What To Do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up

image of a dirty air conditioner filter causing a frozen ac unit

Air conditioners cool our homes, but the units themselves shouldn’t freeze in the process. If that happens, it could be that your system isn’t working as it should, and something could’ve tipped its balance. It won’t operate properly, so your home will not get cool as you wanted. This article will discuss the various reasons your air conditioner freezes up, what to do when your AC unit freezes up, and how to ensure this air conditioner problem does not occur again.

Explore Our Air Conditioning System Services Call To Schedule A Free, In-Home Estimate

Why Air Conditioners Freeze Up

Read on to find out what you need to know about why your air conditioner may be freezing up.

1. Dirty HVAC Air Filters

Proper airflow is required to ensure your air conditioner works optimally. If the evaporator coils do not receive enough air, they will become frozen. After all, having sufficient air flowing helps transfer the heat from the coil to the refrigerant, regulating the coil’s temperatures. It is an essential task as this chemical can be at around 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit at this point. Clogged air filters usually cause poor airflow. Dirt and dust buildup prevents air from passing through and getting into your air conditioning system.

2. HVAC Airflow Obstructions

image of an hvac air vent that is closed

If you replace the air filters diligently, but your air conditioner still freezes up, check other parts of your system for airflow issues. It could be because the vents and registers are blocked. Take a quick look around the house and ensure that no furniture, plants, curtains, or other objects are blocking them. If so, remove them immediately. If you notice your air conditioner freezing frequently, the problem could be poor duct design or installation. There could also be pests in your ductwork. Have a professional assess and fix the problem.

Call Today: (732) 741-6300

3. Air Conditioner Refrigerant Leaks

A low coolant level could be the culprit behind your frozen air conditioning system. Other signs that point to a refrigerant leak are hearing a hissing sound and hot air flowing from your air conditioner. The leak should be sealed right away. New refrigerant is also needed to ensure that the air conditioner works as it should again. Remember that you should never attempt to do this on your own because this substance can be harmful if you don’t know what you are doing. Hire a professional HVAC technician to do it as they have the right tools and training to do these tasks correctly and safely.

4. Dirty Evaporator Coils

dirt on air conditioner coils

The evaporator coils themselves could be what’s causing your air conditioner to freeze. It can get dirty over time, and this can be detrimental to your system’s operations. The dust and grime that buildup can reduce the transfer of heat between the coils and the air. This buildup can also result in the condensate line clogging. The water can’t be drained properly, and the trapped water can freeze up. This can happen to the coils as well. The system will strain to operate under these conditions.

Explore Our Air Conditioner Repair Services Call To Schedule A Free, In-Home Estimate

What To Do If Your Air Conditioner Freezes

When your air conditioner freezes, there are two things you can do:

1. Thaw The Air Conditioner

Turn the unit off at the thermostat when it has frozen. This will ensure that the problem doesn’t get worse. The ice should melt on its own without power, so all you need to do is to wait for it to finish thawing. This process could take a few hours or so, so consider doing this before leaving the house for the day. You can also crack open a few windows and switch on some fans to keep your home cool if you have pets inside. Never try to break the ice using a sharp tool because this can make the situation worse.

2. Dry The Coils

Once the ice has thawed, the air conditioner will have wet coils for a while. Turn the power back so that the blowers can run but do not switch your air conditioner on yet. The fans will ensure better air circulation in your unit so that the water can evaporate faster, and the coils will dry quicker. Check it again after several hours. You can use your cooling system again once its interior is dry.


How To Prevent Freezing In Your Air Conditioner

Prevent your air conditioner from freezing again by conducting these basic maintenance tasks on your cooling system regularly:

1. Replace The Air Conditioner Filters

hvac air filter replacement

The AC air filters stop dust, dirt, and other airborne particles from circulating into your system. They ensure that the system remains clean and that you have healthy indoor air quality. However, air filters need to be changed regularly. Otherwise, the trapped contaminants on its surface will block the air from flowing properly into your system. Replacing them with new ones will help maintain the airflow and purification balance in your air conditioner. Remember to check the filters every 30 days and replace them when necessary.

2. Check Refrigerant Levels

The coolant level in your system should not go below a certain amount. If it does, problems will arise. Make air conditioner maintenance a habit and call your local, trusted HVAC technician. Annual tune-ups include checking the refrigerant level to ensure that your air conditioner operates within the right parameters. A refrigerant level that’s too low needs recharging. If there’s a leak, a professional will fix it.

Learn More About Our AC Services Call To Schedule A Free Estimate

3. Remove Air Conditioner Airflow Obstructions

Air conditioner technicians will inspect your system for any obstructions that are affecting the airflow. They will assess the problem and tell you about the situation. Changes can be made to correct the situation and improve your system’s performance. It can be something easy like moving furniture, so it doesn’t obstruct the vent. Some cases might require ductwork modification. Let a professional HVAC technician handle this task.

4. Clean Air Conditioner Coils

Thorough cleaning is needed if dirty coils are what’s causing your air conditioner to freeze. Make sure to pay close attention to the condensate lines in case there is a clog. An expert HVAC technician can open the unit to de-clog it so that water can flow without obstructions again. This task is also included in a professional’s preventive maintenance checklist.

Call Today: (732) 741-6300 Explore Our Case Studies



Air conditioning systems bring you relief during the summer. Therefore, you need to take care of it. Schedule preventative tune-ups from a reliable HVAC contractor to prevent frozen coils and other common problems your air conditioner might encounter.

Call Lawes Company For Your Air Conditioning Requirements

Lawes Company Logo

When you need superior HVAC services in Monmouth and Ocean County, New Jersey, make sure to call Lawes Company. We have professionally certified and highly trained technicians who can provide you with excellent heating and cooling services, such as air conditioner maintenance, mini-split repairs, furnace replacements, and boiler installations. All our knowledgeable and experienced techs can service your HVAC system accurately.

Our company guarantees to have one of the most competitive HVAC service prices in the area. We can improve your home’s comfort, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness with our maintenance services. If you need to repair or replace your HVAC system, we can recommend the best solutions to fit your needs and budget. Your satisfaction is our priority, so all our services come with a guarantee. Book a service appointment and call Lawes Company today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

Call Now: (732) 741-6300 Read Our Reviews

Contact us now at (732) 741-6300 to find out more!