Is Your AC Unit Leaking Water?

We often get phone calls from homeowners who are worried they have a major leak in their home — only to discover what they have is an air conditioner leaking water! AC units can leak water, but not because they’re tied into your plumbing system. What you’re seeing is condensation that’s built up and spilled from the system, usually because the drainage isn’t working correctly.

If your Frederick, MD home’s AC springs a leak, you can quickly get to the source of it by calling in a professional HVAC service provider. Wenbrooke Services provides the Frederick area with a wide range of services, such as air conditioner repair, replacement, and installation, including diagnosing and repairing AC water leaks.

Why Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

There are multiple causes of water leaking from your AC, but as we mentioned, they all stem from the condensate not draining properly. If you’re unfamiliar with the word condensate, it’s just like what builds up on the outside of a glass of cold water on a warm day. Droplets similarly form and collect on your AC’s evaporator coil due to humidity that condenses as it moves over the cooling coil.

This is a normal part of your air conditioner’s cooling process. AC units are designed to get rid of the condensation that would otherwise leak into your home. Drip trays with a drainage hole are situated below the coil, and a pipe drains the water outside your home. When something goes wrong, the water has nowhere to go but up and over the tray’s edges and onto the floor. Here are a few things that can cause that to happen.

  • A clogged condensate drain line is the most common cause of water leaking from your air conditioner into your home. In most cases, the simple fix is unclogging it with a wet/dry vac. More stubborn clogs can be sucked out with a special vacuum HVAC professionals use.
  • Damaged or rusted drain pans are common in older air conditioners. If your AC unit is over 12 or 15 years old, the drain pan may have rusted through and will need to be replaced.
  • A broken condensate pump is used with basement furnaces and AC units. If the pump breaks, the water will flow into the basement. Depending on the extent of the damage, pumps can be repaired or replaced.
  • Dirty air filters block airflow from an AC unit’s evaporator coil, causing the coil to eventually freeze over. When the frozen condensate melts, it may cause the pan to overflow. Depending on the season, filters should be changed every one to three months.
  • Low refrigerant lowers the pressure in your AC’s system and can also cause the evaporator coil to freeze over. Signs of low refrigerant include reduced cooling and a hissing or bubbling noise that indicate a leak.

How to Repair an Air Conditioner That’s Leaking Water

The first thing to do is turn the thermostat off. While you might have some success clearing out a clogged condensate drain, most problems are better left to an experienced HVAC technician. After the leaking water problem has been fixed, you can help prevent it from happening again by changing your filter regularly and scheduling air conditioning maintenance services, preferably in the spring before the hot weather sets in.

Why Choose Wenbrooke Services for Air Conditioner Services

Have an AC unit that’s leaking water? Wenbrooke Services offers air conditioning repair, installation, and maintenance services for homeowners throughout the Frederick, MD area. To learn more, contact us online today or call us at (240) 394-1500.