How to Repair a Window Air Conditioner that Freezes

A window air conditioner.
What You'll Need
Hair dryer
Cleaning rag
Vacuum cleaner
Hand brush
Bucket of water

A window air conditioner is a good option if you are looking to cool a small room or office. Window air conditioners save you from the higher costs involved with installing a central air conditioning system. In fact, in many countries all over the world, window air conditioners are the preferred method of cooling in summer.

Although window air conditioners offer a number of advantages, they also have some disadvantages. One of the biggest problems associated with these air conditioners is the accumulation of ice outside the air conditioner unit. In particular, this problem is prevalent in colder weather. Here’s what you can do to repair a window air conditioner that freezes.

Step 1 - Check Outside Temperature

While window air conditioners can cool a room very effectively when it’s hot, unlike central air conditioning, these units are not really designed to work in very cold temperatures. During the process of cooling a room, it is natural for condensation to trickle down from the outside of a window air conditioning unit. If the temperatures are low, the condensate can freeze and lead to ice formation on your window air conditioner. Since most window air conditioners do not have a heating function, it doesn’t make sense to run them when the temperatures drop.

Step 2 - Remove the Ice

Switch off the air conditioner and disconnect the electrical supply. Use a hair dryer to thaw out the ice and then use a cleaning rag to wipe off the moisture. Of course, if your window air conditioner is located in a room that is not on the ground floor, it could be dangerous to try to clean it from the outside. Under such circumstances, switch off the air conditioner and allow the ice to melt naturally from the heat of the sun.

Step 3 - Clean the Filter

A window AC unit.

The filter is one of the few parts of a window air conditioner that can and should be cleaned on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this is often overlooked. Over time, the filter becomes clogged and this reduces the air flow. This not only reduces the efficiency of the air conditioner, but can also result in ice formation. Switch off the air conditioner and unplug it from the electrical supply. Open the front grille and remove the filter. This is a rectangular mesh-like unit made up of a foam-like material. Use a vacuum cleaner or hand brush to remove the excess dirt and then rinse the filter with water. Allow it to dry and then refit it. Switch on the air conditioner. You should notice a marked improvement in its efficiency. Many new window air conditioner units come with an indicator that shows when it is time to clean the filter.

Step 4 - Address Other Problems

Window air conditioners may also freeze due to dirty or damaged cooling coils and leaking or insufficient coolant. These are all issues that need to be addressed by a professional air conditioner technician. In fact, it is a good idea to get your window air conditioner serviced at least once a year to minimize the chances of such problems re-occurring.