Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Reasons Why

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

A byproduct of this process, an error or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then spill into your home. This is particularly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is placed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In a majority of homes, local codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is found underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is sent to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is placed above the outside of a window so it’s more noticeable if water begins draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water dripping from piping on the outside of your home, this is usually evidence the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most frequent explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to take care of the issue. Some homes could also have a safety device that can automatically switch off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you discover water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to "off" to prevent any other water damage and reach out to a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners routinely require professional support, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We happily deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air runs along the evaporator coil, water appears on the chilled metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil inside the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence occurs, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan fills up.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This stops the water from flowing away properly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for the peace of mind it’s handled properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will autonomously shut off your AC just in case the drain becomes blocked again sometime after, thus minimizing water damage inside your home. Of course, routine maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unhampered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan may become loose or disconnected. This may happen if someone is working around the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line is lose from the pan. Inspect your AC to find out if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue immediately. Schedule an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners use a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is found above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water can collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is malfunctioning. First, determine that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Cracked

If you see small drips in lieu of a larger puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be bouncing off the evaporator coil instead of properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can happen if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The smartest approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling enough, the refrigerant level may be low because of a leak. Air conditioners depend on refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it checked consistently during seasonal maintenance is very beneficial for the life span of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils may freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only needed when a leak happens within the system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning immediately to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter needs to be changed regularly to produce proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils can become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—possibly starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem sticks around, additional repairs will sometimes be needed. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are ready to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are designed to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder will sometimes cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and may lead to an overflow thanks to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are manufactured to last, but nothing lives forever. If you own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak can appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.

Our Experts Can Meet All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible.

Our technicians are highly trained, knowledgeable and certified to provide dependable 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 recommend a worry-free membership plan. This could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, more quickly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool.

Contact us at 239-908-6991 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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