What to Do if AC Is Frozen? The Things You Can Do

Do you know what to do if AC is frozen? Do you even know that AC can be frozen? It’s quite surprising that not many people know that an AC unit can actually freeze over. The sign can be quite obvious: Your AC is running, but you don’t feel the room is cool.

In fact, when you place your hand in front of the vents, you feel warm air instead of cool air. If the warm air is accompanied by a hissing sound, then you do have an issue with your air conditioner.

Read also: Why is My GE Air Conditioner Not Cooling?

Reasons for the Frozen Unit

So, why do you have frozen AC? It actually refers to the evaporator coil (within the condenser unit) being frozen. There are two main reasons for the freeze-up:

  • Not having enough refrigerant
  • There is a blockage to the unit’s airflow
what to do if ac is frozen

It means that there are some common reasons why the frozen AC can happen:

  • A dirty air filter can block the airflow
  • Drain lines are blocked or damaged or leaking
  • Vents are blocked
  • The refrigerant is leaking
  • There are issues with the blower fan

Read also: Air Conditioner Drain Line Outside House Leaking Water

What to Do if AC Unit Is Frozen

If you are wondering what to do if AC is frozen, you can do these two basic things.

  1. Thaw It

What to do if AC is frozen? Turn the unit off. It may take a while (even the whole day) but it’s one of the most natural ways. You can plan a day of cleaning, where you don’t have to be ready close at the AC. You can do other things (cleaning, cooking, etc) and check the AC unit once in several hours.

If you don’t like the natural thawing method, let the blower run but turn the machine off. It’s advisable not to use the AC while the coils are still frozen. Never try to use sharp tools or heavy objects to break the ice up. You don’t want to add up more issues by breaking or damaging components.

  1. Dry the Coils

When the evaporator coils have been free from ice, dry them. When it’s off, you want to restore the power and turn on the blower. Set your thermostat so it only runs the fan or blower. This would circulate the air through and around the coils, making them quickly dry. When the coils have been dried up, expect the system to normally run.

What to Do if AC Line is Frozen

When the line is frozen, the steps to solve the issue are basically almost similar to the previous methods. You need to thaw the (refrigerant) line and be ready to contain the water (from the melting ice). Afterwards, you can change your air filter, especially if you haven’t changed it for quite a while or it has been dirty.

Will Frozen AC Fix Itself?

In general, no. However, some people say that if you let your naturally warm surrounding or temperature as it is, the AC unit can defrost itself. But you can’t use the AC while it’s still in frozen condition. It’s like a general thawing process where the AC is in a completely shut-down mode. However, if you take this step, you will have to wait for quite a long time – around 24 hours, give or take.

That’s why most professional services would recommend performing checks and inspections. Even when you decide on naturally thawing the unit, you still need to inspect whether it has issues. From there, you can decide whether you need professional service and help, and others.


So, there is no need to get confused when you find that your AC is frozen. If you are clueless, contact the professional service. But in general, when you know what to do if AC is frozen, you can perform the check on your own.

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AirconMag is an experienced author and Air Conditioner expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of AC unit, including installation, maintenance, and repair