Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Explanations
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 usually kept in a drain pan and moved through piping into your home’s drain system.
A byproduct of this process, an error or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then spill into your home. This is particularly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.
In the bulk of homes, municipal codes necessitate a secondary or safety drain pan that is found underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan possesses piping that is routed to the outside of the home. Most of the time, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s quickly noticeable if water is draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water dripping from piping on the outside of your home, this is often an indication the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.
Here are the most frequent reasons for why your AC is leaking water and how to repair the issue. Some homes could also possess 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 find water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to minimize any other water damage and reach out to a Matz-Rightway service provider to correct the issues.
Leaking air conditioners frequently demand professional servicing, which is why we’re here to assist you at Matz-Rightway. 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 condenses on the cold metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan underneath the indoor coil inside the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence takes place, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan overflows.
However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This keeps the water from flowing away properly. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Matz-Rightway to guarantee it’s handled properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will autonomously shut off your AC just in case the drain becomes blocked again in the future, thus avoiding water damage in your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unhindered.
2. Drain Line Is Disconnected
While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan may become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes occur if someone is working nearby the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line is lose from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to see if the drain line is still leading to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue immediately. Schedule an appointment with Matz-Rightway today.
3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working
Some air conditioners rely on a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are required when the home’s drain system is found above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water might collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is inoperable. First, determine that the pump is still powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak might be due to a broken condensate pump. You should check with an air conditioning contractor like Matz-Rightway to resolve the issue.
4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Cracked
If you see little drips in favor of a more substantial puddle nearby the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be dripping off the evaporator coil instead of properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The smartest approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Matz-Rightway membership.
5. Low Refrigerant Level
If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be low thanks to a leak. Air conditioners need refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it checked thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is highly beneficial for the life span 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 done when a leak appears in the system. Call Matz-Rightway immediately to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.
6. Dirty Air Filter
Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to produce enough airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—sometimes causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, further repairs might be required. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Matz-Rightway are willing and able to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.
7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC
Air conditioners are designed to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and may lead to an overflow thanks to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Matz-Rightway technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.
8. Damaged Drip Pan
Air conditioners are built to last, but nothing lasts forever. If you possess an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan may 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. Matz-Rightway can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working properly.
Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs
Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Matz-Rightway can fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away.
Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete quality 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 may help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool.
Contact us at 631-406-9220 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!