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 normally kept in a drain pan and routed through piping into your home’s drain system.
A byproduct of this process, damaged pipes or sludge buildup can 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 leak into your home. This is especially troublesome if your furnace or air handler is located in the attic or above a finished ceiling.
In a majority of homes, local codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is directed to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s easily noticeable if water begins 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 often evidence the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.
Here are the most frequent causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to take care of the issue. Some homes will also possess a safety device that should automatically turn off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you notice water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to stop any additional water damage and reach out to a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.
Leaking air conditioners routinely require professional servicing, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. 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 forms on the chilly metal surface. In the end, the water drains into a pan under the indoor coil in 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 fills up.
However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris can clog the drain. This keeps the water from flowing away like it’s supposed to. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure it’s completed properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will autonomously shut off your AC just in case the drain becomes clogged again sometime after, thus minimizing water damage inside your home. Of course, scheduling maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unhampered.
2. Drain Line Is Disconnected
While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This can happen if someone is working around the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line is lose from the pan. Inspect your AC to determine if the drain line is still attached to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue as soon as possible. Make an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.
3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working
Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water may build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is not functioning. First, double-check that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should check with an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to resolve the issue.
4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Damaged
If you see small drips in lieu of a bigger puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be splashing off the evaporator coil compared to properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can be the case if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The easiest approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning membership.
5. Low Refrigerant Level
If you discover a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be insufficient due to a leak. Air conditioners require refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it looked at regularly during seasonal maintenance is highly important for the working condition of your unit. Without enough 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 recharged unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only necessary when a leak appears within the system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning immediately to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.
6. Dirty Air Filter
Your air conditioner's filter needs to be changed regularly to ensure adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—sometimes creating an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, further repairs will sometimes be needed. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.
7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC
Air conditioners are built to run during warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below may 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 Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.
8. Damaged Drip Pan
Air conditioners are designed 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 might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.
Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs
Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help. 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 provide exemplary 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 can help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, sooner so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.
Contact us at 866-397-3787 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!