Is water dripping out of your indoor air conditioning unit and soaking into your ceiling or attic floor? Texas summers are hot, so your air conditioner is likely working overtime. You may wonder why your air conditioner is leaking water and what you can do to fix it.
Here are a few reasons why your AC might be leaking and steps you can take to remedy the situation.
Why Does Water Form in My Air Conditioner?
Modern air conditioners typically have both indoor and outdoor units. The indoor unit contains an evaporator coil that cools the warm air as it blows over it in order to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
Condensation is formed as hot air blows over the coil. Imagine water droplets forming on a cold glass of water, and that's exactly what happens to your evaporator coil.
A drain pan leads to a condensate drain line as the moisture forms. Ideally, this line leads out of your home, so your air conditioner shouldn't leak inside the house.
It is possible that your air conditioner will leak water inside your house from time to time, but you do not need to panic. Here are a few reasons why this could be happening and how to fix it.
1. Old Drain Pan
During the cooling process, your air conditioner’s indoor unit absorbs heat and draws moisture from your home’s hot air. The heat gets absorbed by the refrigerant in the evaporator coil. The moisture, however, trickles down the coil and collects in a drain pan.
As it ages, this drain pan can rust and crack, and the water collecting in it can start to leak out into your home. The solution here is simple: replace the pan.
2. Clogged Drain Line
The water that collects in the drain pan (mentioned above) exits your home through a drain line. Dust, mold, and other debris can create a grimy clog inside that pipe that blocks water from flowing out. Instead, the water fills up the drain pan and spills over onto your attic floor. An HVAC technician can solve this problem by unclogging and cleaning your drain line so that water can flow out freely once again.
3. Dirty Air Filter
Every 30 days, you should change the air filter in your air conditioner. Your system could suffer damage or even wear out if your air filter is dirty.
A dirty filter can not only strain your home's HVAC system, but can also interfere with the flow of air over the evaporator coil. If the coil is blocked with air, it becomes extremely cold and can begin to freeze.
Water can overflow from a frozen coil as it melts. If the filter looks to be extremely dirty or clogged, it could be the reason why your air conditioner is leaking water inside the house.
4. Frozen Evaporator Coil
Remember how we mentioned that there’s refrigerant in the evaporator coil? This makes the coil extremely cold. However, if ice forms on the coil, it will cause significant issues for your air conditioner. The biggest problem is that your air conditioner will lose its cooling power and start to overheat. Also, as that frost gradually melts and drips down, that water can flood the drain pan and spread into your home.
So how does ice form on the evaporator coil? The most common reason this happens is a lack of airflow through your AC system. Usually, the culprit is a dust-clogged air filter. When your system’s air filter gets blanketed in dust, your system struggles to pull air through it. Consequently, there is very little warm air flowing over your cold evaporator coil, and the coil can start to form frost.
Low refrigerant levels (due to a refrigerant leak) or a buildup of dust and grime on your evaporator coil can also cause it to form ice. Because refrigerant is toxic and harmful to the environment if mishandled, a trained and certified HVAC technician will need to solve this issue.
5. Low AC Refrigerant
The pressure inside your AC system decreases as the volume of refrigerant decreases. Evaporator coils can also freeze, which results in a wet mess.
The refrigerant levels in your air conditioner should be checked if your home doesn't seem to be cooling down as it should. A strange hissing or bubbling sound can be an indication that you have a leak.
It is possible to repair damage caused by a leak if you find it early enough. If not, it might end up costing you a whole new unit.
Prevent these problems by having your HVAC system inspected regularly. To prevent leaks and other problems, you should conduct a thorough inspection at the start of every summer.
6. Damaged Insulation
The insulation on your coils is supposed to keep condensation from accumulating. The coil can leak water when damaged insulation has cracks or holes, causing it to drip instead of flowing. As a result, your AC unit may leak water, causing damage to your space if it is not detected quickly.
If the insulation is damaged, you will need to hire a professional to repair or replace it.
7. Disconnected Drain Line
An improper installation can cause this issue. The condensation drain line of your AC can become disconnected if it isn't connected properly, leading to an AC water leak. There was a bit of a mess, but the fix wasn't problematic.
Make sure your AC is repaired by an experienced HVAC professional to prevent leakage in the future.
Preventing Future AC Issues
Issues with air conditioner leaks can almost always be prevented during an annual AC maintenance appointment. While tuning up your indoor and outdoor AC units, your HVAC technician will have a chance to examine their components for any potential problems that could cause leaks, efficiency issues, or breakdowns. Routine maintenance also helps your air conditioner continue to function at peak performance, which helps keep your home comfortable and your energy costs low.
Request AC repairs in Arlington & Dallas-Fort Worth today: (972) 388-3669! At Tom's Mechanical, Inc., we always deliver the top-notch customer service you are seeking.