Water leaks throughout the home can be a source of serious water damage, which most homeowners assume are related to plumbing problems. Leaky faucets, damaged pipes, and more are common culprits, but did you know your air conditioner could actually be to blame?

In our most recent blog, Edwards Royal Comfort explains three common reasons your air conditioner is leaking water and how to repair the issue.

1. A Damaged Drip Pan

The cooling system’s drip pan sits below the evaporator coils to catch condensation that forms on the coils during the cooling process. As heat is absorbed by refrigerant within the coils, air cools, which also causes moisture within the air to condense from vapor into liquid. Moisture forms on the coils and drips off into the drip pan and exits your air conditioner through the connected condensate drain line.

If the drip pan has a crack, has been damaged in some way, or isn’t tightly connected to the condensate drain line, water can drip from the drip pan and onto the floor around the indoor air conditioning unit. If the drip pan was removed for cleaning but not replaced, there could be quite a large puddle.

To check the drip pan, shut off power to your air conditioner and remove the access panel to the indoor unit or air handler. Locate the evaporator coils and find the drip pan that sits underneath. Use a light to better see the drip pan and look for damage or a disconnected drain line. If you find damage, it is best to fully replace the pan, but damage can be temporarily repaired with epoxy until a new component can be installed. If the leak occurs at the connection between the condensate line and drip pan, tighten the connection or have components replaced if damaged.

In most cases, we recommend contacting a highly rated HVAC company such as Edwards Royal Comfort to repair or replace the drip pan.

2. A Clog in the Condensate Drain Line

Condensation exits the drip pan into the condensate drain line, which carries water from the AC system out of the home. Clogs can form in these pipes, which cause water to back up and cause AC unit leaks. Clogs can form in the drain line due to algae or mold growth in the drip pan, debris, or other sources.

Homeowners who are handy are often able to remove a clogged drain line, but an HVAC repair technician can also do this job. 

  • Shut off power to the air conditioner.
  • Clean out the drip pan using a wet/dry vacuum to remove water and debris. 
  • Use a thin wire brush inserted into the drain to clean the opening and clear clogs located near the top of the line.
  • Go outside and locate the end of the condensate line. Use a brush, wire, or drain snake inserted into the line to remove clogs near the end of the pipe.
  • Attach a wet/dry vacuum to the end of the line to suck out clogs and debris.
  • Once condensation is clearly flowing through the condensate line again, flush the drip pan and drain line with an equal bleach and water solution.

3. A Dirty Air Filter

A dirty or clogged air filter can also cause an air conditioner to leak water. While the filter itself doesn’t leak, it could be the answer to why your air conditioner is leaking water inside due to a serious problem it can cause.

A dirty air filter blocks air from flowing into the air conditioning system. While this can cause multiple problems, the important one in this situation is frozen coils. Due to the airflow restriction caused by a dirty filter, the evaporator coils within the indoor air conditioning unit can develop ice and freeze over because the refrigerant within doesn’t warm up.

As the coils melt, the volume of water falling into the drip pan is higher than normal. This runoff may overwhelm the drip pan, and when water levels become too high, water spills over the sides of the drip pan out onto the floor.

Stop AC Leaks with Help from Edwards Royal Comfort

If you’re wondering why your AC is leaking, the answer is likely outlined above. Address AC leaks right away to avoid water damage to your home as well as your cooling equipment. When professional air conditioning repair is needed, call Edwards Royal Comfort for quick, reliable service in Indiana.

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