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AC FAQ: Why is My AC Leaking Water?

Homeowners throughout the area are looking forward to moving into the warmer time of the year. We’ve had some fairly warm days already, but the upcoming forecast is looking rather dreary and chilly. Regardless, now is the time of the year when you should really start thinking about your air conditioning system. In a previous post, we talked about when you might want to consider replacing your air conditioner. This time around, we’re going to talk about a common issue that homeowners may be baffled by: an AC leaking water!

As is the case with most air conditioning problems, the leaking of water from your air conditioner may stem from a few different causes. It may not be the result of a serious problem, but it is still an issue that should be resolved as soon as possible. If professional services are required, or if you are not comfortable with any DIY fixes for the less serious causes, contact us to get your system back on track ASAP!

Where Is the Water Coming From?

One bit of good news regarding water leaking from your air conditioner is that it is not really a system “leak.” No, you’re not imagining the water that you are seeing. It is very possible for water to “leak” from your system, but it’s not the same as a boiler or plumbing leak. There is no water used in the cooling process, after all, and the AC does not have a water supply or storage chamber. So where is the water coming from?

A Backed Up Condensate Drain Line

One of the most likely answers to this question is a backed-up condensate drain line. As you have no doubt noticed, our weather can be exceedingly humid in this part of the country. The air conditioner, during the cooling cycle, draws some moisture out of the air. This moisture will condense on the evaporator coil as refrigerant is evaporated and then drips down into the condensate drain pan.

From there, the condensation is led out of your home via the condensate drain line. If the pan is misaligned, if it is corroded through, or if the drain line is backed up due to some kind of blockage or algae growth, the water may pool around the unit. This is a pretty easy fix — simply replacing/realigning the pan or cleaning the drain line — but it must be completed promptly and correctly. Otherwise, water damage may result.

Melting Ice

In some instances, the leaking water may not be a simple condensation backup. It may be ice that is melting off of the evaporator coil. This could, potentially, be a much more serious problem. The first thing to do when you notice ice building up on the unit, or if you see water and it is not an issue with the drainage, is to check your air filters. A very dirty air filter could restrict airflow enough to cause condensation on the coil to freeze over.

If this is not the case, then you could be dealing with a refrigerant leak. This is a very serious problem, and failing to have the leak repaired and the refrigerant properly recharged can lead to catastrophic damage to your AC. If you have any reason to suspect that you have a refrigerant leak — ice, decreased cooling output, etc. — contact our repair technicians immediately.

Schedule your AC services with the pros at Ideal Services Heating & Cooling.