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What to Do When Your Air Conditioning Freezes Up

When your cool air suddenly decreases or disappears altogether during the hot summer months, it’s understandably concerning.  Your worries could increase exponentially when you check your AC unit only to find it encased in a block of ice.  How can your unit be so cold in the midst of high temperatures, yet deliver no cooling to your home?

This phenomenon is known as freezing up, and it can occur due to refrigerant leaks that cause moisture to freeze and accumulate, or alternatively, airflow restrictions (like fouled filters or obstructed air ducts) that lead to the temperature of the evaporator coil dropping below freezing.  Even cold nighttime temps could create freeze-up conditions.

The question is, what can you do about it?  How can you return your AC to peak performance and prevent future freeze-ups?  Your best option is to call in professional HVAC technicians to deduce the cause and make needed repairs.  What can you expect when your trusted HVAC company arrives to treat your frozen AC unit?

How Long Does an Air Conditioner Need to De-Ice?

This could depend on a couple of factors, including what caused your AC to freeze in the first place, how long it took you to notice the problem, and how much ice has built up.  When you start to defrost a frozen AC unit, it could take up to 24 hours to completely unfreeze, but it could happen much more quickly.

How Often Does an Air Conditioner Need Refrigerant?

Leaking or low refrigerant could cause your AC unit to freeze up.  If the system is in good condition and there is no leak, you should never need to add refrigerant.  If, however, there’s a leak, you’ll need to patch it or otherwise address it and regas your system with new refrigerant.  This is not a regular occurrence, but when it happens, you will need professional help to fix the problem, resume normal function, and prevent further leakage.

How Long Does an Air Conditioning Recharge Take?

In cases where you need to recharge your system, the amount of time to complete the service will depend on a couple of factors.  If you simply need to add refrigerant to combat a small leak, a few minutes may be sufficient.  On the other hand, removing and replacing refrigerant will take significantly longer.  You should generally expect roughly 5-15 minutes per pound of refrigerant added.

The more important thing to note, however, is that you really only need to replace refrigerant in the event of a leak, which means you’ll need repairs or replacement of equipment in order to prevent further leaking and waste of refrigerant.  As a result, the recharging process may be the least of your concerns when it comes to the time needed to get your AC back up and running.

If your system is frozen up, call our Santa Clarita air conditioning repair professionals at Rowland Air.

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