Here’s Why & How You Can Fix It
The warmer seasons mean we can enjoy ice-cold drinks and take advantage of the sunshine. But summer also means it’s time for our air conditioners to jump into action and provide us with their much-needed cooling functionality.
Unfortunately, HVAC units can break when they work overtime, and the most common problem people face is leaks.
There could be many reasons why your air conditioner is leaking water, so in this post, we’re going to look at the most common ones and how you can fix them.
Why Your Air Conditioner Is Leaking & How to Fix the Problem
Modern air conditioning units have outdoor and indoor systems and use an evaporator coil to cool warm air.
Of course, the combination of warm air and your evaporator coil will result in condensation. In most cases, the air conditioning unit will ensure the moisture drips into a drain pan, which then goes through a drain line to the outside of your property.
So when your air conditioner begins to leak water inside the property, there’s a problem with the system.
HVAC units can leak for many reasons, and knowing what might be causing yours is the first step to fixing the problem.
The Problem: Dirty Air Filter
Ideally, you should change your air filter every month because it has a lot of work to do, and when the filter gets dirty, it fails to perform. An air filter that isn’t functioning will put pressure on the rest of the air conditioning unit, which could cause parts to break.
Another issue with a dirty air filter is the dust and grime will stop air flowing through, which could cause the coil to freeze. When it melts, water can flood the drain pan, which will affect your entire system.
Changing your filter every month guarantees you’ll keep the whole system working efficiently, but if you can’t manage once a month, then try to change it every two months.
The Problem: Clogged Drain Line
A clogged drain line is the most common issue we encounter with the average air conditioning system. As water flows through it regularly, the drain line can often accumulate dirt, dust, and debris – which means the water won’t be able to move through it, and the backup results in water coming through your home.
If you want to fix the problem yourself, it’s best to use a wet/dry vac to see if you can remove the debris. In some cases, this will work, but if the vacuum fails to free up any debris and still won’t let water flow through, it’s best to ask for professional support.
The Problem: Low Refrigerant
Your refrigerant is central to ensuring the air conditioning unit functions properly, and it needs to be at a healthy volume to maintain the correct pressure levels. When the pressure gets too low, the evaporator coil might freeze, which results in excess water.
Checking the refrigerant levels is the best way to see if there’s a problem, but you might also hear strange hissing noises coming from your AC system or notice that it’s unable to cool your room.
Some people attempt to repair the leak themselves, but you should only try this if you know how to do HVAC repairs. In most cases, it’s advisable to ask a professional for advice because you might need to change the entire AC unit.
The Problem: Damaged Condensate Pump
Some households have their air conditioning system in the basement, and it needs a condensate pump to filter the water outside. If the pump becomes damaged, it will fail to remove the water, which leads to your air conditioner leaking.
Broken condensate pumps can be challenging to repair, but a professional engineer knows how to diagnose and fix the problems. In some cases, you’ll need to replace the condensate pump, but doing this will prolong the life of your AC system.
Other Causes of an HVAC Leaking Water
Sometimes, there’s water leaking from air conditioning units because the system is old. Your AC system has a big job to do – and as it gets older, the parts will inevitably become less efficient.
The first problem you’ll probably notice is the drain pan, and if your HVAC system is 12 years old, you should replace the pan to see if the issue goes away.
Pumps and pipes are also susceptible to damage, but in some cases, it might just be that the whole system needs replacing.
Is an AC Leaking Water Dangerous?
Let’s get one thing straight; an air conditioner leaking water needs to be fixed because even the smallest of issues can be a catalyst for severe problems to develop.
Air Conditioning Leaking Water vs. Refrigerant
When your air conditioner leaks, it’s common for people to view it as a mere inconvenience, and in most cases, it is. But there’s a distinct difference between an air conditioner leaking water and refrigerant leaks.
If your refrigerant leaks water, it can evaporate and turn into a gas which can be dangerous for your property. Luckily, there are ways to tell if normal water or refrigerant is leaking from your AC system.
Are Your Bills Increasing?
The best way to tell if your AC system is leaking refrigerant is to look at your energy bills. When the air conditioner is leaking water, the bills won’t change, but refrigerant leaks make the system less efficient. Take a look at your electricity bill, and if there’s a distinct change in how much energy you’re using, it’s time to call in a professional.
Is There Water or Ice?
Another way to tell whether your air conditioning is leaking water or refrigerant is to look at the drain pan and coils. A full pan indicates a water leak, but ice on the copper lines and coils means it’s probably a refrigerant leak.
What’s Your Environment Like?
When your refrigerant leaks, your home will be warmer because the HVAC unit won’t function properly, and it can blow hot air into the house. Water leaks might be harder to spot, but many people notice a faint moldy smell due to the excess moisture.
Why You Should Always Fix a Leaking HVAC
If your HVAC leaks water, then it can still lead to severe consequences for your property. What might start with a few tiny drops of water can very quickly turn into a flood. Your attic or basement could suffer from severe water damage, and you’ll need to call specialists in.
At iFlooded Restoration, we encounter this problem all the time and have a team of specialists skilled in water damage repairs. We’ll look at what’s causing the leak, explain how we can fix it, and get to work.
After isolating the problem and drying the room, we’ll do our best to restore your property to its original condition.
Water damage can create a host of issues, especially if you don’t deal with it immediately. If you’d like to know more about our services, please feel free to get in touch, and we’ll be happy to help.