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 generates condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is typically collected in a drain pan and transported through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, an error or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is especially troublesome if your furnace or air handler is installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In most homes, building codes necessitate a secondary or safety drain pan that is located underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is directed to the outside of the home. Typically, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s easily noticeable if water begins 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 often a sign the primary drain is blocked 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 will also have a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you see water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to avoid any additional water damage and contact a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently do best with professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We consistently 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 condenses on the cold metal surface. At the end of the process, the water drains into a pan underneath the indoor coil inside 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 could clog the drain. This prevents the water from draining away correctly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for the peace of mind it’s completed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged again later on, thus avoiding water damage in your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and open.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This may be the cause if someone is working nearby the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Inspect your AC to see if the drain line is still leading to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue immediately. Schedule an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners rely on a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is put above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water could build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is inoperable. First, make sure that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak may 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 Grubby or Broken

If you see small drips in lieu of a larger puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be dripping off the evaporator coil instead of properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation surrounding the coils redirect the water. The best 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 notice a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be insufficient thanks to a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it looked at regularly during seasonal maintenance is very useful for the working condition of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils could 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 within the system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning as soon as you can to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to encourage proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to collect in the drain pan—potentially causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, additional repairs will sometimes be necessary. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are built to be used during warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower 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 due 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 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 after years of normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak might 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 Tackle 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 right away.

Our technicians are well trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete 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 will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.

Contact us at 954-736-4314 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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