An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by pulling 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 typically collected in a drain pan and routed through piping into your home’s drain system.
A byproduct of this process, a malfunction or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is especially troublesome if your furnace or air handler is kept in the attic or above a finished ceiling.
In a majority of homes, municipal codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is located underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is routed to the outside of the home. Typically, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s easily noticeable if water starts draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water leaking from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely a sign the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.
Here are the most general causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to fix the issue. Some homes could also possess a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling unless the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you discover water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to avoid anymore water damage and get in touch with a Air Engineers Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.
Leaking air conditioners often require professional support, which is why we’re here to assist you at Air Engineers Service Experts. We happily deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*
1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked
When hot, humid air runs along the evaporator coil, water forms on the chilled metal surface. In the end, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil inside the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence occurs, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan becomes full.
However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris can clog the drain. This prevents the water from flowing away correctly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Air Engineers Service Experts to ensure it’s handled properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will automatically shut off your AC just in case the drain becomes blocked again later on, thus preventing water damage within your home. Of course, routine maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unhindered.
2. Drain Line Is Disconnected
While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This may occur if someone is working close to the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks might 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 encourage calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue right away. Make an appointment with Air Engineers Service Experts today.
3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working
Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are needed when the home’s drain system is found above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water can back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is malfunctioning. First, make sure that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should check with an air conditioning contractor like Air Engineers Service Experts to resolve the issue.
4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Damaged
If you see tiny drips in favor of a larger puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be bouncing off the evaporator coil compared to properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The easiest approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Air Engineers Service Experts membership.
5. Low Refrigerant Level
If you notice a leak and the AC isn't cooling well, the refrigerant level may be insufficient because of a leak. Air conditioners count on refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it inspected consistently during seasonal maintenance is incredibly important for the life span of your unit. Without enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils might freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only required when a leak occurs in the system. Call Air Engineers Service Experts right away to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.
6. Dirty Air Filter
Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to encourage enough airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils could become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—possibly causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, additional repairs might be needed. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Air Engineers Service Experts are ready to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.
7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC
Air conditioners are made to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder will sometimes 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 Air Engineers Service Experts technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.
8. Damaged Drip Pan
Air conditioners are built to last, but nothing survives forever. If you possess an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded even with normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak can appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Air Engineers Service Experts 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, Air Engineers Service Experts can solve the issue. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible.
Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to provide exceptional 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 suggest a worry-free membership plan. This could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, more quickly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.
Contact us at 904-450-5672 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!