Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?
Air conditioning units have given us the ability to cool our homes even on the hottest of summer days, giving us an escape from the heat and a customizable oasis of comfort within our homes. When AC units are functioning properly and efficiently, they’re a beloved and well-used appliance that you can depend on to keep you comfortable. But you may find yourself at some point asking, “why is my AC leaking water?’
Well, like with most appliances around the house, they do eventually wear down, break, and occasionally quit working. You might notice your AC leaking water at some point or another, when this happens Premier HVAC Services has the know-how to help you identify potential causes of AC water leaks.
Whether your AC unit is leaking in an apartment, inside the house, or from the vents, some common issues cause this to happen. AC units are ever-evolving appliances that all operate around the same initial concept, transferring and cooling air to circulate throughout your home. While many water leaks aren’t considered to be serious emergencies, they can be a sign that your AC unit needs to be serviced before more serious issues potentially arise.
How Your AC Unit Works
One of the main functions that your AC unit is responsible for is the removal of warm, humid air from within your home. The unit then absorbs the heat using cold refrigerant in the coil which turns the warm air into a hot gas. The remaining cool air is then circulated back into your home using a fan, leaving you with a cool breeze coming from your home’s vents.
As for the hot gasses that have been absorbed by the coil, they make their way to the compressor unit outside which turns it into an even hotter form of vapor. The heat is then discharged outside of your home, and the refrigerant returns to a cold liquid to repeat the process over again.
During this process, the moisture from the warm humid air collects on the evaporator coil and then drips into the primary drain pan and down a drain line that goes outside. This happens with every cycle your AC unit runs. So having your AC leaking water isn’t anything too out of the ordinary, and as long as it’s not a refrigerant leak, you can continue to use it but should schedule a maintenance tune-up.
Why is Your AC Leaking Water?
If your AC is leaking water from the coil, or you find water dripping from the air conditioning filter, it could be a sign that those specific pieces need to be replaced. Some fixes may be as simple as unclogging the drainpipe while others may require a certified HVAC technician to handle.
Your AC unit handles hot, humid air with every cycle it runs, so it’s no surprise that it may leak water from time to time. Finding the root cause of why your AC is leaking water can seem like a daunting task, but some of the most common causes of AC water leaks can be easily recognized if you know what to look for.
Damaged Drain Pan
Responsible for collecting the water that gets pulled from the humid air, the drain pan collects the water before running out of the drain pipe. If your drain pan is damaged, this could result in you seeing water leaking from your AC unit.
Clogged Drain Line
After leaving the drain pan, the collected water then runs through the drain pipe and gets disposed of outside of the unit. A clogged or damaged drain line could result in water not getting disposed of properly, causing it to back up and overflow the drain pan, or leak from cracks in the drain line itself.
Two major things can cause your coil to freeze up resulting in your AC leaking water.
- Reduced Airflow
- A refrigerant leak
Airflow can be reduced from things such as dirty filters, broken fans, or collapsed air ducts. When this happens, warm air doesn’t circulate and gets absorbed by the refrigerant in the coil causing it to freeze and eventually overwhelm the drain pan causing leaks.
With a refrigerant leak, the coil collects the remaining water that then expands, lowering its temperature and eventually freezing.
Common Questions When Your AC is Leaking Water
- Can we use AC when water is leaking?
Yes, as long as it is not a refrigerant leak you can continue to use your AC unit. It is recommended that you schedule service soon with a trusted company like Premier HVAC Services if you live within the Forney, TX area.
- Is water leaking from the air conditioning unit dangerous?
No, water leaking from your AC unit is not considered dangerous, however, it can cause serious damage to your home if left unchecked. Coolant/refrigerant leaks are however dangerous, so always use caution when investigating AC leaks.
- How to fix AC that is leaking water inside?
Most often this is caused by a clogged drain line. Using a wet/dry vac can help clear out any debris within the line most of the time, allowing water to drain properly.