The summer sun is sweltering hot, and you need your home air conditioner to keep you cool and comfortable, but the thing is blowing lukewarm air through the vents and there is very little air pressure at all. When you take a trip to investigate the problem, you discover a thick layer of ice coating the interior of your central AC unit. Sounds like you've run into the unfortunate, but trademark problem, of a frozen air conditioner. This is a common problem with central air units, but it is also one of the most frustrating. Take a look at a few things you should know if you discover that your AC is frozen.
A frozen air conditioner is a surefire sign of airflow problems.
If there is one thing every homeowner must know right off if they discover a frozen unit is airflow problems are likely your culprit. The AC freezes because there is not enough airflow to keep warm air rolling through that thwarts problems with freezing condensation. Airflow problems can be super simple, like an extremely dirty air filter, but they can also be multifaceted and require quite a bit of time and attention to rectify.
Improper melting methods can damage your air unit.
You do have to be careful with the practices you use when you are trying to get the ice on your air conditioner to melt. Wrong moves can leave you with damage that is far more costly to contend with than just improper air flow. For example, getting too hasty with a hot blow dryer could melt the wiring that is leading to the condenser. It is always best to just shut down the air conditioner, allow it to melt, see if you can encourage better airflow, and then turn the unit back on.
You may need a professional for air conditioner service.
Sometimes a frozen air unit is a little more worrisome than what it looks like. You can let the thing thaw out and hope for the best. You can even do what you can to improve airflow like changing the filter and trimming the weeds around the exterior fan. However, if the problem persists, it could mean there is a deeper problem somewhere with the airflow that you simply can't see. For example, you could have a blockage somewhere in the return duct that is blocking air from getting through to the unit.
If you have issues with your AC, you will want to call for air conditioner service.