Seeing water dripping from your air conditioner can be quite unsettling and inconvenient. The last thing you want in your home is a messy puddle, not to mention the high cost of repairs that come with it. Even though your cooling system removes moisture from your indoor air, water leaks are not normal. Instead, a cooling unit leaking water may indicate serious issues.
When you notice water leaks from your air conditioner, turn off the unit and call your AC technician to inspect and fix the problem. Finding out the cause of water leaks in your AC is due to several common problems. Below are six common reasons you are noticing water dripping from your cooling system.
1. Damaged Drain Pan
The AC unit’s drain pan is found underneath the indoor evaporator coils and is responsible for catching condensation. This condensation then flows into the air conditioner’s drain line, which leads it outside your home. If the drain pan has cracks or is damaged, water may begin leaking rather than flowing into the AC drainpipe.
An old air conditioning unit can begin showing signs of aging, and a rusted drain is one of the common occurrences. If your AC system is over 15 years old, the drain line pan might rust and corrode, causing the unit to leak water. If you notice small pools of water near your AC indoor unit, check the condition of the drain pan. If the pan has notches, cracks, or holes, replacing it is the best way to resolve this problem.
2. Clogged Condensate Line
A blocked condensate line is among the most common causes of AC leaks. The moisture your cooling system collects during the humidification process contains dirt and debris. If you neglect AC maintenance, the condensate drain line of your AC can accumulate dirt over time, forming a blockage. As a result, water may start collecting inside your air conditioning unit, forcing it to flow out of its drain and onto the floor of your house.
Some modern AC units today come with cutoff switches that automatically turn off your air conditioner if it detects a clog in the condensate drain line. This amazing feature can help safeguard your residential property from water damage. Nonetheless, if your home’s AC doesn’t have this functionality, you’ll need to turn off the air conditioner immediately and call your AC technician.
Experts recommend investing in regular maintenance to prevent blockages in the AC unit’s condensate drain line. During maintenance visits, your technician will check the tubing for debris and mud to ensure that it’s not blocked so water can flow freely into the AC’s drainpipe.
3. Frozen Evaporator Coils
The other cause of AC water leaks is frozen coils. Sometimes, the coils of your cooling system can freeze due to refrigerant leakages or restricted airflow. If that happens, your unit will accumulate moisture, causing drain pan overflows and water leakages. If your AC system is freezing, call your AC expert to check the unit and identify the source of the problem. When there is an airflow issue, the professional will inspect your ductwork, return vents, air filters, and fin coils. Cleaning all these components can help restore airflow in the AC and solve freezing and water leakage issues.
If cleaning these components doesn’t solve the problem, your air conditioning unit might have low refrigerant. If there’s insufficient refrigerant in your cooling unit, the evaporator coils become extremely cold, leading to ice formations. Once the ice melts, water will begin dripping from the air conditioner, causing pools of water near the unit. If your refrigerant is low, don’t try to fix the problem because handling refrigerant is dangerous and should only be left to the professionals. Call your AC technician to identify the reason for the water leakage and fix the problem.
4. Broken Condensate Overflow Switch or Pump
The AC condensate pump and overflow switch are important because they prevent water from building up in your air conditioner. If your central HVAC system is in the basement or located far away from your home’s attic, it might be difficult for the condensation to flow out of the AC drain line. As a result, it can cause drain line backup, causing water to spill into the AC unit, and that’s where the pump comes into play. The AC condensate pump will remove water from your cooling unit.
If the water level of the reservoir of your AC condensate pump goes up, the overflow switch automatically turns on, prompting the pump to drain moisture outside your home. However, if the condensate pump is broken or the AC safety switch is faulty, it’ll not drain water from the cooling system, causing moisture to build up and spill from your unit. A malfunctioning safety switch or condensate pump is not something you can handle yourself. Contact your HVAC technician to replace or repair these components, depending on the level of damage.
5. Dirty Filter
An AC air filter helps block pollen, dust, and other debris from collecting on the internal components of your HVAC equipment. It also keeps bigger particles of contaminants out of your cooling system, preventing possible damage. Over time, AC filters can accumulate dirt and become clogged, hindering airflow inside the unit. As a result, the AC evaporator coils will become too cold, causing ice buildups in and on the cooling system. When the ice buildups melt, water will start dripping, causing leaks.
HVAC experts recommend changing filters every 30 to 90 days. However, the changing frequency depends on your filter type and where you live. For instance, if you live in a region with cool temperatures, you don’t have to change the filters more often since you don’t need your cooling unit regularly. On the other hand, if your cooling unit is in heavy use, you need to check your filters regularly to prevent AC leaks. Besides, changing the filters will also enhance your cooling system’s performance and efficiency.
6. Poor Installation
Incorrect AC installation can also cause your unit to leak water. If you recently installed a new cooling system, and it’s already leaking water, the reason might be incorrect installation. The air conditioner and the drainpipe might not be proportional, interrupting water flow from the drain pan. The water may flow backward or lie at the same level if the moisture can’t stream ahead.
The AC drainpipe should be lower than the cooling system to allow moisture to flow downwards to the drainage outlet. To avoid AC leaks brought about by poor installation, allow an AC professional to install your cooling system. These experts have the skills, experience, and tools to install different AC models and brands without errors.
Contact the Cooling Experts!
A leaking air conditioner can be annoying. Not only does it leave you uncomfortable during the hot summer months, but it can also cause serious water damage in your home. Keeping your cooling unit clean with proper maintenance can help prevent most AC leaks.
Is your cooling system leaking water? If yes, don’t hesitate to contact AC experts at Laury Heating Cooling & Plumbing today. Our technicians will inspect your unit and perform the needed replacements or repairs to restore comfort in your living space. We also offer plumbing and heating services throughout Vineland, NJ, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule your service appointment.