Recently, we were asked by a customer about what happens to an air conditioner if it runs for a long period of time while frozen. We ended up having a lengthy discussion about the most comprehensive and common consequences, along with touching on some of the more technical details regarding particular components of the AC unit.
At the end of our discussion with this particular customer, he told us how much he appreciated our explanation and that we should “educate” more people about those topics because they really matter! And often times, the typical homeowner doesn’t know or understand the consequences of certain aspects of their air conditioner, which can lead to very large and expensive repairs when not dealt with appropriately.
So, here it is: what happens to an air conditioner if it runs while frozen for a long period of time?
Even before the consequences, first you need to know that a frozen unit typically results from insufficient refrigerant or an airflow restriction. Either way, the effect is that the air conditioner evaporator coil can’t transfer heat like it should, creating an ice block.
Once all the damage has been done, here are the major consequences you and your air conditioner will face:
You Will Have a Significant Repair Bill to Pay
That’s right, an AC repair will cost you a lot more with a frozen evaporator coil. Not only can it damage that specific component, but other adjoining components as well, and can lead to a compressor failure! You can end up replacing several other parts of your system because of the frozen evaporator coil.
Your Chances of a Complete System Failure Have Increased
It’s not rocket science here: if your AC unit keeps running for a long period of time while frozen, the chances of a complete system failure have increased dramatically! Moreover, since you kept it turned on, it will put more stress on the whole system because it’s running in less than minimal condition.
You Have Wasted Energy And Money
It’s also obvious that if you keep your AC running while frozen it can’t possibly work properly, which means that it will need more power to deliver the same indoor temperature… and that extra power will be shown on your next electric bill!
You Have (Probably) Lost Some of Your Sanity
Last but not least, running your frozen AC for a long period of time will probably have its own effect on your sanity! We know how loud can it be in a house with such a problem, and the noise will eventually become unbearable. You definitely need that AC repair done as quickly as possible.
Hopefully this information shed some light on a common problem that we get asked about regularly. If this sounds like your problem, contact us right away. We can help you avoid unnecessary repair costs, a complete system failure, wasted energy and money, and lost sanity. Call us today at Comfort Experts!