could indicate a frozen evaporator coil. You should contact certified HVAC technicians for assistance.

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What Are the Dangers of Frozen Evaporator Coils?

image of homeowner feeling hot due to air conditioner malfunction

The most serious risk of frozen evaporator coils arises when you continue to run your air conditioning unit. This issue can lead to permanent damage to the entire cooling system. Neglecting to address and resolve the frozen AC coils can also lead to overheating of the system, which may cause refrigerant leaks and damage to other components. 

To avoid any harm to your HVAC unit, seek the help of professional HVAC technicians. This ensures that your system operates correctly, saving you from costly repairs that may arise if you ignore the issue.

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How To Unfreeze AC Evaporator Coils in 7 Steps

Turn Off the Air Conditioning Unit

Turn off the air AC system if you suspect a frozen AC coil. This is necessary to perform any inspection or work and prevent damage to any component of the AC system.

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Let The Air Conditioner Rest

image of an air conditioner compressing unit

Once you have switched off your air conditioning unit, observe if your evaporator coil starts to defrost by itself. Occasionally, waiting for around 24 hours is sufficient for the frozen coil to thaw naturally. However, this can only occur if the climate is mild and tolerable, and there is no need to use air conditioning.

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Check Your Air Filters

image of an air conditioner filter that is dirty

Before delving deeper into the cause of a frozen evaporator coil, inspect one crucial element – your air filter. The primary responsibility of the air filter is to eliminate contaminants such as dust, allergens, dander, and mold from the air.

As the air filter performs its function, it may accumulate debris, resulting in inadequate airflow throughout your air conditioning system. Any obstructions in the airflow impede the smooth passage of warm air, which can ultimately lead to ice formation on different parts of your air conditioner.

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Switch On the AC Fan

Activate your air conditioner’s fan by selecting the fan-only option on your thermostat. Make sure that the cool setting is deactivated and only the fan is running. This will cause the warm air to flow over the evaporator coils, potentially leading to the thawing of the coils.

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Use a Hair Dryer

image of a hair dryer used to thaw frozen ac coil

If the fan fails to function, you may manually defrost your air conditioning coils with a hair dryer. However, you must exercise caution and avoid using the high heat setting, which may cause the coils to crack.

Use the hair dryer on a low to medium heat setting, gradually thawing the coils. Always keep a safe distance and avoid direct contact to prevent damage. Typically, the frozen coils should thaw within twenty minutes.

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Let Evaporator Coils Dry

After the evaporator coils have thawed, allow them to dry thoroughly before switching on your air conditioner. This will allow for a thorough inspection to check the root cause of the coil freeze-up.

Letting the coils dry completely helps prevent more ice accumulation when the air conditioner is turned back on. To facilitate optimal drying, activate the fan setting to remove excess moisture.

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Clean the Evaporator Coils

Clean evaporator coils are essential for the optimal functioning of air conditioners. Once they have dried completely, it is advisable to clean them. However, it is vital to first clean the area surrounding the outdoor unit.

To achieve the optimum cleaning results for your evaporator coils and air conditioning unit, seek the assistance of professionals. This step will ensure your central air conditioning unit functions efficiently throughout the summer.

When in Doubt, Call an HVAC Professional

Air conditioning units consist of several intricate components that demand the expertise of professional air conditioning technicians. This is particularly crucial during hot and oppressive weather, as prompt assistance from experts is essential in ensuring the proper functioning of your air conditioning system.

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Call McAllister Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

McAllister Energy

McAllister Energy is the foremost provider of heating and cooling services throughout southern New Jersey. Our team comprises highly trained and certified technicians specializing in HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, replacements, and more. We are highly committed to providing top-notch services to all our clients.

We understand the significance of a comfortable and energy-efficient home, so we offer competitively priced services. Our maintenance services are tailored to enhance comfort and reduce energy bills. If you require an HVAC repair or replacement, our knowledgeable technicians can recommend the best solution while considering your budget. We take pride in our HVAC work and offer a satisfaction guarantee so you get the best service possible.

To schedule a service appointment with us, simply contact us via phone. We offer quick free, in-home estimates to help you make informed decisions about your HVAC systems. You can rely on McAllister Energy to provide exceptional heating and cooling services that surpass your expectations! Call us now!

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