Does Your Air Conditioner Leak Water?
Here’s why, and what you can do about it.
Does it seem like your air conditioner is leaking water? Is the carpet around the indoor unit’s closet is wet? Does the floor inside the closet feel wet?
Virtually every home is Southwestern Oklahoma has air conditioning. The summers here can be quite oppressive, not to mention the humidity. Removing humidity from the air is one of the air conditioning system’s major jobs.
An air conditioner leaking water can cause extensive expensive floor damage.
With almost everyone in the community quarantined in their homes, the air conditioning systems can be worked harder than they ever have. That will only be more so as the heat of summer draws near.
But what does this all have to do with a water leak from my air conditioning system?
And if it is leaking some now, do you want to know what it means and how you can fix it?
Of course. Water leaking onto a floor is never good. If it is a wooden subfloor, very extensive damage can be had that requires replacing sections of the floor. Even with a concrete foundation, water on the floor can cause the carpet to mold and need to be replaced.
Molds in a home from water intrusion can be a very serious health hazard that the air conditioner’s filter system may not fully handle. Molds in the ductwork may cause the ducts to need cleaning.
OK, Why Is My Air Conditioner System Leaking Water?
Here are some of the most common reasons why you may start noticing water coming from the air conditioner
First, You May Have A Clogged Condensate Line
The most common problem cause of air conditioner leaks in because your unit has a clogged condensate drain line. As the unit removes humidity from the air, it collects on the air handler fins. This water then collects in a tray and is piped to the outside of the home.
The air conditioner condensate line can also accumulate dust and dirt that passes through it. Over time, they mix with the drain water and head down the pipe. This mixture can stick to the walls of the pipe and form a slimy sludge that may restrict the flow of condensate in the pipe. When this happens enough, the water is prevented from getting to the outside of the home. The final result is the water backs up and leaks into the air handler’s closet and out on the floor.
Second, The Air Conditioner Doesn’t Have Enough Refrigerant
This gets technical. If the air conditioning system loses refrigerant for some reason, the loss of refrigerant can cause low pressure in the system. When this starts to happen, you notice it first when the temperature of the vent air is not quite as cold as before.
Also, too low a pressure can cause the evaporator coils in the air handler to freeze up. Ice on the coils lowers the airflow through the coils. When the closet eventually gets warm the melted ice can overwhelm the drain system and the excess may leak onto the floor.
The unit needs to be charged and the leak found and repaired. That’s when you definitely need to give us a call.
Third, The Air Filter Accumulated Too Much Dirt
Another common reason why your AC begins dripping water is because of the air filter. Accumulated dirt can stop the filter from doing its job and prevent it from supplying power to another vital part of the air conditioning unit, the evaporator coils.
Like not having enough refrigerant, a dirty air filter can cause the coils to freeze over. This time around though, it’s because of lack of adequate airflow across the coils. Without air flowing through it, the evaporator unit gets too cold and freezes up once again.
We don’t want the evaporator coils freezing up for any reason. Freezing can cause damage to other parts of the system. The damage it causes can sometimes be irreparable and lead to installing a new AC unit instead.
Lastly, The Drain Pan Got Rusted or Just Damaged.
Damaged or rusted drain pans is a common case for old air conditioning units. If you’re faced with one that’s cracked, then you’re fortunate. It’s easier to fix than a rusted one as you can use sealants to solve the problem.
A rusted drain pan is a bit of a more complex job, though. It means the rust ate through the metal and there’s not much there to work with anymore. Often, drain pans with this kind of problem have a bunch of holes for water to fall through. It’s a clear sign of an older system that probably really should be completely replaced. Older systems can have a much higher operating cost than a newer, more efficient system.
Unlike most of the problems here on the list though, drain pans aren’t too bad to fix. Replacement is the most common solution to this problem. What’s great about these is that they’re cheap compared to other parts of the AC unit. However, some system designs may require the removal of the unit. That’s serious and indicates that it may be time, again, for a full system replacement.
So, What Can I Do About All Of This?
Is your air conditioner leaking more water than the last time you checked? If it is, don’t despair! There are still some ways for you to fix your air conditioning unit yourself. Of course, it’s best to schedule a service call and let a professional inspect the entire system.
You can even book your service call with Bill Miller and Noble Heating and Air Conditioning Online.