One of the most common AC problems homeowners experience is an AC leaking water.
An AC unit leaking water can be a much more serious problem than few drops or a puddle of water on the floor. Water leaks can cause major water damage to your home and belongings, and in most cases, they are an indication that something is wrong with your air conditioner.
While an air conditioning unit leaking water is generally easy to fix, if ignored it can result in damage to your home’s wall, floors, or electrical systems and even lead to dangerous mold growth. These leaks can often be avoided through regular preventive maintenance.
Because it can lead to extensive damage, it is important to pay attention when your air conditioner is leaking water, but first, you need to understand what’s causing the problem.
9 Reasons Your AC Is Leaking Water
During the dehumidifying process, your air conditioner creates condensation, but under no circumstances should this water be leaking out of your vents or AC unit. If you see water coming out of your AC system, check a few of these most frequent causes for water leaks.
1. Clogged AC Drain Line
Most often, your air conditioner is leaking because your drain line is clogged. When the drain line clogs, it causes the air conditioner’s drain pan to overflow, which causes the condensation produced by the air conditioner to leak out of the unit. Drain lines often become clogged with algae, dirt, and other debris, so it’s important to clean your AC drain line frequently to avoid leaks.
Solution: Unclog and clean your AC drain line.
2. Damaged Drain Pan
It’s possible that your drain line is working as intended, but the problem is with your drain pan. Check your AC’s drain pan for cracks or leaks. To do this, pour about a gallon of water directly into the drain pan and watch how the water drains. If the water leaks out of the drain pan instead of going down the drain line, then the problem is with your drain pan.
Solution: Small cracks and leaks can be patched, but oftentimes it’s best to replace the drain pan instead of trying to patch the leaks.
3. Disconnected AC Drain Line
Sometimes, air conditioning systems are not installed properly. If the drain line is not connected correctly, it may start to loosen over time. If the drain line disconnects from the unit, the condensation it produces will just leak onto the floor.
Solution: Follow the drain line from your AC unit and check for any disconnected PVC pipes. If you follow the pipes to the outside and see water dripping, this isn’t your issue. If you don’t see water dripping and you are sure there isn’t a clog, then the drain line may have disconnected somewhere along the line.
4. Broken Condensate Pump
A broken or dirty condensate pump can also cause your air conditioning unit to leak. The condensate pump is used to remove the condensation created by your AC system. If the pump is not working, it could be a problem with either the power to the pump, the motor, or the pump itself. Since an air conditioning unit continually produces condensation, this can cause the pump to become clogged with mold or mildew, so it is important to make sure that you clean it often to avoid these issues.
Solution: Clean your condensate pump. If that doesn’t fix your issue, you can try replacing the condensate pump or consult an HVAC professional to help.
5. Clogged Air Filter
When is the last time you changed your AC’s air filter? Air filters are by far the most neglected part of an AC system even though they’re an essential component. If your air filter is dirty enough, it can clog and prevent airflow, which will have a domino effect and could cause your AC system to leak water. A good rule of thumb is to change your air filter each month to get the most out of your air conditioning system.
Solution: Replace your AC’s air filter.
6. Refrigerant Leak
Refrigerant is used to cool the air that is pumped through your home, so when refrigerant levels get low from a refrigerant leak or other issue, your system will not operate as it normally would. If you notice that your AC system turns on and off repeatedly, this could be a sign of a leak.
Solution: If you suspect this is the case, contact an HVAC professional immediately. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and require a certified technician to fix.
7. Air Duct Leaks
Ductwork is important to your HVAC system. Your air ducts must be maintained just like the rest of your home. If air is leaking from your ducts then the warm and cold air can mix and produce condensation.
Solution: Check your ductwork for air leaks and patch any holes you find.
8. Lack of Preventive AC Maintenance
An AC tune-up and preventive maintenance check will prevent clogged drains and related water leaks. Cleaning your drain pan and drain lines will enable you to make it through the summer without having to worry about flooded areas in your home. Additionally, cleaning the coils and other parts of your AC system can improve the efficiency of your system. Worn parts can be identified before fail and lead to problems, allowing you to know that your equipment is ready for the hot summer.
Solution: Perform routine AC maintenance or contact an HVAC company to do this for you.
9. Improper HVAC Installation
When you replace your air filter each month be sure it is installed properly into your system. If the filter isn’t properly installed then it could lead to a malfunction in the system, causing leaks and other issues. The same tenet goes for the entire HVAC system. If the system is improperly installed then it can cause issues like excessive water leaks and inconsistent cooling.
Solution: If you followed all the steps above and couldn’t find any issues, call an HVAC professional to inspect your AC.