An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by removing heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it generates condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is usually kept in a drain pan and transported through piping into your home’s drain system.
A byproduct of this process, faulty components or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water floods the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is especially troublesome if your furnace or air handler is up in the attic or above a finished ceiling.
In a majority of homes, municipal codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is found underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is routed to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s more noticeable if water begins draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water spilling 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 may also possess a safety device that can automatically switch off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you see water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to minimize anymore water damage and contact a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.
Leaking air conditioners routinely need professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. 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 reaches the evaporator coil, water appears on the cold metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan underneath 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 fills up.
However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris can clog the drain. This prevents the water from draining away correctly. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for the peace of mind it’s handled properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will autonomously shut off your AC in the event the drain becomes backed up again in the future, thus preventing water damage inside your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unobstructed.
2. Drain Line Is Disconnected
While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan may become loose or disconnected. This can be the cause if someone is working around the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Inspect your AC to see 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 take care of this issue immediately. Make an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.
3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working
Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water might back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is faulty. First, determine that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call 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 rather than a bigger puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be splashing off the evaporator coil rather than properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can be the case if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation surrounding the coils redirect the water. The best approach to stop 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 because of a leak. Air conditioners need refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it looked at thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is incredibly useful for the life span of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils can freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Despite 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 Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning right away to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.
6. Dirty Air Filter
Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to ensure proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils can become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—sometimes causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem persists, additional repairs will sometimes be required. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are ready to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.
7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC
Air conditioners are designed to be used during warm weather. Running 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 potentially create an overflow because of 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 manufactured to last, but nothing survives forever. If you use 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 could 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 properly.
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 as soon as possible.
Our technicians are highly trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete 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 recommend a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.
Contact us at 440-252-1375 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!