Updated January 18, 2024
Owning a home comes with many benefits, but it also has its own set of problems, such as monthly bills, renovations, and repairs. Things in the house break from time to time, and you have to call a professional to help you out if you cannot fix it yourself. One of the most common problems you are likely to encounter in your house is a leaking air conditioner.
A leaking air conditioner starts as a mild inconvenience, but it can develop into something big, destroying ceilings, walls, and even floors. What’s more, the leakage affects the air conditioner’s performance, and before long, it fails to turn on or cool the air in your home. If you have noticed your air conditioner leaking, it could result from the following reasons.
Broken Float Switch or Condensate Pump
If you have put your HVAC unit in the basement, the condensate pump plays a vital role in getting rid of water from the system. When the level of water in the condensate pipe rises, the float switch on the condensate pump turns on, triggering the pump to drain water from your home. However, if the switch or the pump is malfunctioning, it will not pump the water outside your home.
For that reason, the water will accumulate and cause leakages. If this is the case, it is best to call a professional. Trying to fix the issue yourself without any experience will only worsen the problem. A professional will assess the situation and determine if the pump needs to be repaired or replaced.
Low Levels of Refrigerant in the AC
Whenever there is a low amount of refrigerant in the AC, the amount of pressure inside the system is also low. Low internal pressure can lead to the freezing of the evaporator coils. When the icing on the coils melts, the melted water will drip out of the AC and appear to be leaking.
To find out if low refrigerant is the cause of the freezing, it’s important to check for other signs of an issue. Along with icing in the AC, the most prominent sign of low refrigerant levels is your AC failing to cool your home as it should. The main reason for low refrigerant is a refrigerant leak. If you hear a hissing sound in your AC, it could indicate a leak in the refrigerant line. If it seems like a refrigerant leak is present, you need to contact an HVAC technician to fix the cause of the leak and add more refrigerants to the system.
Incorrect AC Installation
If you just installed your system and it is already leaking water, then there is a likelihood that the ones who installed it got something wrong with the installation. For example, if the drain pipes and the AC are not proportional, the flow of water from the drain pan will be disrupted, leading to leakages. Also, if the central AC is not leveled, it can spill water into the house, causing a mess. If that’s the case in your home, the best thing to do is to contact a trustworthy professional to fix the issue.
Damaged or Rusted Drain Pan
Generally, the drain pan of an air conditioner is located under the evaporator coils, but in some conditioners, it is found in the air handler. It catches condensation as it drips. From the drain pan, the water flows into the drain line. If your AC has a rusted drain pan, the water will find it difficult to get into the drain line and will instead start leaking.
In most cases, if your air conditioner is 15 years old or more, there is a likelihood that it will start showing some signs of aging, including a rusted drain pan. Your drain pan could also begin to leak because it has cracks. You can fix this issue by carefully sealing the cracks with water-resistant sealants. However, if your drain pan is rusted, the best solution is just to replace it. A professional can help you with the replacement.
Clogged Condensate Drain
A clogged condensate drain is one of the primary reasons why your air conditioner could be leaking. It could be clogged due to several things, including dust, mold or mildew, or dirt. The water cannot seamlessly drain outside whenever it is blocked, thus leading to some backup and leaks out of your AC. Use a wet/dry vacuum to blow the condensate drain clear. Alternatively, you can call for professional help with removing any clogging in the pipe.
For your air conditioner to cool your home, the process of condensation must occur. However, if the condensation buildup is in excess, it can result in water leaking from the vents. Sometimes, you might fail to notice the leak, but it can lead to the growth of mold in the air ducts.
Various things can cause condensation buildup, including warm air reaching the cold surface of the air ducts. A blocked drain pump, clogged ducts, or dirty air filters can also cause this problem, and increased humidity in the summer can increase the chances of condensation buildup as well. If your air conditioner is experiencing increased condensation buildup, you need to contact an HVAC professional to find the cause of the issue. Once they uncover the problem, they can provide a fix and prevent further issues from occurring.
Dirty Air Filters
The air filters in your HVAC system have the important task of keeping dirt and debris out of your heating and cooling units. This keeps the HVAC system functioning properly and ensures that you are breathing clean air indoors. Over time, all of the dirt and debris caught by the filter can significantly restrict airflow through the AC system. If the filter isn’t changed, this restricted airflow will contribute to the icing of the evaporator coils, leading to the same leaking problems discussed in the section on low refrigerant.
Fortunately, fixing the problem of a dirty filter is much easier and safer than a refrigerant leak. All you have to do is replace the filter. To keep the problem from occurring again, be sure to stay on top of filter changes. A good rule is to change the filter every three months, but you may need to replace it more often if you have pets in the home or one of your family members has allergies.
An HVAC Contractor You Can Trust
Don’t panic if your AC is leaking water because we’ve got you covered. At Agers Heating & Air Conditioning, we provide heating and cooling services of the highest quality. We’ve been serving residents of St. Louis, MO, and the surrounding area since 2004. In addition to furnaces and ACs, we work on heat pumps and commercial HVAC systems. Our team also provides indoor air quality services. For more information about our work or to set up an appointment, contact us at Agers Heating & Air Conditioning today.