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

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

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

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!

HVAC contractor Austin, TX, can help you with fall HVAC maintenance. Hutto’s days are getting shorter as we are approaching the end of summer. And now is the time to schedule fall maintenance. It probably isn’t your favorite thing to schedule routine HVAC maintenance. However, HVAC maintenance is essential for heating systems to perform at their best, and fall is the perfect season for this. 

You may be wondering why fall is the best time for HVAC maintenance. Here are a few reasons: 

The Time Is Right for Repairs

Cooler months are ideal for scheduling HVAC system maintenance if you want your system to run at its best. Your system will have to work harder than necessary if you wait till spring when the temperature is already rising. Additionally, HVAC contractor Austin, TX, helps you prepare your HVAC system in advance for cold winter days.

Get Ready for Winter Season

It’s a good idea to conduct a maintenance check before winter, as the summer is coming to an end. Problems can arise anytime. However, a routine maintenance check allows any operational issues to be addressed ahead of time, rather than causing the system to fail in the middle of winter.

Grande Air Solutions can help your heating system get ready for winter with fall maintenance by repairing and cleaning its components. 

Prevent Toxic Gas Leakage

The maintenance of your HVAC system before winter will save you money while protecting your family from harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur from leaky ducts if they are not repaired immediately. The presence of carbon monoxide in your home poses a serious health threat if you do not have a functioning carbon monoxide detector.

Carbon monoxide can be lethal if it leaks from your ductwork or furnace, which is why it’s crucial to have them repaired before winter begins. 

Clear Out Your Home Air 

You and your family will spend a lot more time indoors during the winter, which makes indoor air quality even more critical. You can ensure that your HVAC system is clean and debris-free this winter by scheduling maintenance with air conditioning repair Hutto service for the fall. 

HVAC Contractor Austin, TX, Services Can Save You Money

You can reduce energy bills while staying comfortable with a properly working HVAC system. When you take the help of ac repair Hutto, TX services, you won’t have to worry about costly repairs. 

If your filters need to be replaced or your coils need to be cleaned, fall is a great time to do it. That will increase efficiency and make your home more comfortable during the colder months. Putting off maintenance and repairs until winter will cost you more. So by scheduling routine maintenance with certified professionals of Grande Air Solutions, you’ll avoid costly repairs that regular tune-ups could have prevented.

Grande Air Solutions is Your Go-to Call for Fall HVAC Maintenance in Hutto 

Fall is all about enjoying the beautiful foliage, the coziness, and the fun of the season. And at Grande Air Solutions, we want to ensure you get the most out of it by maintaining the safety and comfort of your home. 

For the best performance of your heating and cooling systems, we provide regular HVAC maintenance and service. Our team performs a full analysis of your unit. Conducts an energy audit and tests your indoor air quality and temperature control systems. With our fall maintenance, you won’t have to worry about your HVAC units malfunctioning during the coldest months of the year. 

We are ready to prepare your home for cooler temperatures, so contact us today to schedule your HVAC maintenance. 

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!