Comfort Bear here! Have you been plagued by a leak near your air conditioner? Did you try calling a plumber to no avail? Well, this could be because the leak is coming from your air conditioner.
This one can be a bit of a head-scratcher—after all, does your air conditioner even use water to operate? No, it doesn’t, so what’s going on?
If there’s anything the Comfort Bear can’t stand during the summer, it is air conditioning problems that lead to discomfort. Unfortunately, this is one of those things that while on the onset is relatively minor, can grow into something bigger. A leaking air conditioner can be quite the issue. Read on to learn more!
Where Is This Water Coming From?
The water originates from the air in your home! There’s always some level of humidity—water vapor that takes up space in the air—in our living spaces. The Comfort Bear sees it all the time, when reaching for a glass of water on a hot day—that condensation on the outside of the glass shows the way water droplets coalesce.
This same process happens when warm air moves over a cool condenser coil in your AC system. Refrigerant moving through the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air blowing over it. The coil cools down in return, allowing it to dehumidify. Water vapor collects on the coil, and a condensate drainage system is in place to help it drain.
When a Condensate System Betrays You
Under normal circumstances, water drips off of the indoor evaporator coil into a tray underneath the coil unit. This tray is positioned at an angle, enabling water to drip into a hole at the bottom edge of the train that leads to a condensate drain—a pipe that leads outdoors.
Unfortunately, this drainage system can fail…
- The drainpipe can get clogged with dirt and debris, allowing water to back up and overflow from the tray.
- The tray might get moved out of place, or it may not have been positioned properly in the first place.
- The indoor coil can freeze over due to lack of airflow—if this occurs please don’t try to remove or thaw the ice on your own, as this can do further damage.
- You may have a particularly humid home that requires a condensate pump to help move water along.
Can You Prevent Air Conditioning Leaks?
Yes, actually! The Comfort Bear has shared a few tips below on how exactly you can do that:
- Change your air conditioner’s air filter on a routine basis (every 1-3 months) to prevent dust and other debris from infiltrating the system.
- Schedule regular maintenance (once a year—or twice a year if your AC system is a year-round heat pump!) Our technicians will clean out your condensate line during this tune-up and alert you to any problems that may exist.
- Only allow trained professionals with plenty of experience to install and service your air conditioner. Oftentimes, a leak occurs because the condensate system wasn’t set up right to begin with, or the pan was knocked out of place during service.