During the hot summer months in the midst of the grueling heat, the last issue you want to deal with is a broken down air conditioning system. Throughout its normal operation, you can expect your indoor A/C unit to collect a small puddle of condensation that should evaporate within a hot day’s time.
If your air conditioning unit is leaking water for a day or more, however, this is usually a sign that something needs to be repaired. Turn off the unit to prevent further water damage to your home and to ensure that the water does not spread and ruin any of the electronic components of your system.
There are many possible reasons that your indoor unit may be leaking water. Some are simple repairs that you may be able to take care of on your own, and others require a professional technician to come out and inspect your HVAC system.
Here are some of the common causes of a water leakage from your air conditioning unit, and the steps that should be taken to get your system back to proper performance:
Damaged Overflow Pan
The overflow pan is what catches the condensation that is created by your A/C unit. Over time, this pan can develop holes, cracks, or can rust through, allowing the water to escape and leak into your home.
There are a couple of different options if your overflow pan has become worn down—any holes or cracks can be patched up using epoxy glue, but to be on the safe side, it is more effective to simply replace the overflow pan to ensure the problem does not repeat itself.
Dirty Air Filter
The air filter in your HVAC system traps any dirt and dust from being released into the airstream.
Failing to regularly clean or replace your filter will cause build-up, restricting airflow throughout your HVAC system. This causes the temperature within the system to drop and form ice around the evaporator coils, which will then melt and cause a leakage.
In order to solve this issue, your air filter needs to be replaced. It’s simple to replace yourself, but a professional HVAC technician would also be happy to replace it for you if you prefer. This should be done at least once every two months, if not on a monthly basis.
Dirty Evaporator Coil/Drain Line
The evaporator coil converts the liquid cooling chemicals of your system to gas, which is then transferred into your home as cool air through your air ducts. If the evaporator coil is dirty, the liquid will mix with dirt, causing the drain line to become clogged.
Both your evaporator coil and drain pipe should be cleaned on a regular, annual basis. If this is the cause of a water leakage in your home, it is best to consult a technician to ensure that your coils and drain lines are properly cleaned out.
Not Enough/Too Much Pressure
A shortage or excess of pressure within your HVAC system could also lead to a water leak:
Not Enough Pressure – Lowered pressure within your air conditioning system can cause your evaporator coil to freeze over, which will then melt and cause a leakage.
Low pressure is usually a sign that your refrigerant needs to be recharged, which a technician can take care of for you in no time.
Pressure Build-Up – On the reverse side, too much pressure can cause frost and condensation on some system components, creating an excess of water. Check to see if any of your vents are closed or blocked, causing pressure to build. Otherwise, this is a sign of overcharged refrigerant—contact a technician to stabilize your refrigerant level.
Clogged Condensate Line
This is the most common cause of water leakages from your air conditioning system. The condensate line drains out the condensation from your overflow pan and directs it outside, or to a drainpipe that leads to your plumbing system. If there is something clogging the line, the water backs up and floods the overflow pan.
There are three ways to attempt clearing out a clogged condensate line:
- A dry/wet vacuum can be used to suck out the clog.
- The Mighty Pump is an invention that uses a hand pump to suck or blow the line clear.
- Pour chlorine bleach through the line to dissolve any accumulated slime, mold or bacteria.
Most modern units are built to detect when the condensate line becomes clogged, and are equipped with a switch—called the water-overflow cutoff switch—that shuts the unit off in such a case. If your unit unexpectedly shuts down, try clearing your condensate line using one of the methods above. If the problem persists, you should call for an inspection of your HVAC system.
Other Common Causes
If your system is leaking water and you can’t seem to find the cause, here are a couple of other possible explanations:
- Condensate Pump – This part is what moves the condensation through the condensate line. Pour water into the overflow pan—if it is not pumping the excess water, there could be a clog which can be cleared with chlorine bleach, or there is a problem with the motor or condenser itself. Call a local HVAC technician to determine the cause of a faulty pump.
- Improper Installation – If your system is not installed properly, there are a number of things that could be causing a leakage. This includes the drainage system, refrigerant levels, or any loose seals that are allowing air to escape which throws off the balance of pressure. Contact a technician to evaluate your system for any components that may not have been installed correctly.
- Cold Weather – Any excess water that is collected from your air conditioning unit is evaporated in the hot outdoor air. If it is too cold outside, the air will not evaporate the accumulating water—eventually causing a leak. This can be solved by turning off your A/C unit and taking advantage of the cool outdoor temperature.
In order to prevent a future water leakage from damaging your home, it is important to ensure the proper maintenance of your air conditioning system. For peace of mind, be sure to replace your air filters on a monthly basis, and have your entire HVAC system cleaned and evaluated for efficiency annually.
Is Your HVAC System Leaking Water? Give Us a Call Now!
Are you starting to see a puddle of water forming underneath your indoor A/C unit? Even if you were able to find and fix the source of the problem on your own, it is always recommended to call for a professional technician to perform a system check of your air conditioning unit.
Pro HVAC Service specializes in connecting you with a reliable HVAC contractor that can diagnose and repair your system as quickly as possible!
For a free, no-obligations estimate on HVAC services in your area, simply fill out the form to the right or give us a call at (844) 769-5995. Within minutes, you will be contacted with competitive estimates for your project.