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Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Explanations

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 typically collected in a drain pan and transported through piping into your home’s drain system.

A byproduct of this process, damaged pipes or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become blocked. 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 installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In a majority of homes, building codes necessitate a secondary or safety drain pan that is located underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is sent to the outside of the home. Most of the time, the outlet of the pipe is found 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 leaking from piping on the outside of your home, this is usually an indication the primary drain is clogged 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 fix the issue. Some homes could also have a safety device that will automatically switch off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to "off" to avoid any other water damage and reach out to a Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently require professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare. 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 reaches the evaporator coil, water collects on the cold metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan under the indoor coil in 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 might clog the drain. This keeps the water from moving away properly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare to make sure it’s completed properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will autonomously shut off your AC if the drain becomes blocked again in the future, thus avoiding water damage within your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unhindered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan may become loose or disconnected. This may be the cause if someone is working around the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Inspect your AC to see if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we suggest calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue immediately. Request an appointment with Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners need 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 clear, water might build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is damaged. First, double-check that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak might be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Cracked

If you see little drips in lieu of a bigger puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be splashing off the evaporator coil instead of properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are grimy, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The best approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you uncover a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be low thanks to a leak. Air conditioners need refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it looked at consistently during seasonal maintenance is highly important for the life span of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils may freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Opposite of some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only necessary when a leak occurs in the system. Call Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare as soon as you can to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to encourage adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—potentially creating an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem lasts, additional repairs might be necessary. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare are willing and able to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are designed to run during warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder 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 due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are designed to last, but nothing survives forever. If you possess an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak may appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare 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, Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare can fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away.

Our technicians are highly trained, knowledgeable and certified to perform quality 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 comfortable.

Contact us at 289-813-5566 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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