When you need to beat the summer heat, two popular options are cranking up the air conditioning or taking a dip in a pool. However, what is not a good sign is when you see water leaking out of the AC.
It’s normal for air conditioning systems to produce condensation when hot air passes over the cold evaporator coils. However, this water is typically disposed of through a drainpipe. Common causes of a leaking AC are blocked condensate drain line, broken pump, cracked drain pan, or refrigerant issue. Depending on where the leaking water ends up, you could experience water damage, mildew or mold growth, poor indoor air quality, damage to the AC, or higher energy bills.
Four problems that could explain your leaky AC
1. Clogged condensate line
When dealing with a leaking air conditioning system, one of the first areas we check is the condensate line. This is the PVC pipe that carries water outside, where it is released onto the ground. Over time, or due to lack of maintenance, the condensate line can become blocked by debris or bacteria. This causes water to back up and overflow out of the unit.
2. Cracked drain pan
Most AC or air handler systems have an external pan that catches drips and diverts water toward a drainpipe to be properly disposed of. Older drain pans were made of metal, which can rust. Even newer plastic drain pans are prone to cracking due to the stress of heat. Once the pan cracks, water will eventually leak out onto the floor or through the ceiling.
3. Faulty condensate pump
In some AC setups, a pump is needed to push the water out of the unit to reach the discharge point. Unfortunately, the pump can fail unexpectedly, essentially trapping condensation and accumulating until a leak occurs.
4. Low refrigerant
If your AC is low on refrigerant, it can produce more condensation than usual, which can cause or worsen any of the other issues previously mentioned. To make matters worse, this situation usually indicates a refrigerant leak, which needs to be addressed right away.
How to fix a leaking AC
As with most air conditioning issues, the best solution is prevention. This means replacing the air filter and scheduling routine maintenance to catch any potential leaks before they have a chance to cause damage. However, if you’re beyond that point and water is showing up in your home where it shouldn’t be, then it’s time to bring in an experienced HVAC technician.
At Baylor Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ve been keeping Evansville, IN, homes comfortable and safe since 1984. If you have a leaking AC, don’t ignore the issue and hope it will fix itself (it won’t). Make us your first call at (812) 425-8435.