Your air conditioner’s job is to keep your home cool, and a key part of this is absorbing moisture, which in turn reduces humidity. As a result, it is inevitable that a certain amount of moisture will be present in your AC at all times. However, when an internal malfunction occurs, or when your system stops draining correctly, you may notice water leaking out of the unit (refrigerant leaks are another matter entirely, which merit a blog all their own.) This can lead to huge problems for your air conditioning system, and may affect your ability to cool your whole home. Keep reading to find out the top reasons your AC is leaking, and remember that Bay Air Conditioning & Heating is available for all the AC services you need.
5 Reasons Your Air Conditioner May Be Leaking
- Clogged Drain Lines: Clogged drain lines are the main reason water leaks occur in AC units. When your AC unit’s drain line is clogged, it will not be able to drain from the overflow pan and out of the drainpipe or outside your home (depending on what kind of system you have.) If you notice pooling water around your AC unit or it has been working less efficiently lately, check the drain line for dirt and debris, which may accumulate after years of use. If you find a blockage, either remove it yourself (a wet vac should get the job done) or call a technician to flush out your drain line. If you have a modern AC system, there is a good chance it came with a shutoff feature, designed to turn your air conditioner off completely if a drain line clog is detected. Therefore, if your air conditioner seemingly shifts down for no reason, this could be another sign that you have a drain clog, building to a water leak. To prevent clogs from forming, just periodically flush the drain line out with bleach.
- Clogged Air Filters: Unless your AC unit has a reusable filter that can be cleaned, you should be replacing the air filter every few months, and potentially more during the summertime. Dirty filters can cause your AC unit to leak by obstructing the system’s ducts. When this happens, the air inside the evaporate coils becomes too cold, causing the coils to freeze and ice to build up on the system. The resulting condensation is the source of the water you see leaking from your unit. It is worth mentioning that a refrigerant leak can also cause your coils to freeze, so it is best to call a qualified AC technician to get to the bottom of this issue.
- Damaged Overflow Pans: Your drain overflow pan is the component underneath your AC unit that’s there to catch water from the drain line. When this component becomes damaged or cracked over time, either due to humidity issues or other kinds of wear and tear, water may start to leak out of the pan and onto the floor, rather than out of the drain hose as it is supposed to. If you look under your unit to find your overflow pan is damaged, you can either buy a new one and replace it yourself or call a technician to do it for you.
- Malfunctioning Pumps: When your AC unit’s pump fails, water cannot be removed from the overflow pan, causing it to spill out onto the ground around. You can test if this is the problem with your system by pouring some water in the pan, and seeing if anything is removed. If nothing happens, and you have already checked whether your drain line is clogged, you can bet that the pump is the problem, and you will need to call a technician to have it replaced.
- Improper Installation: There are a lot of ways in which improper air conditioner installation can cause problems down the line. For instance, if either your window unit or central AC unit is not installed at the right angle, it can cause water to leak out from the back. Window units are particularly tricky, because they cannot be completely level, and they cannot be tilted too far forward or back, either, as this will cause water to leak inside or outside of your home. Water may also start to leak out of your unit if the seals holding it in place are not tight enough. And remember, moisture condenses when warm air meets cool air in the unit, which can result in a condensation spill if everything is not installed in its right place.