The Quickest Way To Defrost Your AC Unit

An air conditioning unit in the hot summer months is a much-appreciated home amenity, offering some reprieve from the high outdoor temperatures. Air conditioners are not perfect machines, though, and there are many ways they can stop working, which can be a major nuisance, if not dangerous depending on the heat, health conditions, etc.

As Legacy Air explains, air conditioners work by blowing warm air over very cold refrigerants. This warm air helps keep the coils inside the machine cool. If your air conditioning unit stops producing warm air, the coils will quickly become frozen, causing the unit to stop working. Pressure is also needed to transfer the warm air outside; a lack of that pressure can also result in your air conditioner freezing over. If you notice your air conditioning unit is frozen, you need to act immediately. This serious problem can result in your AC breaking permanently, requiring a costly new installation.

Turn off the unit

As soon as you notice your air conditioning unit is frozen or isn't working, turn it off immediately. While your instinct may be to turn it up, that will only make it run harder, expel more refrigerant, and overwork the parts, which Paschal Air, Plumbing & Electric notes can damage your air conditioner and result in a higher electricity bill. Once the system is off, the refrigerant will stop being pumped out, giving the unit a chance to defrost.

Next, turn on the fan of your HVAC. Do not set it to a temperature or heat setting; simply let the fan run. Be careful not to put it on auto — you want air to blow over the frozen unit consistently to help melt the frozen areas, and this setting will click on and off repeatedly. This will not cool your house down, so run some oscillating fans or try to keep your home cool.

Identify the problem and call professionals

Once your air conditioning unit is turned off, and the fan is running, your next step is to call in a professional. Unless you are an HVAC technician, this is something that should be left to the experts. In the meantime, it isn't a bad idea to identify the problem yourself, which can help your technician work faster and restore cool air to your home.

Legacy Air states that one of the main reasons your air conditioner could freeze is blocked airflow. The first thing to check is your air intake filter, which is located between your vent and the air conditioning unit. If the filter is dirty and dusty, that is likely the problem. Replace your filter, and let the HVAC technician fix your AC. Some other issues that are harder to find yourself include a collapsed duct, your blower motor being broken, and your fan not receiving proper electricity. The air conditioning unit may also need more refrigerant. An AC low on refrigerant will have unusual pressure patterns, which, as mentioned earlier, can lead to a frozen unit. Finally, the coils could be dusty, leading to them not working correctly.