The world is facing dangerously high temperatures and heat waves, and the US is no exception. With summer upon us, it’s more important than ever to have a reliable air conditioning unit. Since HVAC units also control indoor humidity, it’s normal to have condensation.
The moisture is then collected in a pan and discarded outside through the drain line. However, if your AC unit is leaking water, there might be an internal problem. Water dripping from AC units can be worrying, but don’t panic.
There are a number of reasons why an AC unit may leak, and most are easy to resolve on your own. Read on to learn the most common reasons for an AC unit leaking water and what you can do to solve them.
Dirty Air Filters
When was the last time you cleaned your filters or coils? Your AC unit draws in air from inside your home and will collect dust and debris through a filter. These filters ensure that your unit has sufficient air circulation.
If you neglect to clean your filters, the accumulated debris will eventually clog your filters. This can prevent warm air from flowing into your AC unit and cause your evaporator coils to freeze. Over time, the frozen coils will thaw and leak water into your home.
Clean the water first before you address the filters. If you leave the water alone for too long, it can damage your walls and floors. Hose down your filters and allow them to dry before placing them back in your AC unit.
You must clean your filters every two weeks and replace them every three months. If you have a smart AC controller, use it to know when to clean your filters.
Any moisture collected by your AC unit goes through the coils before it reaches the drain pan. Like your filters, they must get a regular cleaning. Your coils can accumulate dust and grime, and if left alone for too long, they can trap moisture.
Since the dirt prevents the water from flowing down the coil, it will leak onto your floors. All you have to do is clean your coils. Regular cleaning is not only crucial for preventing water leakage.
Dirt left alone for too long can corrode your AC’s coils. This could mean needing a replacement, which can cost much more than a repair.
Clogged Drain Line
Dirt and debris from the air can sometimes get through the filter and into the condensate drain line. If you neglect to clean this, it could result in a blockage. This causes water to collect inside your unit and spill out of the drain pan.
Newer HVAC models will automatically shut down if they detect a blockage. However, if you don’t have this, you’ll have to clean it yourself.
Start by shutting down your unit. Locate and empty the drain pan, then clean it and allow it to dry. Find your drain line and use a long wire brush to get rid of gunk and debris.
For severe blockages, you may need to use a special pump or vacuum. As part of your HVAC maintenance, pour bleach down the drain line once every six months. This will kill germs and prevent mold growth.
Disconnected Drain Line
Sometimes, problems with water leaking from AC units are as simple as a disconnected drain line. You may not have properly reattached the drain line after cleaning, or it may have become loose over time. If you’re unsure how to install a drain line, it’s best to call a professional.
Check out this website for your air conditioning repair and replacement needs.
Low or Leaking Refrigerant
Refrigerant is a cooling agent that your HVAC system relies on to function. Low refrigerant levels can reduce the pressure inside your AC unit. If you have an AC leaking water and making strange bubbling or hissing noises, you might have a refrigerant leak.
Leaky refrigerant is a greater cause for concern as it can damage your coils. If you can’t repair the damage on time, you may need to replace your entire AC unit. Call a licensed professional to prevent further damage.
Damaged Drain Pan
Your air conditioning unit will start showing signs of aging when it’s around 15-20 years old. This may occur earlier without proper maintenance. If you have an older AC unit leaking water, check the drain pan.
It may have become damaged or rusted from age. Minor damages like a small crack are salvageable.
Start by giving your drain pan a thorough cleaning. Use a flashlight to find the cracks. You may pour water to see where the leaks are coming from.
After identifying the cracks, you will need to seal them. Find a high-quality water-resistant sealant.
If your drain pan is rusty, you’ll have to replace it. Ensure you get the right size for your AC.
Damaged or Malfunctioning Condensate Pump
Your AC unit’s condensate pump plays a vital role in eliminating water. Rising water levels will cause the switch to turn on, triggering the pump to drain water. However, if the pump is malfunctioning or damaged, it will fail to drain water.
This often happens with units placed in the attic or basement. This is not a problem that you can fix on your own. You want a licensed technician to identify the severity of the damage and repair or replace it as needed.
Improper AC Installation
Is your brand-new AC leaking water? There might have been some errors during the installation.
Call a professional if you’re not sure what’s causing the problem. Attempting DIY solutions could worsen the problem or cause issues that weren’t there before.
What to Do If Your AC Unit is Leaking Water
If your AC unit is leaking water, use this guide to try and diagnose the problem. You can remedy most issues with some cleaning and proper maintenance. If the problem is beyond your comprehension, call a professional to save time and money.
HVAC units are crucial to our comfort, but they’re also delicate systems. Check out our other blog posts to learn more about proper maintenance.