Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Written By 5 Star Charleston Heating & Air
July 18, 2022

There is a reason most air conditioning repairs happen in the summer and winter. Your air conditioner is working overtime to keep up with the harsh temperatures. If your air conditioner is not properly maintained, it is likely to break down and need repairs. These repairs are usually due to an underlying problem that escalates when combined with the hot summer temperatures. A common summer problem homeowners have in Charleston is their air conditioner leaking water. In this blog, we will explain why your air conditioner is leaking water and steps you can take to fix the problem.

Why Air Conditioners Contain Water

Your air conditioner producing water is a good thing, because it means it is working properly. The AC unit removes heat and moisture from your air. Higher temperatures typically bring higher humidity, which means excess moisture for your air conditioner to collect. The water exits into a drain pan and is sent through a drain line. Common causes of a leaking air conditioner (listed below) redirects the collected moisture and causes leaks.

What Could Be Causing A Leak

Much like the human body, the parts of your air conditioner work simultaneously together to function properly. If one part isn’t working, the whole air conditioner can malfunction. Here are common reasons your air conditioner is leaking water:

  • Clogged Drain Line
  • Low Refrigerant
  • Dirty Air Filter
  • Damaged Drain Pan

Clogged Drain Line

The most common reason your air conditioner is leaking water is a clogged drain line. Your drain line drains the condensation your drain pan collects from your air conditioner. The drain is typically located outside your home near your AC unit. Most of the time, it is a PVC or copper pipe. The drain pipe can build up mold and algae due to the moisture and can create a clog. When this happens, the water overflows the drain pan and leaks out. To fix this issue, use a wet/dry vacuum or distilled vinegar.

Low Refrigerant

Your air conditioner may be leaking due to low refrigerant levels. Low refrigerant means low pressure, which creates a possibility for a frozen air conditioner. Once your air conditioner de-thaws, the excess water can cause a leak. If your air conditioner is still frozen, you will need to unfreeze your unit by turning it off and waiting at least 24 hours for it to melt. It is important to notice if your air conditioner is leaking water or refrigerant (Freon). If refrigerant, you have a harmful problem on your hands. Freon is a toxic substance and should be handled by your 5 Star Charleston technician to ensure your safety.

Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter can cause many problems for your air conditioner, including a water leak. The cleanliness of your air filter determines your airflow. If your airflow is obstructed, it can cause a variety of issues such as a frozen AC unit. As we mentioned above, this can create a water leak. Changing your air filter can help prevent and possibly fix a water leak.

Damaged Drain Pan

A damaged drain pan is typically found on older units. If your air conditioner is 10 years or older, the drain pan may be the reason your air conditioner is leaking. If the pan can not hold the excess moisture, it can cause a water leak.

Take Action

If your air conditioner is leaking water, you should immediately take action to fix the problem. Although leaking air conditioners are not necessarily dangerous, it can cause damage to your home. The water can destroy your ceilings, walls, floors, furniture, and anything else near. The water can cause mold growth and harm the air you are breathing.

Preventative maintenance is always suggested to avoid problems such as your air conditioner leaking water. Your 5 Star Charleston technician can identify problems before they arise and ensure your air conditioner is ready to go for the season ahead. Don’t wait until it is too late – give us a call at (843) 894-3407 for air conditioning maintenance and repairs!

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