Frozen AC Refrigerant Line: What’s the Proper Thing to Do

Is your air conditioning unit’s refrigerant line covered in ice? This may cause you to panic, but don’t. However, do know that an ice-covered refrigerant line isn’t good. If you see frosty bits on the refrigerant line, there are some things you can do on your own. 

Thaw the AC

Turn off your AC and turn the fan setting on. Wait for 3-4 hours for it to thaw out. Although this may not be the best course of action, especially when it’s hot, you really need to thaw the unit out. 

Learn the Anatomy of Your Unit

The reason your refrigerant line is frozen is that your indoor evaporator is also frozen. Evaporator coils hold the refrigerant that absorbs heat from warm air. If the refrigerant gets too cold, the moisture in the surrounding air freezes. 

There are two reasons refrigerants get too cold. One, there is low airflow over the coils, and two, low amounts of refrigerant. 

Know What Not to Do

When DIY-ing your unit, there are some things you shouldn’t do. One is you shouldn’t operate the unit; otherwise, this may burn out the compressor and motor. When this happens, it can put your unit at risk, and you could end up needing to replace the entire system. 

Another thing is that you shouldn’t scrape or pick off the ice. Doing this will damage your equipment. What you should do instead is to let it thaw completely. Finally, don’t replace the refrigerant yourself. HVAC professionals are experts for a reason; work with them so you won’t have to tinker with your unit and do more damage than good.

Check for Blockages

Frozen refrigerant lines could indicate blockages as well. So, it’s essential you check some of the places in your unit. One of the places to check are the air filters. Inspect them and if you see any visible dirt, replace them. You should also look into the supply vents, which means you need to open all the supply vents even in rooms that you don’t use. 

Next, look into the return vents and unblock them. Usually, these places are blocked by furniture pieces and curtains. Lastly, check for dirty coils. Blockages can also happen on the evaporator coils. 

Check the Refrigerant

Your refrigerant doesn’t get used up, which means if you’re low on refrigerant, that means you have a leak. If you suspect this is the issue, there are some signs you should watch out for, such as high energy bills, the air coming out of the vents that isn’t very cold, and noises from the unit. 

Should you believe there’s a refrigerant leak, never attempt to replace it yourself. This is because it’s a toxic chemical that should only be taken care of by professionals. 


Although you can thaw your refrigerant line by yourself, hiring a professional is the best thing to do. There are many things that could go wrong when you do this by yourself, especially if you don’t have experience or even knowledge about it. With that, it’s best to hire a reliable HVAC expert, like AutumnAir.

Frozen AC refrigerant line? AutumnAir has you covered! We are known for our quality AC repair service for various AC brands in Pelham, AL. Contact us today to schedule a service!


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