Most people take the air conditioner for granted until it starts to malfunction. At that point, trying to get someone to come and fix the AC can be a real pain. In the meantime, your home is sweltering, and the repair bill keeps growing. Here are 7 common reasons why an air conditioner might start leaking water, as well as some tips on how to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Is Air Conditioner Leaking Water Leak Normal?
You first need to figure out if the leak is actually coming from the air conditioner. If water is pooled around the base of the unit, it’s probably just condensation. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.
If you see water dripping from the air conditioner itself, that’s a different story. This could be a sign of a serious problem, and you’ll need to take action to fix it.
How Can I Tell If My Air Conditioner Is Leaking Water?
When your air conditioner leaks water, it halts the regular cooling cycle. Other than this, there are a lot of tell-tale signs of an AC leaking water problem in your air conditioner.
Puddle and molds around the air conditioner area
Are there any puddles in the basement or storage room, or are there signs of mold? Water from leaky in-room units can flood the roof and drip into your walls during your stay.
It’s good to be vigilant. It’s terrifying. Luckily, a qualified AC technician can help you prevent water damage by replacing additional switches on air conditioning systems in the home.
The hissing sound
If you hear a hissing noise, it means that your system is low on refrigerant. The gas helps transfer heat from the inside of your home to the outdoors. When there’s not enough, your AC has to work overtime to cool your home, which can cause it to leak water.
If you’re low on refrigerant, there’s a good chance your air conditioner is leaking Freon. You’ll need to call an HVAC technician to come and recharge your system.
7 Reasons why Air Conditioner is Leaking Water
Air Conditioner Leaking Water Due To Failed Condensate Pump
Condensate pumps exist because gravity does not transfer the water inside the drainpipe. Your air conditioning system may be underground, at basement level, or in an attic with extended condensate lines. In such situations, centrifuge pumps must be employed to bring water. When the condensed air of the coil reaches the desired concentration in the pump, it triggers the float switch, and the pump activates.
Like all AC systems, pump failure is possible. The water could get into the air conditioning system and cause leakage. The water can leak out and collect on the AC system during long-term usage.
If refrigeration is low, the pressure within the AC will be low too. This could cause water to drip out of the AC. It is a sure sign that your air conditioner needs a recharge. You should immediately take it to the nearest AC service center for repair.
Dirty Condenser coils in AC unit
The condenser coil is full of dust or dirt, which affects its heat transfer capacity. The result is that the compressor has to work harder than usual, which can put pressure on different parts of the system and cause them to leak. Cleaning the condenser coils regularly will help prevent this problem.
Faulty installation of air conditioning unit
If your air conditioner starts leaking, it is probably because it was not installed properly. In such cases, it is always better to call the same company that did the installation and ask them to come and check what is wrong.
Ice buildup on coils or pipes
Another common reason for water leaks is ice buildup on the coils or pipes. This happens when the temperature in the room is set too low, and the humidity is high. The coils get cold and the water in the air condenses on them, forming ice.
To prevent this from happening, you should keep the room temperature comfortable and make sure the coils are clean. You can clean them yourself with a brush or cloth or hire an HVAC technician to do it for you.
A clogged drain pan
The final reason you find the air conditioner leaking water is a clogged drain pan. The drain pan is responsible for catching any water that drips from the coils. If it becomes clogged, the water has nowhere to go and will start leaking from the unit.
You can clean the pan yourself with a little bleach or vinegar. If it’s badly corroded, you may need to replace it. Again, it’s always best to consult an HVAC technician before attempting any repairs.
Clogged condensate drain line
The condensate drain line is responsible for carrying the water that condenses on the coils outside. If it becomes clogged, the water will start to build up and eventually leak out.
You can clean the drain line yourself with a brush or a piece of wire. If it is completely blocked, you will need to call an HVAC technician to clear it for you.
As you can see, there are several reasons your air conditioner might leak water. Most of these problems can be easily fixed with a little elbow grease. However, if you’re not comfortable doing the repairs yourself, always call an HVAC technician. They will be able to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs quickly.
What should I do if my air conditioner is leaking water?
If you’ve determined that your AC unit is leaking water, you first need to turn it off. This will help prevent any further damage from occurring. Once it’s turned off, you can assess the situation and decide on the best course of action.
Broken condensate pump
You’ll need to replace the pump if the leak is due to a failed condensate pump. This is a relatively simple process that you can do yourself, but it’s always best to consult an HVAC technician before attempting any repairs.
If the leak is due to low refrigerant, you’ll need to take your AC unit to a nearby service center and have it recharged. This is a job that should be done by a professional.
Dirty air filter
If the air filter is dirty, you’ll need to clean or replace it. This is a simple process that you can do yourself. Just make sure you buy the right size filter for your AC unit.
If the leak is due to improper installation, you should call the company that installed the AC unit and ask them to come and check what is wrong.
If there is ice buildup on the condenser coils or pipes, you should turn off the AC unit and allow the ice to melt. Once it’s melted, you can clean the coils with a brush or cloth. If the problem persists, you may need to hire an HVAC technician to take a look at it.
Dirty Condenser Coils
If the leak is due to dirty condenser coils, you can clean them yourself with a brush or cloth. If the coils are severely corrosion, you may need to replace them. Again, it’s always best to consult an HVAC technician before attempting any repairs.
Clogged drain pan
If the leak is due to a clogged drain pan, you can clean it yourself with a little bleach or vinegar. If the pan is badly corroded, you may need to replace it. Once again, it’s always best to consult an HVAC technician before attempting any repairs.
Other Recommended Maintenance
In addition to the repairs we’ve already mentioned, there are a few other maintenance tips you can follow to help prevent your air conditioner from leaking water.
Change the filter regularly
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your AC unit is to change the filter regularly. You should change your filter every month to three months, depending on your filter type. A dirty filter will not only cause your AC unit to work harder, but it can also lead to ice buildup and, ultimately, leaks.
Check the coils
Another important maintenance task is to check the condenser and evaporator coils regularly. The condenser coils should be checked monthly, and the evaporator coils should be checked every three months. If you notice any dirt or debris on the coils, use a brush or cloth to clean them.
Check the drains
You should also check the drains monthly to make sure they’re clear. If you notice any clogs, use a little bleach or vinegar to clean them out.
Following these simple maintenance tips can help prevent your air conditioner from leaking water.