Quick Guide: Unfreezing Your AC Coils In 7 Steps

ice build up on indoor AC unit depicting frozen AC coil

As summer arrives, households rely on air conditioning units to maintain a comfortable living environment. Without an operational air conditioning unit, the indoor climate can escalate to uncomfortable, hot levels, potentially posing health risks to specific individuals within the home. A frequently encountered issue with air conditioning systems is a frozen AC coil, which can hinder the unit’s performance. 

Keep reading to discover methods for thawing AC coils. If you’re uncertain, contact a skilled HVAC technician from Wilcox Energy to address the frozen AC coil issue and perform any required maintenance.

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Frozen AC Coil: Essential Insights

Continue reading to learn about the role of an AC coil, the reasons behind the freezing of air conditioner coils, the complications that arise from this issue, and the measures to implement if your unit is experiencing this problem.

Understanding the Air Conditioning Coil

The AC evaporator coil is a crucial element of your air conditioning system and is responsible for transporting refrigerant. This refrigerant is critical in heat absorption before progressing to another part of the AC unit. If the evaporator coil becomes frozen, its ability to cool the air circulating in your residence is compromised.

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Indicators of a Frozen AC Evaporator Coil

woman sweating checking home AC thermostat

Recognizing the signs of a frozen evaporator coil in your air conditioning system can help you identify and resolve this issue early. We provide a detailed list of symptoms to watch for.

  • The cooling system operates without reducing indoor temperatures.
  • The unit expels warm air instead of the expected cold breeze.
  • Visible ice accumulation on the coil.
  • There is a discrepancy between the thermostat setting and the actual indoor climate.
  • Ice formation and accumulation near the outdoor component.
  • Water pooling around the drain pan.

If you encounter any problems mentioned earlier with your indoor or outdoor air conditioning units, it likely signals a frozen evaporator coil. This necessitates the expertise of certified and experienced HVAC technicians.

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What Are the Dangers of Frozen AC Coils?

outdoor air conditioner unit depicting frozen AC coils

The primary risk associated with frozen evaporator coils arises when the air conditioning system continues to operate. This could lead to irreversible harm to the entire cooling infrastructure. Moreover, overlooking the necessity to address and understand the process of thawing AC coils can result in your system overheating.

This overheating might lead to possible refrigerant leaks and harm to other parts. To avoid any damage to your HVAC system, seek professional HVAC services. Doing so ensures your system functions efficiently, saving on expensive repair costs that could arise from neglecting your unit.

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Unfreezing AC Coils: A 7-Step Guide

To effectively address a frozen evaporator coil, follow these seven crucial steps:

Shut Down the AC System

man turning off ductless AC using remote

Initially, if you notice signs of a frozen coil, the immediate action is to deactivate your air conditioning unit. Turning the system off is necessary for further actions or examinations and helps avoid further damage to the system components.

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Allow the Air Conditioner to Thaw

Once you have powered down your air conditioning system, observe whether the evaporator coil starts to thaw naturally. Giving it about 24 hours can often lead to the coil defrosting on its own. This natural thawing process is only feasible if the weather conditions are mild and air conditioning is not imperative.

Inspect Your HVAC Air Filters

homeowner checking home HVAC filter

Examining your air filter is critical before delving into other potential reasons for a frozen AC coil. The primary function of the air filter is to capture particles such as dust, dander, allergens, and mold from circulating in the air.

Yet, as the filter performs its duty, it can become clogged, obstructing the airflow through your air conditioning system. Moreover, such blockages impede the circulation of warm air, leading to ice formation on different parts of your air conditioner.

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Activate the Fan

Proceed by turning on the fan of your air conditioner. This requires setting your thermostat to operate the fan only. It’s essential to keep the cooling function disabled while ensuring the fan remains active. This action directs warm air across the evaporator coils, potentially aiding their thawing process.

Employ a Hair Dryer

black hair dryer for defrosting frozen AC coils

Should the fan method prove ineffective, you can attempt to defrost the AC coils manually using a hair dryer. It is crucial to exercise caution by avoiding the high heat setting. Utilizing high heat on the frozen coil poses a risk of causing cracks.

Instead, gently apply the hair dryer on a low to medium heat setting. Additionally, ensure that you maintain a safe distance and avoid direct contact with the coil. Often, employing this method will result in the frozen air conditioner coils thawing within approximately twenty minutes.

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Allow the Air Conditioner Coils to Dry

After the evaporator coils have thawed, letting them dry out entirely before reactivating your air conditioning system is essential. This facilitates further inspections to determine the underlying cause of the freeze. Moreover, ensuring the coils are dry helps prevent the reformation of ice upon restarting the unit. The most effective way to dry the coils is to activate the fan setting, which helps eliminate any residual moisture around them.

Maintain Cleanliness of the Air Conditioner Coils

Wilcox Energy HVAC technician attending to outdoor ductless AC unit

Air conditioners require clean evaporator coils for optimal performance. Therefore, after ensuring the coils are dry, proceed to clean them. Start by tidying up the vicinity of the outdoor unit. Entrusting the cleaning of your evaporator coils and the air conditioning system to professionals is the most effective approach. This is a crucial final step in guaranteeing your air conditioning unit operates efficiently throughout the summer.

Keep your home comfortable year-round—schedule your AC maintenance with Wilcox Energy now!

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Opt for HVAC Experts When Unsure

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The intricate components of air conditioning units demand the expertise of professional specialists. As temperatures rise and the heat becomes intolerable, the urgency for proficient experts to swiftly rectify issues becomes paramount, ensuring your air conditioning operates effectively. At Wilcox Energy, we offer top-notch HVAC services tailored to your needs to keep your air conditioner running smoothly. 


Maintaining the efficiency of your air conditioning system is necessary for ensuring a comfortable and healthy home indoor environment, especially during the warm summer months. Following the steps we shared can help you effectively address a frozen AC coil and prevent future occurrences. However, it’s best to rely on professionals for comprehensive maintenance and expert care. Don’t wait until minor issues become costly repairs. Book a regular maintenance service and enjoy peace of mind, knowing your home environment will stay cool and comfortable all summer.

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Reach Out to Wilcox Energy for Your HVAC Needs

Wilcox Energy is the premier provider of heating and cooling solutions along the Southern Connecticut shoreline. We boast highly trained and professionally certified technicians adept at HVAC maintenance, repair, installation, replacement, and beyond. We are committed to providing the highest caliber of service to our clientele.

At Wilcox Energy, we recognize the significance of maintaining a home environment that is both comfortable and energy-efficient. Hence, we present our services at competitive rates. Our maintenance services can enhance your comfort while minimizing energy costs. Should you need HVAC repair or replacement, our knowledgeable team will guide you to the most suitable options, considering your financial plan. Our confidence in our services is solid, backed by a satisfaction guarantee.

Call us to arrange a service visit. We provide complimentary, on-site estimates to assist you in making well-informed choices regarding your HVAC systems. Trust Wilcox Energy for unparalleled heating and cooling services that will surpass your expectations! Call us today!

For more information about our heating oil deliveries or HVAC services, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can click here to contact us or call us at (860) 399-6218. Call now! Click the link to view our service area.

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