Your HVAC system is essential to maintaining year-round comfort in your house. Your air conditioner aids in reducing humidity and heat in the summer, and in the winter, it prevents your house from freezing over. But what should you do if you check your air conditioner one day and discover that it has iced over?
Pouring hot water over a frozen air conditioner unit to thaw out frozen coils is typically regarded as safe. However, you might not have to. Running an air conditioner in “defrost” mode is one of the additional methods for defrosting it.
There are further approaches to deal with an air conditioner that has been transformed into a popsicle. Depending on the amount of ice that has accumulated around your unit, you can decide which may best fit your needs.
I Have A Frozen Air Conditioner, Can I Pour Hot Water On It?
You might be hesitant to try and test different methods of defrosting your air conditioner if it freezes during the winter. However, compared to some of the other appliances in your house, your air conditioner is less sensitive to temperature variations. As a result, if you need to defrost or de-thaw an air conditioner, you can do it without risk by pouring hot water over it.
However, keep in mind that when you mention your air conditioner freezing, you’re actually referring to the status of the coils inside your machine. When your air conditioner is operating in your home, the coils are the part that has the most interaction with moisture. The coils will thus be the first components of your unit to experience problems if the temperature in your home decreases suddenly.
In turn, taking care of the coils rather than another component of your unit is required to fix a frozen or frosted air conditioner. If your machine still seems to be acting strangely after you run hot water over the coils, you might want to get advice from a local expert.
Other Techniques For Defrosting Your AC
When you suspect that something is amiss with your air conditioner coils, you don’t necessarily need to turn on the hot water. Instead, check to see if the air conditioner you have installed has a “defrost mode.” Depending on the amount of frost you’re dealing with, you can run an air conditioner in its defrost mode for anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes and avoid having to deal with additional moisture in your home when it comes back online.
What Not To Do When Defrosting Your AC
You might be tempted to use a hairdryer or a spot heater to thaw out undesired frost in order to restart your air conditioner. When you have other options, like defrost mode or even hot water, this isn’t in your best interests.
If you attempt to defrost your air conditioner using a hairdryer or a spot heater, you run the danger of melting the ice on the coils too quickly and breaking the electronics in your unit. If you use hot water instead, you can gently run the frost off of your appliance and avoid more serious harm to its interior workings.
When Your Air Conditioner Freezes, What Does It Mean?
Your air conditioner’s coils won’t suddenly freeze. There are several situations that can cause these coils to freeze over. These consist of:
Comparison Of Heat And Cooling Modes
For instance, if you use your air conditioner to heat your home in the winter, the coils may be exposed to cold air more frequently than they would be if you were cooling your house due to the change in the unit’s intended usage.
Filters are used by your air conditioner unit to clean the air that it circulates back through your house. But if your filters become clogged with dirt and grime, your appliance may not function properly. After all, the obstruction caused by the gunk may prevent airflow through your unit, leading to the freezing issue.
Units For External Air Conditioning
Similar to how central air could freeze over during a sudden cold spell in the early fall if you have a window unit instead. If you want to be sure that all systems are functioning properly, you must regularly inspect your unit throughout the fall, winter, and early spring.
Low Levels Of Refrigerant
However, if your refrigerant levels are too low, your evaporator coil could freeze even in the summer. Lower refrigerant levels cause the interior of your air conditioner to be cooler than normal, which frequently leads to the evaporator coils being frozen as discussed earlier. If you’re going to balance your refrigerant levels or if you’re experiencing other, comparable issues with your air conditioner in the warmest months of the year, you should get in touch with an HVAC expert.
How Does An Air Conditioner Defrost?
Don’t instantly grab a pot of hot water if your air conditioner is frozen or frosty when you get home. Instead, there are steps you should take to ensure that you’re maintaining your air conditioner safely:
Make sure your air conditioner is unplugged and that the cords are out of the “splash zone” before you start pouring.
After that, you’ll want to be careful to simply spray water over the air conditioner’s coils. While the entire machine may be in distress, a constant stream of hot water applied to the coils in particular will assist the machine come to life without harming the delicate circuitry.
Additionally, you should aim to pour your water in gradual increments rather than pouring a full bucket of water on your coils at once. Instead, give yourself around 30 seconds between pours, and make sure that your air conditioner is completely dry before starting over.
How Long Does It Take An Air Conditioner To Thaw After Being Frozen?
The following variables can affect how long it takes to remove the ice from your air conditioner unit:
- The following variables can affect how long it takes to remove the ice from your air conditioner unit:
- You using the defroster’s automated mode.
- The technique you use to remove ice from your coils if you don’t have access to the ones stated above.
As previously indicated, defrosting with a defroster setting allows your machine to run for 30 to 90 minutes as you work to reactivate your coils. However, keep in mind that starting a defroster cycle might not immediately restart your air conditioner. To get your machine up to speed, you might need to repeat the defroster procedure.
As an alternative, you should be ready to spend some time cleaning off your machine if you’re using the hot water method. You’ll need to take rests in between pouring sessions, so the procedure could take several hours.
An air conditioning unit that has been frozen can be cleared off in as little as an hour or as much as 24 sessions, with an average clearing time of up to twelve hours. It might be in your best interest to seek advice from a local HVAC expert if, after a full day, your unit is still giving you trouble.
How Do You Replace The Filter In An Air Conditioner?
After a short inspection, you should change your air conditioner filters as soon as possible if you believe that clogged filters may be the source of your issues. You should wait to replace the filter until after you’ve defrosted your unit by pouring water over the coils or using another method, since you don’t want too much moisture to affect the performance of a new filter.
The good news is that replacing an air conditioner is not too difficult. Nevertheless, depending on the type of air conditioner you’re utilizing, the procedures change.
- You must locate your unit and the grille cover if you have a return air duct. You can remove the old filter from its slot and replace it with the one you purchased at your neighborhood hardware store after unlatching the grille cover.
- If your home has an HVAC cabinet, unlock the door and take the filter out of the slot. After that, you can swap out the filter and lock the cabinet again.
- If you have a window air conditioner, you should first disconnect it and make sure that it is firmly fixed in place. Remove the front cover next, take out the filter, and put a fresh one in its place facing the right way.
Note that regardless of the type of unit you have in place, you can clean out your units before changing a filter. By taking action to carry out this necessary maintenance, you can spare yourself a lot of grief in the future.
To Wrap Up
Don’t worry if your air conditioner freezes over. The world will not end as a result. Instead, you can examine the coils to see if they’ve frozen or if you might be dealing with a bigger issue. If the coils are frozen, you can slowly start to thaw them out using a saucepan of hot, but not boiling, water.