How Do You Unfreeze an Air Conditioner?

Why it happens and how to prevent further damage

Written by Olivia Paxton. Updated on How Do You Unfreeze an Air Conditioner

Air conditioners are helpful things in any household. With this device, we can keep the indoor temperature at a comfortable level with very little effort! However, sometimes we may notice that our ac is frozen.

Instead of falling into panic and acting hastily (which can result in more damage to the device than it was before), we suggest you learn how to unfreeze an air conditioner unit step by step to be able to fix the problem in case it happens.

How to Unfreeze Air Conditioner

So you noticed that the inside ac unit is frozen. What shall you do now to remove that ice on the AC unit? The fastest way to defrost your ac unit is to complete several easy steps:

  • turn the thermostat of your frozen AC from COOL to OFF
  • turn the fan to ON setting
  • check the filter and, if needed, replace it
  • in case the filter is OK (meaning it is not dirty), better call the professional AC cleaner before you turn the device back on

This is the brief instruction, as you can see, so now we will explain in detail what to do when your ac unit freezes up.

However, do take into consideration that the following suggestions will only help you to figure out how to unfreeze the air conditioner!

After you successfully complete the task, you will still have to find out the root reason for this problem that led to the ice on your AC unit inside part.

And remember that any air conditioners, including ActronAir ducted air conditioning, need regular cleaning and checks for being sure that the units are operating properly, and the pipes are not clogged!

How to De-Ice a Window Air Conditioner : Air ConditioningHow to De-Ice a Window Air Conditioner : Air Conditioning

How to defrost Air Conditioner Step-by-Step?

Turn the thermostat off.

This is the very first step when you defrost your air conditioner.

See, when your AC is frozen, it means that the liquid that makes the air cool is way colder than it should be.

In case this liquid refrigerant gets into the outdoor unit, it will destroy the compressor which is not meant to receive it in the form of a cold liquid!

This is why, when we turn the thermostat off when the AC unit is frozen, we stop that cold liquid from getting into the outdoor unit.

Turn the fan on.

When you defrost your AC, the next step will be to switch the fan setting to ON regime. Why so?

It makes the AC’s indoor fan send warm air over the frozen coils. Like that, the ice will be melting faster.

How long it might take for your AC to thaw, you might wonder?

Well, the average time gap is between one hour and up to twenty-four hours. It all will hang upon the amount of ice build-up.

This is why, in case you realize the air conditioner is going to defrost long enough, we would recommend putting towels on the floor around the indoor unit to prevent possible water damage in case the melting ice overflows the drain pan.

Check the filter and replace it if necessary.

Dirty or clogged, it often becomes a culprit for such malfunctions as ice build-up.

We recommend checking the filter right after the thermostat is turned off since the longer you wait, the more likely the ice will melt onto it and turn into a dirty puddle.

Since even the thin layer of dust on the filter can lead to rather serious damages to the air conditioner, remember to check it for cleanliness regularly and replace it.

The clogged filter is the reason the refrigerant gets colder which leads to ice creation!

However, even after the dirty filter is removed and replaced with the new and clean one, don’t relax! Keep an eye on your air conditioner for a couple of days more.

It is good if the filter was the cause of the problem.

But if there is another, more serious reason for your AC freezing, it is important to catch the moment when the ice will start forming again.

Call the professionals if the filter is OK.

Did you check the filter but it appeared to be fine?

Then apparently the reason for your AC freezing is more serious than you expected, and you need help from the professional fixers.

Do not try to solve the issue yourself unless it is the filter that makes the ice form! If you do so, there is a risk of damaging the air conditioner which will later lead to costly repairs!

What could be the reasons for the air conditioner problems if it’s not about the filter?

  1. a refrigerant leak
  2. dirt on the evaporator coil
  3. a bad blower motor
  4. the expansion valve can be stuck or closed
  5. your duct could collapse

This is why only the experienced fixer can find the root problem and fix it for you properly.

Why My Air Conditioner Is Frozen
Photo by Max Smith on Unsplash

Why My Air Conditioner Is Frozen?

Seeing ice in your AC unit is not something we will be happy to face. Fixing the issue will take time and, in case of serious breakage, quite a lot of money, too.

Naturally, anyone would like to know why the icy build-up forms inside the AC at all. And shortly speaking, there can be several reasons for that:

  1. Your AC filter is badly dirty. When the filter is clogged or has too much dirt on it, it prevents warm air from flowing freely over the evaporator coil. It leads to the refrigerant inside turning colder and colder. And you know that a cold refrigerant, when combined with moisture in the air, creates ice!
    There can also be a refrigerant leak.
  2. A blower motor might be working improperly.
  3. The AC’s duct could collapse.
  4. The reason can be the expansion valve if it is closed or stuck.
  5. Also, there might be something wrong with the fan.

Anyway, always check the AC unit regularly just to be sure it’s working as it should be and all the parts of it are not malfunctioning.

And now that you are informed about how to fix a frozen AC, you will be able to stop it from collapsing in case it’s some minor breakage.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐How do you unfreeze an air conditioner fast?

Turn the thermostat to OFF, then turn the fan on, and check the filter. If it’s dirty or clogged, replace it.

⭐How to thaw an air conditioning unit?

Start with switching the thermostat off and turning the fan on. Right after you do so, check the filter and take it away if you see it’s clogged or dirty. It’s better to replace the filter at the very beginning of the defrosting process since melting ice will turn it into a dirty mess when the water will be dripping through the dusty filter!

⭐How to unfreeze ac pipes?

Turn thermostat setting from COOL to OFF, switch the thermostat fan function to ON and wait for 3-4 hours until the entire system thaws.

Written by
Olivia shares all she knows about the hotels, houses, and home cleaning with Beezzly readers. And she knows a lot! 15 years of work experience as a Manager in a former Four Season Service gave Olivia an exceptional base of professional knowledge and practical experience.
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
How to Defrost a Iced up Heat PumpHow to Defrost a Iced up Heat Pump