An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by removing heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it produces condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is normally collected in a drain pan and routed through piping into your home’s drain system.
A byproduct of this process, faulty components or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is decidedly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is kept in the attic or above a finished ceiling.
In most homes, building codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is routed to the outside of the home. Most of the time, the outlet of the pipe is placed above the outside of a window so it’s more noticeable if water starts draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water leaking from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely an indication the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.
Here are the most general reasons for why your AC is leaking water and how to fix the issue. Some homes will also have a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling unless the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you notice water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to stop anymore water damage and get in touch with a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.
Leaking air conditioners frequently do best with professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We proudly deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*
1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked
When hot, humid air moves over the evaporator coil, water forms on the chilled metal surface. In the end, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil within the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence occurs, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan becomes full.
However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This keeps the water from flowing away properly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for the peace of mind it’s performed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will autonomously turn off your AC if the drain becomes blocked again in the future, thus preventing water damage inside your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unhampered.
2. Drain Line Is Disconnected
While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes occur if someone is working near the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to see if the drain line is still fully connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Make an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.
3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working
Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are needed when the home’s drain system is found above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water may back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is faulty. First, determine that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to resolve the issue.
4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Broken
If you see tiny drips in favor of a more substantial puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be splashing off the evaporator coil compared to properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation surrounding the coils redirect the water. The best approach to stop the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning membership.
5. Low Refrigerant Level
If you notice a leak and the AC isn't cooling well, the refrigerant level may be low due to a leak. Air conditioners use refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it inspected thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is incredibly important for the working condition of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils might freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Opposite of some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only required when a leak happens in the system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning right away to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.
6. Dirty Air Filter
Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to encourage proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils can become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—possibly causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem sticks around, more repairs may be necessary. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are willing and able to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.
7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC
Air conditioners are made to be used during warm weather. Running your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below may cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and potentially create an overflow because of ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.
8. Damaged Drip Pan
Air conditioners are manufactured to last, but nothing lasts forever. If you possess an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded even with normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak may appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working properly.
Our Experts Can Meet All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs
Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can repair the damage. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible.
Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to provide exemplary work. We have full confidence in our repairs—in fact, we back up everything we perform with a one-year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!*
We’ll even recommend a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, sooner so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool.
Contact us at 321-428-7635 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!