If you’ve ever noticed a leak by your air conditioner, call a plumber only to find there’s no leak in your plumbing? It’s possible it is because there is a leak from the air conditioner itself, which can be confusing to many homeowners, because after all; an air conditioning system doesn’t use WATER, does it?

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. You can notice this 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. One of the most common causes of a water leak is a clog, and there’s a chance that the reason your air conditioner leaks is due to a clog in the drain pan’s drain line from the HVAC system.

When a Condensate System Betrays You

Under normal circumstances, water drips off of the indoor evaporator coil into a drain pan or tray underneath the evaporator coil, condenser coil, or any other part of your air conditioning unit that has condensation. This drain pan/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 line—a pipe that leads outdoors, away from the AC unit.

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. When you have a clogged condensate drain line you will see an amount of water starting to leak from the buildup due to the clog.
  • The drain pan/tray might get moved out of place, or it may not have been positioned properly in the first place, becoming the cause of the AC leaking water.
  • The indoor coil can freeze over, and when that ice melts, it can cause a leakage or a large amount of water  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! Here are 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. When you have a clogged air filter it can cause the system to have issues.
  • 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. Tune-ups performed by a professional HVAC service can help prevent many of the common reasons for your air conditioner leaking water inside your home or condensate pan.
  • 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.
  • Low refrigerant, like a dirty air filter, can cause the system to overwork itself and these issues to come up – having a professional HVAC technician check your refrigerant levels or for a refrigerant leak can help keep you from a frozen evaporator coil or from your air conditioner leaking water due to low refrigerant levels

When you’re ready to put your need for AC repair in Kansas City, MO to rest, look no further than Climate Control Heating & Cooling— from indoor air quality to thermostat replacement to HVAC service & repair to a full new air conditioner or furnace installation, when you call Climate Control you get the best service in town – call today where you’ll get Comfort & Care from the Team with the Bear!