How To Unfreeze Outside AC Units in Winter: A Guide From the Pros

On freezing winter nights in Ohio, it’s not uncommon for your air conditioning system’s outdoor unit to become frozen. Knowing how to unfreeze an outside AC unit in winter can help you avoid repairs and prevent costly replacements. 

In this article, our professionals offer a complete guide on unfreezing your outside AC unit when facing this problem. 

The team members at World Class Services are Columbus’s AC repair experts. Whether your outdoor unit has frozen coils or the entire unit needs a replacement, our licensed service professionals have the necessary training and equipment to help. 

Understanding a Frozen AC Unit

While your outdoor AC unit often has a defrost mode to combat freezing temperatures, knowing how to unfreeze an outside AC unit in winter is vital as it still can freeze despite having this apparent safeguard in place. 

If your outdoor AC unit is frozen, this indicates previous problems. As excess moisture accumulates in the system’s moving parts, it eventually freezes on the AC coils, making it difficult for the components to work correctly and potentially shutting down the unit altogether. 

It can cost up to $3,000 for a repair if you neglect a frozen outdoor unit for too long. Causes include clogged filters and drains, excess moisture, and a refrigerant leak. Your frozen AC unit may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • The unit won’t reach the correct temperature
  • You’re suffering from sudden high electrical bills
  • You see ice on the unit’s exterior
  • You hear or see water leaking from the unit due to melting ice

How To Unfreeze an Outdoor AC Unit

You can avoid costly repair bills by unfreezing your outdoor coil and removing extra moisture. The following tips will help you defrost and maintain the unit, allowing it to thaw and drain thoroughly. 

1. Unthaw the AC

The first step in unfreezing an outside AC unit in winter is to unthaw it. Turn off the thermostat and let the unit defrost for up to a day. You can turn on the fan to facilitate the process. 

Don’t try to remove the ice with sharp objects or spray the unit with water. These resolutions will only cause further problems. Turn on the AC’s thermostat again and check that the air is at the proper temperature before moving to the next step.

2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter

Poor airflow from a dirty air filter is a common cause of a frozen outdoor coil. If putting the unit in defrost mode doesn’t fix the problem, the next step is to clean or replace the dirty air filter. 

Remove the cover from the AC unit and take out the air filter. You can purchase a new one at your local hardware store or wash it if you have a replaceable option. Return the clean, fresh air filter to the unit.

3. Inspect the Drain Pan

A clogged drain pan can prevent your unit from draining properly. As dirt, dust, and bacteria create sludge in the pan, these can accumulate and cause excess water to back up into the unit, eventually freezing it. 

Regarding how to unfreeze an outside AC unit in winter, you can inspect the drain pan to ensure there’s no grime buildup. You can avoid water spills by laying down towels and cleaning the pan with special cleaning solutions. If you see no leaking or blockages here, the problem may persist elsewhere.

4. Check the Condensate Drain Line

The condensate drain line attaches to the drain pan and allows moisture and dirt to escape outdoors. Clogs in this line can freeze your coils as excess moisture evaporates inside the unit. 

Check the PVC pipe running from your AC to the outside of your property. If you notice any dirt or debris clogging the pipe, you may have a frozen air conditioner.

Our AC Repair and Replacement Services

When you have a frozen air conditioner, the team at World Class Services offers the necessary repair and replacement services. Whether your outdoor AC unit has a pool of water around it or needs a new air filter, trust us to detect the symptoms of a frozen unit and employ the proper fixes. Our transparent services help you save time and money.

Contact Us Today

Look no further for the expert service you deserve and trained professionals who know how to unfreeze an outside AC unit in winter. Consider repairs, replacements, and AC maintenance services in and around Columbus, OH, from World Class Services. Call us today at 614-532-4748.

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