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Peaden Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical Blog

Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking?


Common Reasons for an Air Conditioner Leak 

It can be very alarming when you notice that your air conditioner is leaking. After all, you’ve invested a lot of money on your air conditioner and it’s essential to keeping a comfortable temperature in your home. While it might be easy to just continually clean up the water rather than finding out what the problem is, in order to have an AC unit that is durable and offers longevity, you’ll want to get the problem fixed promptly. Here we look at some of the common problems of why your air conditioner is leaking and how you can prevent it from happening in the future.

Condenser Tray Concerns

The interior of your air conditioning unit is equipped with an evaporator coil. This evaporator coil works as a collector of the condensation that forms as part of the process of creating cooled air. The warm air from inside the home is forced over this cooling coil. As the warmer air cools, it drops some of the moisture that it is carrying. This moisture then drips from the coil into a tray or pan, which in turn goes into a drain in the tray.

There are sometimes problems with the tray that can cause water leakage. If the tray is not set at a slight angle, the water cannot exit. Much like a bathtub, the pan must be at a slant to drain properly. An AC repair technician may only have to make a slight adjustment to the tray’s position to fix the problem. Increasing the slant or even moving the pan sideways can fix this water issue. It’s also important to know that the pan can also have cracks that are causing the leakage. If this is the case, the tray may have to be replaced.

Drainpipe Drama

Air conditioning systems are designed with drainpipes underneath them. These drainpipes are made to get rid of the water that condenses and falls into the tray. The basic problem with these drainage pipes is that they can become clogged with dirt and debris. If they become clogged, the water draining into them backs up into the pan, causing it to overflow and leak.

Although a professional repairman can correct the problem, it is in your best interest to do whatever you can to help prevent this problem from occurring. Water leakage is one of the most damaging of household problems, so avoiding the problem in the first place is absolutely ideal.

Signs of Leaking Refrigerant

If there is a leak of the AC refrigerant, there will be many things that you notice. Some happen immediately and others you might notice with time. However, it is best to recognize the issue immediately, if at all possible, when it comes to leaking refrigerant. Things you should pay attention to include the following:

  • Cooling output issues. This might be caused by duct leaks or a thermostat that isn’t working properly. However, it could mean leaking refrigerant, as well. If the refrigerant is leaking, your home can’t be cooled properly.
  • Increased energy bills. The longer your AC is on, the higher your energy bills are going to be. If there is a huge spike in your bill, it could mean your AC unit is leaking refrigerant.
  • Ice surrounding the coils. While this could be that the air filter is just dirty, leaking refrigerant could be the culprit, too. Without refrigerant properly running through the AC unit, the condensation freezes on the coils.

Other Common Causes of a Leaky AC Unit

Here are a few of the most common reasons for leaking, but there are other causes beyond the list below:

  • A cracked condensate drain pipe
  • A dirty or frozen evaporator coil
  • A rusted drain line
  • A clogged air filter
  • A condensation build-up
  • A disconnected drain line
  • A broken pump

Other reasons why your conditioner may have a leak is because it was not properly installed. Be sure that when you invest in an air conditioning unit that you use a professional and certified company to ensure that the job gets done correctly and doesn’t end up costing you more money down the road.

Also, in some cases, a leak may occur due to temperature changes, and if any of the elements of your unit are frozen, they’ll thaw and leave a puddle. However, what you want to look for isn’t condensation, but pooling water or a steady drip. Some level of condensation is considered normal, but these other types of leaking are more serious. These issues will need to be addressed quickly.

There are some scenarios which you’ll be able to fix the leak yourself, but in many cases, the best way to ensure the problem is resolved and doesn’t end up costing you more money is to bring in a professional to diagnose and fix the problem.

How to Prevent Your Air Conditioner from Leaking

If you’ve had an air conditioner leak in the past, you should already know there are a few ways you can prevent this from happening again. The first step is to make sure you’re performing regular maintenance on your unit by changing filters on time, keeping your unit free of debris, and scheduling a yearly HVAC service call.

You can add a secondary drain line for your air conditioner, as well as have a shutoff switch installed for the drain pan overflow. You’ll also want to ensure that you have correctly installed ductwork and have refrigerant levels monitored.

Preventing air conditioning leaks doesn’t have to be complicated. We know that they can get messy and it can disrupt your day. But Peaden is here to get your air conditioner working in prime condition again and get you back to your schedule. Hiring a certified professional is essential to getting the most value out of your unit. If you have a leak, get the experts involved today!

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