Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Explanations

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by extracting heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it produces condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is typically collected in a drain pan and moved through piping into your home’s drain system.

A byproduct of this process, an error or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water floods the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is especially troublesome if your furnace or air handler is kept in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In a majority of homes, building codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is found underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is directed to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s more noticeable if water is draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water dripping from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely an indication the primary drain is backed up and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most frequent reasons for why your AC is leaking water and how to take care of the issue. Some homes can also use a safety device that should automatically turn off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you notice water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to stop any other water damage and get in touch with a San Antonio Air Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners routinely require professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at San Antonio Air Service Experts. We proudly deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air runs along the evaporator coil, water forms on the chilly metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan under the indoor coil within the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence takes place, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan becomes full.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris might clog the drain. This stops the water from flowing away correctly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like San Antonio Air Service Experts to guarantee it’s completed properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will quickly switch off your AC if the drain becomes clogged again in the future, thus minimizing water damage in your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unhindered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While uncommon, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes happen if someone is working nearby the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to see if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to take care of this issue right away. Schedule an appointment with San Antonio Air Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are needed when the home’s drain system is located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water might build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is damaged. First, make sure that the pump is still powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak might be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like San Antonio Air Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Damaged

If you see little drips instead of a larger puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be splashing off the evaporator coil instead of properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation surrounding the coils redirect the water. The best approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a San Antonio Air Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you uncover a leak and the AC isn't cooling properly, the refrigerant level may be lacking because of a leak. Air conditioners need refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it checked consistently during seasonal maintenance is very beneficial for the working condition of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils may freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Despite some expectations, your AC does not need to be recharged unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only necessary when a leak occurs in the system. Call San Antonio Air Service Experts as soon as you can to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to produce proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils can become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—sometimes starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem doesn’t go away, further repairs will sometimes be necessary. Luckily, HVAC technicians from San Antonio Air Service Experts are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are built to be used during warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and may lead to an overflow thanks to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a San Antonio Air Service Experts technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are manufactured to last, but nothing survives forever. If you have an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan might be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak can appear as condensate seeps directly through it. San Antonio Air Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working normally.

Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, San Antonio Air Service Experts can fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are well trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete exemplary work. We have full confidence in our repairs—in fact, we back up everything we perform with a one-year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!*

We’ll even suggest a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, more quickly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at 210-570-9705 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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