Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Explanations

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by removing heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it produces condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is normally sent to a drain pan and routed through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, a malfunction or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then spill into your home. This is decidedly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In the bulk of homes, building codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan possesses piping that is routed to the outside of the home. Most of the time, the outlet of the pipe is placed above the outside of a window so it’s quickly noticeable if water is draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water spilling from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely a sign the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most general explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to repair the issue. Some homes could also possess a safety device that should automatically turn off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling unless the drain is free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you see water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to stop anymore water damage and call a Roland J. Down Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently need professional support, which is why we’re here to assist you at Roland J. Down Service Experts . We proudly deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air moves over the evaporator coil, water collects on the cold metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil in the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence takes place, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan becomes full.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris might clog the drain. This prevents the water from draining away correctly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Roland J. Down Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s handled properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will autonomously switch off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged again in the future, thus minimizing water damage inside your home. Of course, scheduling maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unhampered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This may happen if someone is working around the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Check your AC to determine if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we suggest calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue immediately. Make an appointment with Roland J. Down Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners rely on a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water might collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is broken. First, determine that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak might be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Roland J. Down Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Broken

If you see small drips instead of a larger puddle nearby the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be splashing off the evaporator coil compared to properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can happen if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The smartest approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Roland J. Down Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you discover a leak and the AC isn't cooling enough, the refrigerant level may be lacking due to a leak. Air conditioners depend on refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it looked at thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is highly important for the longevity of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils can freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only necessary when a leak occurs in the system. Call Roland J. Down Service Experts as soon as you can to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to ensure proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—sometimes causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem lasts, further repairs might be the best option. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Roland J. Down Service Experts are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are designed to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder may cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and possibly result in an overflow because of ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Roland J. Down Service Experts technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are built to last, but nothing lasts forever. If you own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan might be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Roland J. Down Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working normally.

Our Experts Can Handle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Roland J. Down Service Experts can solve the issue. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to perform quality work. We have full confidence in our repairs—in fact, we back up everything we perform with a one-year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!*

We’ll even suggest a worry-free membership plan. This could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at 518-417-2938 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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