How Long to Defrost Frozen AC – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 24 hours

Whereas it might look counter-intuitive for your ac to freeze during the hottest months of the year, this does happen occasionally.

Consequently, you end up frustrated, especially if you were unprepared and may have to deal with the discomfort of staying inside your home, albeit the hot weather.

There, in this article, you will be taken through the steps you need to follow to defrost your frozen ac as well as why this happens.

Going forward, you will be better placed to know what to do to have your frozen ac up and running efficiently.

How Long to Defrost Frozen AC


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How long will you take to defrost a frozen ac?

The duration your air conditioner takes to defrost depends on the extent that ice has accumulated.

Nevertheless, the period lasts between one hour to more than 24 hours. Additionally, as you waiting for your ac to defrost, you need to look out for;

Clogged condensate drain

While the ice on the ice evaporator coil is melting, water starts to drip into the condensate drain pan, and through the condensate drain line, it flows outside.

Occasionally, dirt accumulation along the drain forms a clog hence causing the backup and overflow of water.

Overflowing drain pan

If you have access to an indoor AC unit, you may wish to place several towels on the floor around the unit which assists in preventing water damage in case the thawing ice overflows the drain pan and begins leaking on the floor.

Why does defrosting a frozen ac take this long?

Defrosting a frozen ac takes between one to 24 hours because you need to follow all the steps carefully to ensure it gets to work correctly.

Discussed below are the steps you need to follow through this entire process.

Inspect the vent filters

Carefully check the vent filters to confirm whether there is any clog that is restricting the flow of air.

Air conditioners freeze due to dirty filters, thus whenever you notice any discoloration or dirt, replace them and observe whether this addresses the issue.

Inspect the fins and coils: Check the cooling fins and coils surrounding the evaporator to confirm if you need to clean them.

If cleaning is necessary, make use of a soft brush to take off any debris or dirt gently.

Check the coolant levels

Low levels of coolant affect the pressure within the air conditioner as well as the cooling efficiency thereby resulting in freezing.

Furthermore, to correct or check the refrigerant levels, use a coolant installation kit.

Reset the power

After implementing the necessary steps to defrost and rectify all issues in your frozen ac, carry out tests to examine whether it is being done correctly.

Additionally, if the breaker is switched off, restore the power and then turn on the thermostat until it reaches the cool setting.

Consequently, you need to feel the vent blowing fresh air, and in case there still is an issue, the air will be warm, or the system cycles take long.


Having gone through this article, you now have a better understanding of the duration it takes to defrost your frozen air conditioner.

Moreover, you also know as to why this happens and steps necessary to remedy this issue. Subsequently, you will no longer get to suffer from excess heat while in your home.

Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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20 thoughts on “How Long to Defrost Frozen AC – (And Why)?”

  1. While the defrost time may be long, it’s worthwhile to know the ins and outs of the process. This article certainly covers that.

  2. This was quite informative, to say the least. It’s interesting how it takes up to 24 hours to defrost a frozen ac. Never knew that!

  3. Avatar of Lucas Anderson
    Lucas Anderson

    24 hours is a long time for defrosting, but the attention to detail in this article is commendable.

  4. While a 24-hour defrost time may seem long, this article gives a good understanding of why it’s necessary.

  5. The steps outlined in this article seem very thorough and accurate. It’s good to know what to do in case this happens.

  6. This article was helpful, but the 24-hour defrost time is a bit disappointing. I would have expected a quicker solution.

  7. Avatar of Sienna Richardson
    Sienna Richardson

    The thought of dealing with a frozen ac for up to 24 hours is certainly not pleasant. Good thing I know what to do now.

  8. Avatar of Wilkinson Lewis
    Wilkinson Lewis

    The process might be lengthy, but the information provided here can really save you in a difficult situation with a frozen ac.

  9. This article was enlightening. A lot of useful information on the defrosting process and what to look out for.

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